Travel day, EV style

I could not for the life of me figure out how to book a train ticket online, and by the time I got it sorted it was too late for our intended departure. At the very last minute I booked a flight for not much more than the train and certainly faster. The short hops around India are served by Indigo Airline who operate smaller turboprop equipment. That means our baggage allowance is 15 kilos instead of the usual 20 or 25 kilos for most international flights. We only have one bag and over the last few months the weight has crept up to over 17 kg. For two people our combined limit is 30 kg but you know the airlines, each bag must be under the limit. And we only have one bag. Which weighs 17 kilos.

To solve this problem I moved some heavy items to our overflow carryon tote and we’ll check both bags. Neither of us wants to add to our carryon weight, and many airlines now limit carryon to 7 kg.

I made up an ID tag and secured it to the tote with Gorilla tape (new addition to my travel kit), moved the AirTag from the big duffle to the small and maybe easily lost tote, and hoped my weight estimates get us past the airline checkin scale.

Meanwhile, I felt a cold coming on. I ducked down the street to a small pharmacy and asked what he had for the sniffles. He produced two packets of pills that he recommended I take, one each morning and night.

“Will they work?” I asked, struggling to read the ingredients.

“Of course they’ll work!” he countered. “I’m a pharmacist!”

You can’t argue with that, and I generally trust that local medicine men know their local bugs. While I was there I restocked other bits of our first aid kit, replacing expired antibiotics and other just-in-case drugs we carry. He had everything I asked for and my total bill was about $12.

We took an Uber to the Agra airport. Or at least we thought we did. Our driver stopped well short of the destination indicated by Google maps, and right before a very tall, very closed gate.

“This is as far as I can drive you,” he said, and he indicated a bus across the road. He assured us it would deliver us to the terminal.

We decamped to the bus. There was another couple there. French. We waited.

It turns out the civil airport in Agra lies inside a military base. That explains the barbed wire, I thought. And all the men with guns. In fact, we’ve seen more guns in India than we have in years in SE Asia.

We sat on the bus for 45 minutes until a man from Indigo came to check our tickets and passports. Finally a driver hopped onboard and we drove the final ten minutes to the terminal. Because we were in a military base we couldn’t take photos, and the military did all the security screening. They zip-tied our bags closed, even the outside pockets. How am I going to get those things off, I wondered. The scissors are inside the bag.

Our duffle weighed just under 13 kilos so we passed with flying colors. I was so excited I didn’t even watch the scale for the tote. With boarding passes in hand we bought bad terminal food and sat down to wait.

The flight was delayed but otherwise uneventful and we arrived at our guesthouse in Jaipur early enough to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. It’s a stunning place, picked at random, and I’m glad I booked five nights. After the whirlwind of Delhi and Agra, we decided to take a personal day and just enjoy this lovely marble oasis. The Pink City can wait.

Police horses next door.

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