Tuesday, 14 April 2015

13/14 April - Mumbai and homeward bound

Distance: 48 km - Bandar Terminus to CST Mumbai and then a meander to the airport.

Total trip distance: 2,858 km

It wasn't a bad trip down to Mumbai but I got really frustrated trying to leave Bandar Station. Not knowing what end of the train's two baggage cars my bike was stored in I  lugged my panniers from one end of the platform to another (it was a very long train) constantly hounded by touts and porters. When I finally spotted  my bike and loaded it up ready to leave I wasn't allowed to take it!  I had to go to the baggage office (miles away outside the station) and get a clearance ticket. Off came all the bags again and another mega-trudge along the platform.  In the ticket office they were messing about trying to fiddle the weight reading on the scales by adding stones and waste paper bins to a parcel being weighed. I really don't know what they were doing but it took at least 30 minutes and I was dripping sweat in the steamy cargo shed. While waiting my bike was actually wheeled in. Somebody had tried to steal the front Edelux light but it is firmly attached and all that was missing was the rotary switch, so the light is now permanently on. Not the end of the world. When I finally got my ticket no-one even looked at it. Grrrh!

In the evening I go off in search of what I now know are 'gunny bags' to wrap my bike in for the flight home. I'm given some old ones by a very friendly parcel company. On the way home I spot this bamboo scaffolding on a high-rise building. I wouldn't trust it to hold my runner beans up!

Around lunch-time I start a heading north through and around Mumbai on the way to the airport. The traffic was jammed in places because of road closures due to protest marches. Mumbai does have some reasonable beaches but I don't think they'd get a 'Blue Flag' for water quality.

Who'd have known it!

Getting to the airport is really frustrating because 2 wheelers aren't allowed on the flyover roads, and I have to pick my way round the back streets to find a way in. Finally, I wheel the bike into a lift in 'Arrivals'' and go up 10 levels to 'Departures' and set about gift wrapping it for the baggage handlers.

I'm quite pleased with the end result - triple gunny-bag wrapped

I survived India! Now back to see what the real world has been up too..........but I'll be back!

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