Howdy all and let me take you to destination Delhi today, India! Today’s post started out as ‘Retro Review’ but I soon realised that there was far more to the story of my stay at Ringo Guesthouse in Delhi than just a short review. I stayed back in 1999, and it was only a one-night stay, but my short time in Delhi before flying out on my first ever visit was eventful, to say the least!
It’s starts the day before I managed to get to the Ringo Guest House, actually no, it starts earlier – when I first arrived in India. I chose a place when arriving at 1030pm at night from my Lonely Planet and shared a taxi with a couple who decided just to follow me on their first night. I was out the next day to Chandigarh but they chose Ringo Guest House which was more central and cheaper as where they would stay the next day. I followed them through to the Guesthouse killing time before my train left, and decided that this looked like an okay place to stay. It was mostly hostel style accommodation. You walked up this narrow stairway from ground level and there was a nice big courtyard on the first floor. The price? Around 90 Rupees for a dorm bed, which was around $3USD or a little less at the time. I was trying to keep my costs down as I’d just blown them in Thailand, so this appealed plus the management were friendly and there were loads of other backpackers there to chill with.
But the best laid plans… I arrived two nights before my flight out by train from Agra, a very delayed train. I couldn’t find a rickshaw wallah to take me there, then one agreed and took me to a tourist agency who pretended to call Ringo Guest House. I was told by the fake manager that they were full and ended up in a crappy hotel where I barely slept for a night.
I was out at 7am the next morning. The red neon light outside my window and the crappy black and white TV that I watched the cricket on overnight being what I mostly remembered. (For the FULL story read – Scammed in India – Delhi!)
I arrived at Ringo Guest House very thankful that I was able to find someone to take me there. It wasn’t anything special, but it was just what I was looking for at the time. Central, friendly and genuinely helpful, and I met a great group of backpackers there and we chatted and chilled ‘til late at night. In fact, I met a girl there who was also keeping a diary/journal. She showed me what she did – she kept tickets and other things as she travelled – as I was doing – and stuck them in her diary – as I was NOT doing. It was such a great idea, and ever since this point I have done this, and I still journal when I travel today. I still remember where I got the idea from.
Well, the place was mostly concrete. The was a large room at the back and there were at least twenty basic beds in there, and that’s where most of us slept. I gather there were rooms too. Online I can see that Ringo Guest House still lives and breathes and the rooms I can see online are singles or doubles. It has a rating of 3/5 stars on Trip Advisor, so not the most loved place I guess, but honestly it was a little gem. A couple of separate toilets and showers across the courtyard. It was clean enough, but not exactly sparkling. But for 3 bucks, you’d have to say good value for money!
Then at about 2am we were all woken up when the place began to shake. This was officially my first ever earthquake! The place shook, and we all gathered as a result. It was over 6 so it was a decent shake! This was where I was really worried if I was destined to never leave Delhi! We all chatted for an hour or so before returning to bed.
The next day the place ordered me an auto-rickshaw which took me to the airport. We got rear-ended on the drive out, but we made it. I wouldn’t think that I would stay at Ringo again, because well, I am happy to pay more than 3 bucks a night, and dorms don’t appeal so much. But I am glad I stayed there and if you were asking me 20 years ago, as a backpacker, I would recommend the place.
Thanks for popping by today. Take care, May the Journey Never End!