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An Indian Summer; The South – S2 And IT (Part 2)  
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1130 posts, RR: 32
Posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 20176 times:

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Preamble

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Firstly I would like to apologise for the delay. I can illustrate my excuses in the following picture!





This is myself after finally graduating with an Upper Second in a BSc in Marine and Coastal Resource Management. I also realised that it is almost a year to the day that I left for the India trip that I am about to further document. As a little reminder :

This trip-report will be presented in two parts and is what I would think is more of a ‘journey’ report. Why so? Well... it wasn’t just a trip I took. It wasn’t so detached and simple as that – it was infact a journey through the very heart of India. As such, readers should note that there will be many non-aviation photos to supplement the report and give a little insight into what experiences were sandwiched between the all important flights. Due to murmurings about report sizes etc and I have divided the report geographically as so –

Part 1; An Indian Summer; The North – BA and IT
An Indian Summer; The North – BA And IT (Part 1) (by lukeyboy95 Jun 11 2010 in Trip Reports)

Part 2; An Indian Summer; The South – S2 and IT



Background

Last summer was the fourth summer I have been away – slowly working my way through the world in little increments – from good old Europe, to the Trans-Siberian to Hong Kong, a lazy jaunt round South East Asia last year and finally this year; India – Mother India. Like many other members my joy comes in planning a trip which is useful as my travel companion is pretty lazy and a bit of a stoner so he leaves it all to me. If he had his way he’d take an FR flight STN-BOM as the quality of the airline means zilch to him.

However, I’m the opposite and if I’m going to spend my hard-earned, pandering to the needs of arrogant oil businessmen in Aberdeen, money then it better be for a great airline, no sultry European carriers – I also like to connect too as it prolongs the experience.

My sister’s wedding date confirmed for July 11th – Departure was planned for 14th. BA were doing Ok deals direct out, then Air India had some cool equipment and would route us via Delhi. However, having an inkling for SkYTRAX recommendations – I went for the £25 more expensive IT flight. QR would have been ideal but I was glad to try another carrier and they were pricing me out the market.

Booking was with Southall Travel – nice and easy service. Only had one phone call to change a flight time by 5 minutes and that was it. It was found via travelsupermarket.com who I mostly swear by for finding cheap long haul flights.

The summer in India was to last over 2 and a half months and it was never off my mind through exams.





Welcome to my fourth trip report; An Indian Summer (Part 2)






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Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1130 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 20293 times:

JetLite-ing it out to Paradise


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To go on a trip and not experience a bit of pristine beach would be a real shame for me. As soon as I saw the treacherous / expensive ways in which to get to the elusive Andaman and Nicobar Islands I knew this was the place. I wanted to be somewhere remote and unique for my 21st, having celebrated by 19th floating around Lake Baikal in Russia it seemed only fitting... The Andaman’s are paradise on earth... geographically closer to Burma than India, it represents a 3 day passage by sea or... a 2 hour flight. For your enjoyment I will be taking the flight out... and almost to compare... making the 3 day voyage back on the M.V.Nancowry (sigh).


I’d managed to follow some clever little step on the JetLite homepage , or S2 as I imagine you’d like me to call it despite referring to their previous Sahara Air identity. The same principles I use with FR to bag some bargain £30 seats out to the Andaman’s... i.e. follow the steps on the homepage.

About JetLite (c/o Wikipedia) JetLite, formerly Air Sahara, is an airline based in Mumbai, India.[1] owned by Jet Airways, the airline operates scheduled services connecting metropolitan centres in India, it operates 110 flights daily. The airline also provides helicopters which are available for charter services and aerial photography


Booking was pretty easy and exemplary compared to AI. I completed this prior to leaving the United kingdom. After a hot day of sightseeing in Kolkata we grabbed our bags, 6 large bottles of kingfisher strong beer and got on the last metro to Dum Dum. I savoured the looks we attracted on the metro... We’d been following a pretty touristy route and it was nice to get some ‘stares’ India style... At Dum Dum we bought some Bananas and found the local bus chaotically rattling towards the airport. It was a great ride and at 4rp + 6.50rp represented the cheapest ride ever to an airport for me – at a little under 14p. I’m obsessed with how cheap it is to get to major airports from city centres. I think it has come about as a result of flying FR and being strategic in which airports I fly to/from. Has anyone achieved cheaper than this... My cheapest is yet to come...


