My alarm interrupted a dream I was having about hula hooping. Slightly dazed, I got out of bed at 5.45am. It was dark out. I threw on my running gear and headed out of the dorm room.
On reaching the hostel front door I found it locked. Crumbs. I did not think this though. I tried to find a night porter to let me out. When I finally found one, he was fast asleep.
Then two backpackers appeared at the door and rang the bell. The night porter half-asleep, approached them and let them in. I slipped out into the darkness and began my journey.
Following Google maps I made my way to Nemaach Mata to watch sunrise. A few people were out but the windy streets were fairly empty.
A pack of dogs came running at me. Slightly terrified, I started yelling at them. I remembered from last time (in central America being chased by dogs) to stand my ground and fight back. They got the message and I hurriedly moved on.
Google maps seemed to be taking me in the right direction. I asked a lady on a motorbike for clarification. She confirmed that I was going the right way.
It was not one of my better runs: I stopped all the time to check where I was going and was overly cautious about everything.
The sky was beginning to turn orangy blue, the sun was fast approaching. Google had confirmed that I had arrived. However, I was on a main road next to a university – this was no destination for sunrise.
I asked a passerby where the point was and he confirmed I was in the wrong place. I should have googled Nemaach Mata Mandir for the view point rather than the area itself. I wouldn’t make the view point in time.
Slightly deflated, I ran on not sure where I was going. I tried to at least reach one of the many lakes. I eventually did reach a lake. I saw ladies washing clothes on steps and vendor’s opening their stalls.
Two hours later, I reached the hostel and went straight to the roof top to practice some hula hooping.
My stomach rumbeled. I guess it was time for breakfast.
I showered and went to Neelam cafe for an extremely tasty Indian breakfast of palak and paneer rotis.
It was delicious and very cheap.
The rest of the morning and early afternoon was spent relaxing on the rooftop admiring the views.
Later on I went for a henna lesson in a family home. It was just myself and a kind lady, who showed me how to draw patterns and use the henna paint.
She then drew my henna for me.
For £1.60 I went with a couple from the hostel for unlimited Thali. It was super tasty. So much food!
The evening was spent chilling on the rooftop again. I met a couple of guys who were actually from North London too. I thought I recognised them. One also went to University with me. It’s a small world.