After a nice breakfast, we packed up once more and headed for Allahabad. This drive was not as smooth. As we tried to leave town, we were told to take a different route. Then, our drivers had an argument with a young man who had pulled a rope across the road and demanded a parking fee. Then, the other car stopped and we drove back to see why. They were watching wild cranes in a field. Then, we had to stop for gas. Then, a bolt broke on the other car's suspension. Then, we hit a traffic jam. Then we stopped for a bathroom break. It was a long trip!
Finally, we arrived at our hotel - the Hotel Milan Palace, described in Lonely Planet as Allahabad's most stylish hotel - in time for lunch, only to discover the restaurant was closed due to a private function. We decided to order room service but that turned out to be somewhat confusing. We gave our order over the phone, only to have a young man arrive 10 minutes later to take our order in person! We were worried we'd end up with two sets of lunches. But, in the end, it all worked out. Parents had tandoori chicken and the kids had chicken sandwiches.
After lunch, we took tempos to Anand Bhawan museum, the boyhood home of the first prime minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru (Indira Ghandi's father).
Afterwards, we took a boat to the "sangam" (confluence), where the rivers Yamuna, Ganges and the mythical Saraswati meet. The city is sacred to all Hindu people because of this geography.
When we got back to the hotel, it was dark but Barry and Margaret decided to go camera shopping. It had been very stressful borrowing Binu's camera and we didn't know if we'd be able to get our other one fixed. Long story short, we paid too much for a camera, and wasted 2.5 hours of our lives that we'll never get back trying to return it. The end result is that we kept the camera and got a cash refund of $25.00 instead of the $40.00 we wanted. We also had to give back the "free" 1 g memory card that came with it. The lesson? Don't buy a camera at a hole-in-the-wall computer store in Allahabad from people who claim that there are no camera stores in the neighbourhood (especially ones selling the exact same camera for 1700 rupees less!).
Back at the hotel, we joined everyone at the bar and danced to some songs until about midnight. It was a lot of fun and we definitely needed the stress release!