The Arduous Journey...
So to say that we took the scenic route getting there would be a gross understatement. We definately took the long way around, but extremely short on the scenic part. It's sooo infuriating I'm getting myself all worked up just trying to figure out where to start.
Ok, well we left Zanzibar fully relaxed and sooo ready to begin a new aventure. We headed over to the capital city of Tanzania (Dar es Salam) "hereafter known as Dar" . Going to the airport we felt great because the flight to India was one of the last E-Tickets that we had so we knew that our flight would go off with out a hitch. And it did, We flew again with Quatar Airways (an amazing airline) like Air Canada used to be 25 years ago. I would fly with them agian anytime. Their airport is state of the art. After a 4 hour layover in Doha, Quatar, we grabed out final flight to India. We expected India to be around 16-20 celcius. Nope, 5 degrees. Once again in shorts, T-shirts, and flip-flops. We head through Imigration....and .... "Denied"!!!
The most loathsome phrase in the world goes something like this "Return to point of origin."
Soo, if you remember, our passports were stolen in Equador. Well our Visas to India were in those passports. We had visited the Indian consulate in Madrid and they assured us that it should be no problem. We emailed several agencies and felt confident that all was in order. We even explained our situation to the airline prior to boarding and they seemed to think that it could be sorted out in Imigration. Other travellers had assured us that they could look us up on thier computers when we got there. (What computers. Indian Imigration.... in a major airport... in a major city.....They didn't have a single computer). I should have figured. 3rd world contry, 3rd world procedures.
Long story Long, The Indian Imigration denied us entry, and put us right back on the plane we came on and sent us back to Africa at our expence. We spent 49 hours on planes, or in airport terminals. I think airport terminals were designed so that you are physically unable to get more that 30 seconds of sleep at a time. During the stopover we did everything in our power to get routed to Thiland instead. I even got the flight figured out and gave them my credit card, only to have it returned half an hour later. I was told that it was against airline policy to buy tickets or accept payment for flights while I was in transit. What a roller coaster of emotions
So we arrive back in Tanzania, and have to obtain new Visas for Tanzania because when we left the country the first time they cancelled them, (more money down the crapper). Oh ya,...We got to Tanzania, but our bags didn't. It takes 10 days for our bags to find us. (we rangled $200 out of the airline for "interm relief" another warsaw convention provision.) We spend those 10 days wearing exactly the same clothes while we harass the airline to get our bags, apply for new Visas for India, and read alot of books. Almost 2 weeks later we board another plane to India, with new Visas, and cross our fingers. Sigh, we are very glad to now be in India. Hey, I keep being told that it'll make a great story, what do you think, Good story or what....NOT!!!