Day 25 – Travel Nightmare!

25 Jan

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Possibly one of the most stressful nights ever. First my taxi failed to show up, then as I set off dragging my enormous suitcase down Lakaki Road I had the misfortune to happen upon the least competent rickshaw driver ever. After collecting Lorna from the Mariot we headed off to the bus pick up point with only just enough time to make it. Frustratingly it soon became apparent the rickshaw driver did not know where he was going. In desperation we rang the concierge at the Mariot who managed  to contact the bus company to get the bus to wait for us and gave our driver fresh directions. Many wild goose chases and phone calls later we were still driving around hopelessly – up back alleys, the wrong way up dual carriageway twice.  Eventually he spoke directly to the driver of the bus who arranged to meet him somewhere he did know, but somehow he messed that up as well. Two and a half hours squashed into a rickshaw only for the bus to leave without us and we ended up back where we started (and had to pay 850 rupees for the pleasure). The concierge at The Mariot booked us on to another bus at 11.45pm which again agreed to wait for us. This time there was a problem with the booking, they couldn’t accept cash or UK card, so that bus again drove off into the night without us. Just when it looked like all hope was lost our hero at The Mariot once again found us an air conditioned sleeper bus, leaving right now that would take cash on the bus. We set off, this time in super luxury Mariot car(and super pricey at 2200 rupees for this short spin to the pick- up point).  Our bus was found without any bother and on we got, only to find that they actually had no sleepers for us at all – instead we had to share an unbelievably cramped, low ceilinged space used for luggage.

<p10-3DC861AB-778854-800>My relief at finally getting on a bus was gradually replaced by a growing sense of panic. I needed the loo, there was not one on the bus plus I was trapped on the inside of this tiny space with Lorna between me and the small gap to get in. I endured probably 4 hours like this before the first stop, where I was able to use a roadside toilet (Imagine how bad it could be and then add some). Thankfully I was able to explain to Lorna who was now awake for the stop, my predicament with the claustrophobia (by this point I was trembling from head to foot) and I was able to go on the outside with my head in the gap. Again the relief was short lived – I felt I couldn’t breathe it was as if there wasn’t enough oxygen in the air. It dawned on me that everyone else seemed to be breathing just fine and I was in fact hyperventilating. I dimly remembered hearing that you have to inhale less and exhale more to correct it, so I spent the next two hours doing viloma on the exhalation which helped enormously, as long as I didn’t stop. Once the bus was coming to its final stops the crowd started to thin out and we were able to get a bunk each and breathe freely. Hallelujah, the relief……

Mere seconds later our final setback was realised – the bus wasn’t going to Margoa at all, the closest stop to our destination was Panjim. Darn.

So another 2000 rupee ride later we arrived at Patnam. And here I’m delighted to say the misfortune ended. I headed straight for the sea and as I floated around on my back I felt the heat, the sweat, the fumes, the stress dissolve into the sea and just float away. It’s beautiful, perfect. I’m sitting on my shady porch now at the lovely Home Beachfront hotel listening to the waves breaking on the shoreline surrounded by palm trees. Bliss.11-104858B2-2269278-800

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One Response to “Day 25 – Travel Nightmare!”

  1. Jenny Jones January 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    That Marriott taxi was the same one you were trying to avoid using in the first place? All over now and i am sure you’ll have a super-relaxing time with lots of lovely fish dinners. Great survival story and the photo is certainly graphic. I can smell the sweat!

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