Diary 9, I now try to get home...
18/3 2020. I do sleep quite well, and wake up to the most fantastic view over the entire valley. I'm anxious about my flight, which so fare have been declared OK. But last night, EU apparently closed down, and I might be stocked without valid visa, travel insurance, the ability to book into hotels and the car.
Never the less, the drive down the Pratapgad Mountains is awesome, and I do have to stop several times to make photos and videos. Then I meet the fertile plain, and after a couple of hours, I meet the Pune intense morning traffic, but make it to the airport.
Despite I have received no information, and their internet site claimed it would fly, my New Delhi - Copenhagen flight have been cancel. I try to get an "airport issued health certificate", but even at the airport manager's office, they have never heard of it. The local Air India office pointed me to the main office in Pune.
I find it, and even a place to park the car.
After a lot of waiting in an else empty office, they confirm: My CPH
flight is cancelled. They don't explain why, neither what I'm
supposed to do then. It is really not their problem!
I write the Danish Embassy in India, asking
for advice, look for news on the internet and then do a stroll in
the area. It is next to the big river, but as Pune is generally a
new town, here are not that much interesting.
The embassy have answered: If your flight is cancelled, you should find another. If your travel insurance expires, you should extend it. If your visa expires, get a new one. Well, I kind of figured that myself. As the internet is real unreliable, I engage my secret force, and he secure me the last ticket out of India tomorrow. A bit expensive (Made the entire tour 60% more expensive), but I'll hate to be stocked here, when the bodies start to pile up in the streets.
Dinner at the local place, which turns out to
be an excellent Italian restaurant. Well, for once, I am farer from
tiered of the local vegetarian food, but I did not see any other
restaurants, when I walked the area. Finish up a few things,
counting on leaving India tomorrow evening, only 12 hours delayed -
and do a bit of a roundtrip on the way home: Mumbai and London.
be worse for sure.
Through the Pratapgad Mountains, a bit Pune
19. I start the day at four, but I guess I can sleep in the flights and airports. I'm a bit early for returning the car, and head into the airport to get my boarding card. But they are not there yet. As I try to get out to the car, I'm stopped. I can't get out. Several phone calls later, I get out and park the car in the short-term parking, as requested. Leave the key at the boy, charging for the parking. Long time ago, I thought the little dent in the front corner would lead to some sort of discussion, but it didn't. Lately, I have worried about other matters.
When check-in opens, they casual mention; "your flight from Delhi to Copenhagen is cancelled". I ask; "what to do then", and the reply is; "that is up to you". I have an hour to kill in the airport, and enjoy a huge masala-tea. Then I start making corrections to these diaries. I get one more hour, as the flight is delayed.
In New Delhi, I spend the waiting time, finding out, what Air India can offer. I am pin-ponned between six offices, none have anything to offer. The last counter can however offer me a flight on the 2. of April - or a sheet, telling that I want the money returned, which I should percent to my agent. I sure hope my plan B works! Some say all flights are cancelled after the 19. - and that will include my London flight. I hope they are wrong. A noon, it is still "green" on British Airways site.
I make corrections to the diaries, eat lunch, have afternoon tea and cake, work some more on the computer, have a stroll around the domestic airport and work some more. Half pass six, I can find the gate, and fly to Mumbai. While I've been in New Delhi Airport, I have see four pale, but it is the domestic part I'm in - and I did see them in the international part.
Reading the news: Despite there are around 250
times as many people in India as in Denmark, only half that much, have died from
the Coronavirus - so
far. But that might change... I don't want to
be here then. And from the 22. India will close down all
international flights for a week - to start with.
After 22 hours on the road, I have covered 156 kilometres, although by a de-tour of 2100+ kilometres, and a lot of waiting time in two airports. And I still not sure, I actually get home now, as the flight is delayed, and I might miss my connecting flight in London.
I have seat number 32E, which place me in the middle of the airplane. I fear, I'm going to sit between two fat Indian women, chatting the entire time - with totters on their labs. But I haven't done anyone any favours for days now, and Karma rewards me with the two only empty sets in the flight. I get to lay down and sleep! A good tailwind means we have caught up with some of the lost time, and I can make my Copenhagen connection.
Southern India was a great tour, but also one of the more tough ones. The best experiences was without any doubt the people, Mamallapuram Beach, Varkala, Hampi, Badami and Goa Beach. The worse was the roads and the threat from the Coronavirus and the hassle to get home. The nature was somewhat disappointing; not the diversity I had expected. It might have helped, if I had more time exploring, but driving took up much of my time.
I have made 5176 photos, driven 6028 kilometres
and spend quite some money, mainly because of the last ticket home,
adding 64% to the total. Besides from that and the car, India is so