In Transit

Hotel room coffee makers and I have always had a love/hate relationship. On one hand they create the brew that kick starts my system every morning, on the other hand figuring out how to use a different one can present challenges at o dark thirty to two groggy middle aged women who can’t find their glasses. The unit this morning in Vancouver presented a smooth impenetrable surface much like a missile – resisting our efforts for several minutes to get a coffee pod in it.  Success was eventually achieved and things began to look brighter. 

After collecting boarding passes through to our final destination we began the first leg of our journey to Montreal.

The flight in our business class pods was easy. The service excellent, the food airline standard, there was time to watch a movie (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – kind of like a remake of the Keystone Cops of the 50’s – not recommended) and have a nap. There was some turbulence along the way which kept us a little frosty as we crossed the Great Lakes.

Our Pilots

We are now in Montreal waiting for our Dehli flight to commence boarding, enjoying a glass of wine in the AC lounge. 

In previous trips my international flights have been mainly east to west, chasing the sun. We followed the night on this trip, leaving Montreal on a wet dark evening and landing in Delhi at 9:25 pm on Friday night. 

Dinner was a very nice Paneer korma with smokey dal and spinach basmati rice accompanied by a chutney to die for. Breakfast was spinach pakora served with another amazing tamarind chutney together with peas and carrot marsala. Very easy place to be a vegetarian.   The 14 hr flight was surprisingly easy thanks to an excellent staff, comfortable lay out pods for sleep, the excellent Indian Cuisine and a good book – My Own Country by Abraham Verghese. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Dr Verghese’s books. You may be familiar with the Stone Cutters – a coming of age story set in the 1970’s when Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed by a Soviet backed military junta – and A Covenant of Water which follows the story of a 12 year old child bride in Kerala from 1900 to her passing in the 1970’s Both excellent reads and highly recommended. My Own Country outlines his experiences as a new minted infectious disease specialist in the US in the early 80’s – just as the AIDS epidemic hit. 

Indian Customs was a breeze, no issues with e-Visas and extremely friendly immigration officers. (The young man who processed Mary’s passport thought she was pretty hot 🙂 ) It helps immensely to work with a first class travel agent – Theresa McDonald of Square 1 Travel, Courtenay. She insisted we needed an e-visa to transit through Delhi. A couple of guys at the next immigration kiosk didn’t have one, they were transiting as well. They were turned back, and told to contact their airlines. Glad that is not my issue late on a Friday night in Delhi!

We got discombobulated after exiting immigration and ended up being taken under the wing of very nice young man at the airport hotel kiosk. We had got totally turned around and missed our exit to the International wing of the airport hotel. Once you are through immigration in this airport, you are out of the international area. Going back through immigration wasn’t possible as our boarding passes need to be reissued and that can’t happen until 4 hours before the flight. Our new friend took us the back way through service elevators up to the comfortable hotel lounge where we can stay until 3 am when we will go down and get our new boarding passes for our final flight to Kathmandu in the morning at 7 am.

One interesting factoid – I have now officially circumnavigated the globe by air plus travelled from pole to pole – one more thing ticked off the bucket list. 

In Dehli after 30 hrs without much sleep – 12 hours to go…..