India Part 3: Jaipur to Delhi

I'd included Jaipur on the current trip so that I could run the half marathon. As I said last time, preparations for the race were chaotic. The race itself was equally disorganised, almost dangerously so. The start featured a dangerous crush which I was glad to escape in one piece. The heat wasn't too bad (Rajasthan seems quite cold at the moment) but I was a little disturbed to find most of the water stations had no water left by the time I arrived. It was 8.75 miles before I found anything to drink.

I was so desperate to have the race over with that I went a little faster than I should have done and finished in 1 hour 57 minutes, a time that I am very pleased with. I'm now resting for a few days while I am in Delhi, a city that is not supportive of marathon training.

For the first couple of days in Jaipur, Dad and I visited the standard tourist sites like the Jantar Mantar, museum and City Palace, which left us underwhelmed. City Palace in particular felt like a greedy little tourist trap. I would have left Jaipur disappointed but the place redeemed itself with our adventures on the last day. We started in Narahgarh fort, which included the stunning and deserted Madhvendra Palace. Jaigarh, above the Amber fort was equally fascinating, but the most amazing place was Galta, a group of temples hidden at the bottom of a valley. One of the most beautiful things I've seen in my life.

Yesterday we took the train from Jaipur to Delhi. It's strange to be back in Paharganj. The area has been cleaned up since I was last here two years ago and seems much less intense. We spent today visiting the fort at Tuglaqabad, one of the seven cities of Delhi and tomorrow is Republic Day. We have tickets for the parade which I am very excited about, having missed event in 2010.

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