At past midnight I’m little surprised to be ushered off the Indian bus in a dark street.... we asked someone on the street and they pointed towards a dark area of trees where an indistinguishable path led off towards what we realised was the airport. This had to be the most indiscript and seedy backdoor entrance to an airport and I loved it. It gave us the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy our still semi-cool beers.

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Chilling outside CCU until security were ready to let us in.


Pip managed to sweet talk the rather rude security guard ( read national police) into letting us into the terminal at about 1am... we settled somewhere and snoozed. But in truth these guards where very rude.


Morning beckoned... and the glycerol laced hangover. We headed to check-in – closed. I visited the demure squat toilets and managed to drop my passport in the process.... Someone sweetly saw my friend and him being a westerner thought it was me.. however, it wasn’t straightforward to get it back sadly. I was frogmarched by security infront of the young and obnoxious airport manager in a seedy little backroom... he swivelled his chair round to face me with a surprisingly serious expression.


“Why did you loose your passport?”
“It must have fallen out when I was at the toilet – thank you so much”
“Did someone ask you to do this?”
“Excuse me – no not at all”
“hmmmmm” – pensive pause “ Pakistani extremists have not put you up to this...?”
“Erm... no. In the toilet.. I lost it – no involvement” meek smile across face
“Very well – your name is on an Indian security base now so be warned”
“Thanks alot” I missed out the ‘you empowered paranoid arsehole’ part

That is pretty much verbatim of the conversation.


It makes a little sense and I am fully aware of the security situation and the tenseness associated with terrorism – but Pakistani extremists trying to test the security of India by getting a gormy Westerner traveller to loose a passport in the bog is a highly unlikely scenario – almost as bad as AL Qaeda threatening to level John Lennon airport on twitter because of snow (topical when this was written) . In truth I found it a little insulting. A bit bewildered we headed through the Jetlite security scanners... One of their staff came to collect us when they were ready as we were a little early. Very friendly guys... Checkin was easy and perfect – lines small and porters to carry luggage even for a budget airline. CCU is a very good airport. security was friendly but thorough... its quite open and pleasant and also not too big. Transport links are neither here nor there!


My dishevelled companion underwent some further screening but all with a smile. We waited an old and rundown seating area as our gate steadily got busier. I wrote my journal, a crow flew periodically past – trapped in the building, and eventually a young, friendly bearded Israeli came across to talk to me; we were to travel with Asaf Gdansky for the next 2 weeks. Very limited visibility through the windows but enough to see our attractive 737 (which I can’t decide whether it reminded me on a sanitary towel or a fat-free yogurt carton) pull in.

Boarding was called. Since seating was assigned we waited till the mad rush had subsided...



Airline......................JetLite
Aircraft:...................Boeing 737
Flight: .....................S2 0319
Registration:...........VT-SJG
Seat:......................16E (economy / window seat)
Departure time: ...09.10 am
Arrival time: ........11.10 am
LF: ........................80 % Economy
Distance:..............812 miles (2hrs)
Price:.....................£33 single


Down the jetbridge we went. I’m in an FR mentalty when it comes to budget carriers – however this was to be pleasantly different. Firstly – two glorious sari dressed FA’s welcomed us at the entrance to the 737... Not normal by FR standards... the smile bit at least. Next – assigned seating. And they’de very sweetly assigned us tall westerners to the emergency exits. Would this be coincidence? Almost all the westerners on the plane where situated in the four exit rows. It was superb anyway. The FA came round and bent down close to us, composed a serious face and gave us the usual garb about sitting in the emergency exits. Very considerate... well spoken too...

We pushed back 5 minutes early and enjoyed a leisurly taxi past the international terminal. An Emirates beast was making it’s presence felt... they’re not normally day time visitors to India are they?


