Joshi (our driver/flexible friend) wanted us to leave at 7am this morning to avoid the worst of the Monday morning rush hour driving to Bangalore airport. In the event it was an easy drive and we were in the departure hall less than an hour later ….. to find the flight was delayed by 50 mins, then 1 hour, then another 15 mins etc., so we found a cafe where David could have an all day breakfast and we could charge up the laptop computer at the same time
When the gate was announced I got us to the front of the queue!! I was asked to sit down and wait but I wasn't going to give up our Pole Position in the queue– the Mem Sahib is not moving for anybody. So the jobsworth little desk man created a barricade around us with those metal upright stands and elastic fences. But we won! Only to find that pole position just got us onto the transfer bus first … then I gave up my seat to a fairly decrepit Indian gentleman so went down the pecking order rapidly.
I've never seen airline staff running so fast …. the crew, pilots … everybody really was scurrying around to get the plane off the ground. The new crew were running up the stairs as passengers were still disembarking from the incoming (late) flight. Once we were on board the chief steward was screaming at people over the tannoy to get on and sit down.... the airport closes from 1145 to about 1700 and it was already 1135. Our flight was around 90 minutes late arriving at Ahmedabad and I reckon they had less than 10mins turnaround. But they did brilliantly – well done IndiGo airlines!
The flight is a short one – just abut 90 minutes so we ordered Chai (Indian tea) and fruit cake – expecting one thin slice of cake. But we were each presented with a box containing 4 thick slices of traditional style fruit cake which was delicious. David read the calorific count (425) so we restricted ourselves to one slice each and the rest is still boxed for future consumption.
We arrived at Ahmedabad and were met as planned by a driver organised by the Blackbuck Lodge. The drive was pretty boring – the first hour was slow, negotiating through a busy city but then gradually the landscape became more rural and interesting. If Joshi had been driving I'd have asked him to stop several times on the journey so I could take photos. Our driver had very limited English so David dozed and I took a few photos from the back seat, through the driver's windscreen, which are very poor. The temperature is in the mid to high 30s (nearly 100 degrees) and there is a haze everywhere – I guess partly from pollution and partly from the heat.
Anyway in the absence of anything else to post here are a few pics taken on the road through a dirty screen – I do love the Indian road scenes:
I've never heard of yoga for eyes before ... must Google it when we have a decent internet connection. This was an ad on the back of a Tuk Tuk (auto rickshaw)
These little 3 wheelers are everywhere - real workhorses always loaded up with goods and people
Friends and family
What a lot of Bulls!
Hanging on by the skin of their teeth here, methinks!
We arrived at Blackbuck Lodge shortly before sunset so just chilled on our verandah with the penultimate bottle of wine we bought with us.
This is our lodge (photographed in poor light)
The bedroom/sitting room area
Bathroom, with sunken bath and indoor shower
outdoor shower (totally private) and highly recommended by David
Private Terrace overlooking 'savannah' landscape
There were hundred of birds flocking around sunset
We saw one blackbuck deer in the distance and lots of birds but the light was failing.
The lodge has 14 bungalows, all equipped to a very high standard. Each has a private terrace facing the scrubland where blackbucks graze in the cooler parts of the day. There are a few lakes which attract birdlife and many other attractions which I've forgotten (tired tonight)!
We've been given the wifi code but the signal is so weak I haven't been able to access Blogger tonight so am just uploading photos and putting down some thoughts on Open Office Writer – which I can copy and paste to Blogger when we get a better signal … which may not be until we're in Mumbai now