Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A day and a half of travels and observations with a few first time experiences to make it all worth while (will do my best not to focus on the stereotypes)

So Sherren (The principle blogger) and I (Glen) have a wee blog for these travels. Personally I don’t write very often but I’ll do my best to throw in a few words here and there. And just how long we’ll keep it up is anyones guess.

After a hectic weekend of moving out the flat and into Woking’s finest travellers establishment (The Travelodge), it was suffice to say we were already feeling a little worn come Monday morning. With a 6am start to get us in the mood, we set off with hours to spare on the airport bus down the M25 expecting the usual delays. However this time, the powers that be were kind in seeing us depart this Great Britain for the best part of the next two winters and got us there in record time. So we managed to kill 4 hours in T4 with a combination of coffee (2 doubles in a row got me buzzing), tea, the meagre pickings of vegetarian delights an airport has to offer, some sitting and pacing, sitting and pacing. We made it to the gates just in time.

Well I’d have to say, having travelled fairly extensively though-out all continents of the world but the antarctic. I’ve been on my fair share of flights. Only this is the first time I’ve been on a flight where I was a minority to be precise. I found it quite charming and reassuring we weren’t just following the usual trail of tourists. The only unsettling thing was the average age of passenger was at least 70. Someone was bound to keel over at some point.

After a few hours of working my way through the soundtracks of Bollywood (it’s a bit like Metallica represented slightly less rhythmically and slightly more melodically - perhaps only Sherren will get that joke), the passenger directly behind Sherren fell ill and the call went out “Is there a doctor on board”. My first thought was ‘I hope we don’t have to land (we were flying over Bagdad at the time)'. Second thought ‘Sherren trained as a nurse, is she going to step up to the plate'? Well I’m glad she didn’t, because the next thing we knew there was a junior intern on the scene, who was promptly outranked by a pharmacist, who in turn was trumped by a GP, then an A & E surgeon, followed by a senior consultant. And when a nurse did turn up, she was rudely dismissed and the consultant decided the A & E surgeon was the best person on board to handle the situation from there on in. Funny thing is though, when we did land that woman was up like a shot along with all the rest of the elderly who were wheeled on board only hours before and was out of there. I’m guessing she was just suffering from the need for attention.

Welcome to Delhi (for the record, it was 10 degrees. 1 less than London when we left. Glad I kept my jumper).  Customs was painless, picking up the bags almost had me worried as all my possession in the world (excluding the 7 guitars stashed at the parents) are in those bags and we were just about the last ones waiting and the sign having had long clicked over to another flight. Low and behold they popped out. Sherren was right. First to check in, last to get your bags. Off to recheck the bags for the domestic leg and a few more hours to kill in another airport. For the record, Delhi domestic airport will make you feel right at home. They have, McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Mark and Spencer, WH Smith, Sunglasses Hut, Mango, Costa Coffee and every other high street conglomerate you could think of. Did we book a ticket to the correct Delhi? There isn’t another one tucked away in another former commonwealth colony is there? Well seems we must be in the right one cause a few hours later we were touching down in Bangalore. No dramas there only I must have looked in desperate need of a taxi. While Sherren was off getting a bottle of water I had the task of fending off every authorised taxi driver in the airport. I stopped counting at 10 then we promptly left the terminal to find the taxi we had pre booked.

Our driver led us out into the car park and got us to wait on the side of the road while he fetched the car. And when he pulled up, quite the car is was (a Tata - must be a local brand). You could describe it as a mock Fiat Panda, which was not much bigger than our suitcases. Although it did come with a roof rack. He managed to get 2 of our bags in the trunk, threw the big bag on the roof, piled us in the back and we were off (suitcase on top unsecured). I was a little worried about that given the all my possessions in the world tag on that bag but at this point was too tired and decided to go with the flow.

I’ve also taken a few hairy rides in various third world countries before or is it developing nations now? So I knew what to expect. If I had to describe Bangalore, I’d have to say it’s a lot like Havana. There’s a load of half built things, a load of half fallen down things, few things in between and a lot of people about that don’t really seem to be up to much. To be fair you could probably say it’s a cheaper version of London. Then after about an hour of heavy traffic we made it to the Mysore road and we were off. This part of the journey was more like Vietnam. Whereby the driver sits on his horn, weaving in and out of traffic while bulling anything in the road smaller (bikes and pedestrians), while be subjected to bulling by every other vehicle on the road. I.e. biggest bully owns the road. 3 hours later, 24 hours without sleep (due mostly to the fact India uses speed bumps every Km on the highways to control speed) we arrived in Mysore. Home for the next 5 months and ready to do anything but yoga till we’ve slept for a couple of days.

Our Local Shops

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