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I had packed the SLR so was using a little point-and-shoot to capture CCU Airport


The 737 power up quite nicely though take-off was still leisurely. We heavily ascended into the hot Kolkata air... getting a quick view of the Victoria Memorial and the wide Hooghley River before it disappeared under the thick clouds. In flight service happened. I was surprised to see most people buy something, and also that the cabin had filled up so well despite it being offseason. I resolved myself to it being locals as they looked unimpressed by the whole process and didn’t possess the same excitement us as... On the way I listened to Steely Dan, Yes and a little Morcheeba. We got a little bottle of mineral before we entered the runway.


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The quick glimpse of the Hoogly River and Victoria Memorial


Restrooms were immaculate. I wrote my dairy until the skies became clear and after 2 hours of trundling over the Indian Ocean we spotted our first isolated spots of idyllic island paradise... As we banked and descended it only got better. Clear blue seas punctuated by Maldive-esque atolls. It was perfect and a huge grin spread across my face as we got closer over white beaches. This was paradise – away from the crowds, unique and perfect for relaxing.


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Trundling across the Indian Ocean


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First glimpses of the mystical Andaman Island
Our descent into the highest monopoly scoring airport in the world (IXZ) was superb.


On final descent over the verdant islands


Coming in very fast

We were coming in super fast over quite low and undulating hills... our speed did not relent, and in a flash we were over the airport boundary and the pilots put her down smooth as silk despite the velocity. Some heavy heavy braking ensued once we had our sure footing... The airport is a gem. Its on a pronounceable slope... bracketed in by cliffs at either end of the runway. Brilliant stuff. No other AC on ground.


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The small but sufficient terminal coming into view

Doors disarmed and we were off. Boom... the smell and feel of the tropical air hit us. Instant therapy. It smelt exotic and faraway. Superb. We walked into arrivals were mask-clad personnel got Swine Flu tests (yawn) and gave us our permits to enter the Andamans... Oh... and that cheapest airport transfer? It was a 4rp public bus that we flagged down outside the terminal road – so about 4/5pence!



Jubilation quite obvious at arriving in the Andamans after the feted heat and sweat of the mainland


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Our 737 looking perfect for her turnaround. Little over an hour before she is back to the mainland. Most A/C come into IXZ at this time of morning.


JetLite – Superb service if you get their good fares. Low-cost but still pay attention to hospitality and service. Highly recommended. They where by far the cheapest on this route and give good competition to IT and AI for the more budget-conscious traveller.

A fantastic time in the Andamans followed this flight. There are photos and a basic commentary at the end of this report.



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1130 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 20260 times:

*Just over a month passes until*


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The good times Continue; BOM-LHR, then rapidly end; Megabus London-Glasgow

The 29th of September came all too soon. We took an ambassador taxi from the hotel. They had sweetly arranged early breakfast for us.


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Jammed in to the beloved Ambassador


We got CST for our last sights of glorious India. I think we must have left at 08.30 or something. At the station we succeeded in getting the wrong train. The train we were on headed off in an Easterly direction as opposed to the North train to Andheri we were looking for.


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Our taxi and CST

Picture this – my mum has a stigma about me being smelly when I’m travelling. So I’d had my clothes all professionally dry cleaned, and had packed them with my breakfast banana which I couldn’t finish because I was full. I had also had a good shower. The wrong train we got on got on was so astonishingly overcrowded as to do the following... One of my flipflops was ripped fully off my foot by the pushing and frenzied crowd, I was drenched with sweat – soaked. All my luggage was squashed and mementos smashed. I swear the sheer volume of Indians packed into this tiny carriage was staggering and bearing in mind we’de travelled a few months now this was by far the worst. It was horrible – but ultimately Mother India sending us off with a hard pat on the back and it seemed almost fitting! Come back from India smelling like cardamom and aloe? I don’t think so. At the airport I found the banana had split all over my starched change of clothes.

