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Monday
Nov232009

Travel to India

I flew to India overnight, on Saturday 21st November. The flight was long, but uneventful and it was good to leave a cold, and rainy Gatwick behind.

I landed, in Goa, at around about 10.00 am local time on Sunday 22nd November. Almost immediately, I started to experience the 'real' India. It was very hot - so hot that I started to think that they weren't going to bother to unload the baggage from the plane. Then I think they realised that it couldn't fly away again till they had done so. Eventually, after an hour and a half of hanging around, the baggage appeared. The upside of this arrangement was that I managed to get an Indian SIM card for my phone in the arrivals hall. I also managed to get (mildly) ripped off by the 'official' money exchange there as well. The first few days are a rather steep learning curve.

Then, out of the airport to the coach that was waiting. You run the gauntlet of dozens of 'helpers' that try and snatch your baggage from you to take it to the coach. My advice to future travellers would be to let the first guy actually have your bag. They are looking for 'two English pounds' for this service, and at least if you let the first guy do it, then the others won't bother you. I managed to get to the front of my coach, when, naturally, I let go of my bag. Bingo, it was grabbed and whisked to the back of the coach. I handed over ONE English pound mainly for the guy's perseverance. It's all quite good natured, but you wouldn't want to be in a foul mood.

I have now been here for 36 hours. The hotel is fine, as is everything else. It now becomes clear why the rule here is 'haggle, haggle, haggle'.

One point that needs to be made. Internet access is not easy. There ARE cafes but you will need to provide full ID before you are allowed access to a machine. THEN you have to understand that the machine will NOT be up to date. This site requires >Internet Explorer 6 to operate. The first 2 internet cafes I went to were operating IE6 (and Windows XP). This particular cafe has one machine out of about eight with IE7 on it.

I am taking photos as I go along, but haven't quite worked out how I am going to post them. Never mind, I am only a day and a half in, and I will find a way. It has all been very interesting so far.

 

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