India: always providing opportunities to practise patience.
Arrive at Delhi airport.
CHALLENGE: Bags didn’t arrive with us.
But that’s ok because they’ll be here tomorrow and Aeroflot will send them express to Amritsar.
CHALLENGE: One backpack didn’t clear customs and so they can’t send them together.
But that’s ok because we’ll be flying back through Delhi airport in a few days, we can pick them up then and we have enough clothes to make it till then.
CHALLENGE: Mesi has Delhi belly.
But that’s ok because Brad is totally fine and it doesn’t stop us from seeing the Golden Temple.
CHALLENGE: Get to Amritsar airport, our plane is cancelled
But that’s ok because we are rescheduled onto another flight.
CHALLENGE: That flight is 4 hours IN THE PAST.
But that’s ok because (after a bit of panic searching) there is another flight with a different airline at 2am which we can buy new tickets for, which will allow us to get our tight connection to Leh, at 530am. All we have to do is wait in Amritsar airport for 6 hours.
CHALLENGE: Brad has Delhi belly.
But that’s ok because there is a doctor at the airport.
CHALLENGE: The doctor doesn’t speak English and we don’t speak Hindi or Punjabi.
But that’s ok because the one english word he does know is ‘photo?’. So after dispensing pills (four to Mesi and one to Brad – strange because we have the same symptoms) he takes a happy snap of two sick foreigners. At least someone leaves the transaction satisfied.
CHALLENGE: Get to Delhi airport and we need to find the Aeroflot person to get our luggage.
All turns out ok, she’s waiting where she said she was, tells us to go upstairs meet another colleague and we’ll have our bags.
CHALLENGE: She only has one bag.
But that’s ok because we can go to customs and clear the other bag.
CHALLENGE: It takes 90 min (!) to do the ‘paperwork’ to clear customs and we have to leave on a flight in 60 min. But that’s ok, we have cross-packed gear into each other’s bags so we can manage. At least we’re here and we board the flight to Leh (both sick).
CHALLENGE: Get to Leh and the accommodation we booked has been given to someone else. But that’s ok, because by now we’re used to it, and luckily there’s space in the guest house next door.
CHALLENGE: After coming off the symptoms of Delhi Belly, altitude sickness kindly decides to take its place. This is fun.
But that’s ok because today is our fourth anniversary, we’re in Leh, it’s beautiful here and we are seeing the Dalai Lama!