It was surprisingly still rush hour at 10am and we had enormous trouble trying to get a realistic fare for a tuktuk to the airport. We were getting the usual ‘I saw you coming a mile away’ foreign fares – some ten times above the local price. Finally a nice driver charged us only 70Rp to the airport. About £1. It seemed a long way and traffic was bad. I was beginning to worry about time now.


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Finally heading for the airport


We shook the kind rickshaw drivers hand and headed in. A police man with enormous moustache bristled when he noticed there was only one of us on our itinerary and would only let me in. A Jet airways member saw our distress and logically checked the manifest printout for the flight ( which security has in their possession) and identified my friend. He had a small argument with the army officer.

Inside was an oasis... calm, cool and not at all what we expected. The antithesis of what went on outside the airport. Well it was new India at least. Check-in was friendly and easy and performed by a pretty IT agent. Porters again took our luggage and fragile labels where put on. Mine was a little overweight but she paid a blind eye. Once the formalities were done it was the usual routine – somewhere private for a couple of strong beers.

Security was easy and quite terrific. Very friendly. The most unusual thing was my water. I had one bottle in my bag, and one in my hands. I walked through and the security guard searched the bag and removed the water with a grin... but strangely let me proceed with the one I was carrying. Immigration was friendly also... perfect impressions from BOM. It seems the time to come to this airport is mid-afternoon in contrast to many of the early-hour moans and groans so often heard. I got a little food, and Pip got ciggies to try and sell and make a profit from his friends back home because he is a miserable bastard.

We where running a little late and an IT lady ushered us along – we were obviously among the last to arrive. Very Friendly gate agents and soon we were onboard our final flight from India back to the Uk. Groan....


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Looking particularly busy out on the tarmac this-afternoon. The El-Al visible here for the huge Israeli travel market which consists mostly of young adult taking their ‘trip’ after national service.



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Walking down the jet-bridge



BOM- LHR

Airline: ..............kingfisher Airlines
Aircraft: .............Airbus A330
Flight: ................IT 0007
Registration:........VT-VJN
Seat:.....................33A (economy / window seat)
Departure time:...12.25 pm
Arrival time: .........17.50 pm +1
LF: .........................84 % Economy
Distance:...............4487 miles (9hr 55 min (of yet again pure bliss))
Price:......................£335 Return




Flight was mostly borded when we arrived and evidently a little quieter on account of it not being the holiday time. Same old friendly greeting... we found our way towards the back on the right hand side. Same AC which was just fine with me as I’m not really into registrations – and the equipment was perfect. Immaculate you might say. Soon the doors where closed and the service mirrored exactly that of the return. Towels were passed out by the pretty FA’s. I thought I might recognise some of them but they where all new ones on this sector.

El Capitano came on to give us the preamble. Pretty indecipherable and by then I had a pretty good ear for accents. As usual we pushed back bang on... It was a pleasurable taxi adjacent to some spectacular airport-overlooking-slums. Its breathtaking how close they are to the active runway. To the extent that I’m sure our take of thrust thoroughly aired some of the settlements!

Power was noticeably greater for this take off and we were soon above the humid air. Views were immense of the slums, rich areas and the suburban train-lines criss-crossing it all. We were quickly above the cloud and Heathrow bound. I opted for Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Horton Hears a Who on the IFE. Both were superb... ( but still a limited choice)

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A BA 777 has arrived and slums are evident by the blue tarpaulin.


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The amazing view of the slum areas


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And this perfect plane-spotters next sits overlooking the active runway.


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The sprawl on Mumbai set out below – Andheri station obvious


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Slums and shoreline as we make our bank...



Polluted shoreline.


I’ll not ramble too much on these flights but the same word come to mind as the outbound sector... perfection. I talked for a good hour or so with the crew... they were mostly domestic FA’s who are getting trained in the international sectors. For one it was her first foray to London and she showed a palpable excitement at the prospect. They like this route alot as they get a little, only a little, time in London to relax. Its a different world for them. I showed the photo of the FA’s on the last flight and they all smiled and recognised them well – by name. A quirk you couldn’t find with most international airlines...


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Our route took us over the arid and desolate lands of Iran and Pakistan.... the ‘badlands’ and somewhere I am desperate to visit in the future.



