The day has come. We’re on our way. Jacquie has been busy posting photos of her luxury stay in the Oberoi where staff apparently outnumber guests. Hope she’s made the most of all that 5 star stuff because it’s going to be in short supply where we’re going!
Spent a frustrating half hour trying to order currency from buyforex.com. Great rates but would have been really helpful if they’d mentioned at the beginning that I’d need a PAN number. Suffice to say I’ve no idea what it is and I certainly don’t have one so that good idea is out the window.
We arrived at the airport 4 hours before our flight courtesy of chauffeur Chris. One of the few benefits of my bronze executive club membership is that I can use the business check in so we made the most of that. In fact Heathrow was remarkably quiet so we were through the other side in no time. A quick spot of shopping and then we parked ourselves in Huxley’s for lunch and a glass of bubbles.
Arriving at the gate, I checked the BA app and noticed that our seats had changed. We’d gone from row 40 at the back of the plane to row 20 in premium – happy days 😀. I shall have to take back all the rude things I’ve been saying about BA recently. (Although I still maintain their service has gone seriously downhill).
An uneventful flight to Delhi, smooth immigration process and we collected our luggage and headed off to domestic departures to meet up with Jacquie. Boarding the flight to Udaipur, it was like we had fallen on to the set of a Bollywood movie (minus the music and dancing, although nothing would have surprised me). A large family got on and it became clear that one of their party was extremely anxious about flying. As the doors closed she jumped up and tried to get off the plane. The doors were re-opened and she left the plane only for her husband to drag her back on. Queue much shouting. Various members of supporting cast arrived, a doctor, security and customer services director to name a few. Finally, an hour late, after much discussion, lots of head shaking, veiled threats and a signed disclaimer, we took off. Don’t think Ryanair would have been quite so accommodating!
Our first night in India was at Karohi Haveli in Udaipur. After the chaos of the roads from the airport, where cows, trucks and motorbikes mingled in an ‘accident waiting to happen’ sort of way, the Haveli was an oasis. The view of the lake and back over the city from the rooftops was stunning and the perfect setting for our ‘welcome to India first drink’.
Tomorrow is an early start for our 20km cycle ride. Padded shorts at the ready……