Having been thwarted by traffic the previous evening, we're determined to get out of the hotel early and get those photos we weren't able to. This is Agra after all, and there's plenty of beautiful architecture. The trouble is, with monuments as heavily visited as these, there tend to be restrictions. So while our road to the Taj Mahal was clear this time, we were stopped at the front door. "No cars past this point." It's the same story at the Agra fort. We settle for some relatively long-range photos of the cars, and some more conventional ones without them.
But traffic is picking up now, and we need to leave Agra before we are completely engulfed by it. And we almost do, until we reach the mouth of NH2, where all hell breaks loose. Traffic isn't moving in any particular direction here, with each vehicle seemingly getting to its destination as the crow flies. There's a fair amount of angry fist-shaking from the members of our little convoy all the way to the four-laner.
After a quick brunch stop at a most excellent paratha restaurant, the Audi Great India quattro Drive contest winners, Atman and Ayush take the wheel for a nice long stint on the wide open road. It's a welcome breather for the rest of us after the chaos of Agra.
Part of this stint includes driving, not through, but over Kanpur. It's a series of flyovers that lasts at least 6km, and all you can see on either side is the tops of buildings.
They drive for almost 100km before they give us back the reins, and just in time too, because we're approaching Allahabad city limits.
Downtown Allahabad is a maze of narrow gullies and blind corners, where one street is indistinguishable from the next. And we have to go through it to get to our hotel. The next hour is about as stressful as all of the rest of the leg put together; we even have to send one of the team out to ward people away from the cars. It's a crawl to the hotel, but we make it in decent time, just before sundown, raring for a good meal and some rest before the next day's trip to Bihar.