Does anybody have a good technique to reduce the glare!?


Food was perfect although I have noticed that to reduce sensitivities the menu is almost always purely chicken content. However they are generous and succulent pieces of chicken. Each tray is set out neatly as before and doesn’t look gimmicky at all. SQ still win the award for in-flight tray for me. Without wishing to sound greedy as I’m a growing boy... they sweetly brought me not just second of the first meal, but also thirds. How about that!? And I was also offered seconds of our lovely meal pre-arrival into LHR.



My friend went for the Biryani whilst I chose the international option having fulfilled my spice quota for a good while.



A blurry biryani ( which became one of our favourite dishes of India)


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Whilst I took the glorious Chinese-style chicken


A generous grilled chicken was served before arrival in LHR which I think is about right as a paltry sandwich would not have really sufficed. No photo as very tasty but below is the description!





The flight was very smooth with no turbulence whatsoever. At the back they were clearing up around an hour before LHR and they offered me to take cookies and biscuits back to my seat, as well as the leftover wine they have (its poured from full sized bottles). How generous and kind... superb superb FAs. Can’t sing their praises highly enough...


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The best sort of IFE – across Turkey



Before long the landscape turns ‘European’


Soon enough we crossed the Dutch coast and reality was bearing down on us. But I savoured it.. the landing gear camera was put on, a lack of options on the audio system made me pump up Timbaland and Nelly Furtado and I savoured my glass of red as we circulated London city in a descending arc... superb views and the sky was a vivid blue, complimented nicely by a darker blue of the superb mood lighting.


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Mood-lighting from earlier in flight


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The south-coast of England on a clear evening


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London becomes visible


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Finals – is this Richmond?


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My two favourite airlines!


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A beautiful evening at LHR


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Up there with my ‘would-most-like-to-fly’ airlines.


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We park-up next to a piece of BA equipment


Landing was good and breaking easy and smooth. Soon we were off the plane and in the usual bastard immigration queues of LHR, this bringing my experiences with kingfisher to and end. Domestic connection where a little high in price for connecting to Scotland... so we took the sleazy option and got the tube into Victoria – got a chippy ( a food which I so often crave abroad) and hopped on the mobbed M11 Megabus service for the long-way north.

I awoke at 05.00am at a service station on the motorway. It was raining and cold – I was barefoot too having packed all my stuff. It was particularly miserable. However... soon we were in Glasgow. I always think a need ‘broken in’ to coming back to British society especially after a long-time.


Vengabus


Finally by midday I was back at my house... banana-stained-shirt and all. Thus bringing my India Summer to an abrupt end.

I don’t really need to conclude, or structure this report as I am sure it is testimony enough in itself to the quality of IT as an airline. However I will mention that it is a superb airline, operated by thoroughly beautiful, but also intelligent and outgoing young FAs. They are very loyal to their employer and it shows.. the products on IT are superb. From AC and seat, to the sublime food served in generous quantities. I dearly hope this will be an airline that prospers. It is the ONLY way to fly direct to India... And genuinely I flew the good times. It provided the perect cushion to what was a superb summer India.


Thanks for reading if you’ve got this far!

All your comments, whether pessimistic or positive are truly appreciated so I can improve for further reports. I’ll leave you with one of my favourite photos of the trip!



Luke


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Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1130 posts, RR: 32
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 20228 times:

.



The South of India – a thoroughly non-aviation collage



(If you have a slow-operating system you may wish to not load this section of the trip report)


As has become standard I will give a good account of the destination visited. After the sweltering North of India, the south represented a real change in pace and a time to relax for us. It began in the Andamans and our route follows roughly thus;


A quick talk through Andaman Islands.


We wasted no time and headed off straight away to Havelock Island – it was offseason and perfect. The seas where clear and unpolluted and the wind smelt clean and fresh. In Havelock we got pretty decent accommodation for 100Rp ( 60p each a night), had a white beach to ourselves, harvested coconuts daily and rented a Honda Hero.... It was a Hero.

