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Published: February 8th 2018
Had this trip planned for months. Nothing better to beat the January blues than the knowledge that in early February we will be replacing dull, wintry England for warm and exciting India.
A little worried the night before we left as forecast was for snow in the early hours, both at home and the airport. Yes it did snow. At least 1mm. It didn't stop us, just made us walk up the path more carefully with the suitcases to Jeremy's waiting car, as he drove us to the airport.
This blog entry covers 2 days, Tuesday and Wednesday as when you don't have a sleep between the two it's very hard to say what day was which.
Our Emirates flight from Manchester to Dubai was delayed by an hour while they de-iced the wings but we had allowed plenty of time for change over in Dubai so not a problem. Further delayed leaving the plane at the other end as a male passenger a few seats back had become drunkenly, loudly and very rudely aggressive. A team of cabin staff arrived with 'contraints' and I can only conclude he was fastened down to his seat but his drunken
ranting did carry on. As we landed we were asked to wait as a team of hefty Emirate security staff arrived to remove him first but obviously too tricky doing that so we all got off first. Shame, I think we were all planning to boo him as he came past.
Dubai was even bigger than it was last time. We were flying to Mumbia from gate C10 which is past all the B gates and I've never been even to the end of the B area before. Regretting that I stupidly brought carry on not push along cabin bags as surprising how heavy they can be and both knees were complaining by the time we boarded our Mumbai flight.
Only a 3.5 hour trip and then we were walking again. Well we would have been but we were offered a lift in a buggy so we took it. Thank goodness as we didn't see any walkways and it was a really long way to the immigration area where we were checked into the country. Glad we had E visas. The queue for these was 1/10th of the other queue. Once officially in the country we collected our
cases and checked in for our internal Air India flight to Jaipur.
Tried to get cash from a machine but it wouldn't let me have any. Tricky that as not allowed to take any currency in so had none. Eventually gave up and used the Money exchange booth which must have charged double in fees over the ATM. Found a message from Nationwide on my phone when I swtiched it onto mobile roaming. They needed me to confirm it was me trying to use my card at an Atm in Mumbai, I replied yes but haven't yet checked to see if it is now ok to use next time.
Flight to Jaipur took only 1.5 hours and we were surprised when food was served. I didn't eat mine as past eating having not really had any sleep but Bob ate some of his. Said the rice stuff was disgusting but to be fair the flights were only £22 each so anything more than a glass of water was a plus.
At Jaipur I joined a short queue at a kiosk to purchase my pre-paid government priced taxi fare to the hotel. First money fail when I failed
to retrieve the 50 rupee change which, by the way, was not offered, from my 500 rupee note. Small notes are useful when tips are required and we are still a day later trying to get to grips with the notes which are all very similar.
Ride in the taxi through the frenetically busy streets, to our lovely hotel, heritage style, Umaid Bahran. This is an old royal palace and is exquisitely decorated as I can show you in the photos. My camera just would not stop taking pictures. After settling in we rode the lift to the roof top bar for a drink and welcome sit in the beautiful sunshine. Then a dip in the icy, yes really icy took 5 minutes to get myself all in, to do 12 lengths but ok once in and no frost bite has appeared yet. Had to take a little walk outside to find a shop as needed more water and some fresh juice to put into our minibar. We were offered at least a dozen taxi and a dozen tuk-tuk rides in the 10 minutes we were out.
We had dinner on the roof again, lovely food and
ambiance with some traditional music and dance to entertain us. The waiters fall over themselves to assist, we hope it is not just so we tip them. Then sleep, two nights to be caught up but will then be on normal Indian, 5.5 hours ahead, time.
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