Wednesday, June 13, 2012. Hyderabad – Delhi – Amritsar
We took a 12:20 PM flight on SpiceJet from Hyderabad to Delhi. SpiceJet is one of the local low cost airlines and along with Jet Airways and IndiGo is one of the few Indian airlines we were recommended to fly. Air India has a bad safety record and maybe about to strike. Kingfisher hasn’t paid their pilots in a while.
The flight was uneventful, but delayed by about 20 minutes, so we arrived in Delhi around 2:40 PM. This time our bags arrived quickly and we exited the airport to be met by the Delhi manager of Four Wheel Drive and our driver Sury, who will be with us for the next couple of weeks.
We set off immediately for Amritsar in Punjab province close to the border with Pakistan. This a major road, and in parts it was a decent highway (although nothing like as good at the Hyderabad superhighways). But at least half of it was under construction, so we were diverted to the access road for much of the drive, which ended up taking ten hours with a short stop for tea and another for a quick, tasty dinner at a roadside Dhabba,
The drive was excruciatingly slow – just as it looked like we were getting up to speed on the highway, there would be another diversion sign that took us through yet another heavily populated access road. Then there are all the different kinds of vehicles and animate objects that have to be avoided. An incomplete list includes:
- Bicycle rickshaws
- Bicycle goods carriers
- Autos/Tuk Tuks – 3 wheeled motorcycle taxis
- 3 Wheeled motorcycle goods carriers
- Trucks of all sizes
- Humans crossing every kind of road, including major highways
- Oxen pulling carts
- And likely many more that I can’t remember
Plus, if the road was even halfway decent, you could guarantee that it was a toll road, so we had to stop often to pay the tolls.
We eventually made it to our hotel at 1am, tired but still in one piece!