Friday, 28 February 2014

OTN Yathra 2014 - The Journey to Pune

Mumbai was a Saturday and it is quite normal for people in India to give up Saturday to learn if the subject is correct, but in order to ensure as many cities as possible were included in OTN Yathra, Pune was held on a Sunday, the very next day after Mumbai.

The distance is 96 miles, which does not seem a long way, and too short for a flight, so we drove in a convoy of 4 taxis, straight from the event at Mumbai. You will have gathered by now I was not looking forward to the journey but not just because it was by road but also because Tim Hall has me paranoid about Mosquitos.

I have said before corporate travel agents give you travel advice that tends to err on terrifying, and for India a lot is about the health risks. Tim and I both looked to the Great British National Health Service for advice and Malaria was the top problem. My other vaccinations were up to date but poor Tim had to have a few in his trip preparations

So according to Tim's research we were in real trouble in Hyderabad and during this road journey, add this paranoia to my driving fears and it is amazing Tim and Raj agreed to be my companions. I owe these two a lot, and later in the tour Hans as my way of dealing with the my fear was to talk non stop and this journey was 4 hours plus!!

Tim and I were covered in Mosquito propellant and must have stunk, Raj commented but graciously put up with us. We had one stop at which I stayed in the taxi (with all doors locked, and practiced my breathing techniques).

We arrived at our hotel but needed dinner, it was very late and I although I simply needed to relax and hopefully sleep when I got to my room there appeared to be a pop concert or something happening outside. The hotel backs onto an enormous sports complex, The Balewadi. Anyway the noise was loud, the stage had some kind of laser light show and I was not too hopeful of getting any sleep.

Turns out it was a wedding (do I feel bad), and actually once the ceremony was over about 1am the noise was fine. I did then wish I could just creep out and gate-crash, it would have been lovely to have experienced this. The proceedings were also on large screens and I was able to take photos from my hotel window. Best wishes to them, whoever they are.


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