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The battered ferry to Havelock Island


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Beach No 5 which we had to ourselves


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Every night I’d race a rickshaw ( my nemisis) into the main town, buy some cheap rum and head back for dinner. It was the perfect time. I celebrated my 21st year on earth on the 19th of August 2009. It was a true day to remember... motorbike riding, island exploring, indescribable coffee, complimentary breakfast, sunset on Elephanta beach and some Israelis who went fishing and brought back a haul of fish which were locally prepared by the restaurant.



Sunrise on my 21st


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Opening cards from the family




Motor-biking on the island interior


My friend did a great attempt at a cake too.... I read some surprise cards and presents from my family under the shade of the palm tree – very touching; I’d not realised Pip had been carrying the stuff all the way. We drank and smoked the night away – ending it with a phosphorescence swim in the moonlight.


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Crab


Next day we did diving at Button Island. Perfect again... India can pull it all off. Following a week of routine on Niell Island ( where there were 5 tourists in total) – namely get up at 11, go for a swim and snorkel, go to fish market, take to restaurant, return for reading or writing , hit seedy island bar and then go for meal. It was perfect.


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Diving off Button


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Me and my beloved Honda Hero



Caught during a monsoon – this beautiful woman offered e shelter and a coffee.


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http://lh4.ggpht.com/_9nPwuk2--jk/TD3jcmvcNrI/AAAAAAAAAog/ibVExo1JbS0/s800/India%202009%20619.jpg
Niell Island


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Daily haul at the fish market



An Indian Scot?


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With Israelis!

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My bike


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Ross Island – abandoned by the British


To get to Chennai we clashed with the bureaucratic gauntlet that is a 3 day ferry passage from Port Blair. We saw a Finn loose his temper spectacularly with an Indian ticket woman... what a spectacle. He simply starting screaming ‘Fuck you, Fuck you’ and slammed all his paper work down.... We had a little more patience. It took 9 hours that day to get our tickets...


M.V.Nancowry took just over 3 days to make what was a 2 hour flight. We arrived 14 hour delayed, desperately ill from seasickness and shaken by what was a stormy passage being the only Westerners on the whole ship. However the experience made us realise the sheer isolation of the Andamans.


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Me beside Nancowry pre-sailing


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150 bunks per room



A local dancing to my ipod!


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Pondicherry shorefront



The holy cow/ bull


We visited Pondicherry and Madurai.


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The worst bus-journey to Madurai – our bus had tp be pushed out the bus station.



Temples of Madurai


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Streetfood in Madurai... parota(sp?) was my life!


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Ridiculous!


A nice little road trip down to kanyakumari by motorcycle to the very tip of India was superb.


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At the very tip of India





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It was then a pilgrimage to Aranmula Snake Boat Race in kerala.


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Aranmula Snake Boatrace - Brilliant spectacle.


Good few days in Trivandrum and the general kerlala region which is very beautiful and verdant ( Aviation related – I went to the local airport and met the resident spotters. Many of whom where perched on a big rock overlooking the runway. Nothing much taking off but great sunset).


Keralan Chicken fry for sunset – some of the best food I had in India!


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After 21 years – it took India to introduce me to the joys of Coffee



Keralan coastline


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An express train ending its 36 hour journey from the North of India



Backwaters of Kerala


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Our houseboat


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Me!


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Grouchy captain...



Sunset over the backwaters


It was north by train to Cochin which was a superb place – much fresh seafood enjoyed. Also a foray up to the world’s highest tea plantations in Munnar was good too...


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Munnar tea plantations


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Another superb meal


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Fort Cochin


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Testimony to the Indian intelligence this ferryman suggested that America was playing a game of modern colonialist with its wars. Amazing


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Jew Town reminds me of Toon Town


The Darsala festival in Mysore took us off into the cool of the hills on a hellish overnight train through the mountains. Worth it for the palace... Superb place.

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The scramble to sell to the train passengers on the Concan railway


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A classic Biryani in Mysore


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Darsala


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Mysore Palace


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_9nPwuk2--jk/TD3lD1hR-lI/AAAAAAAAArs/S7MZVSPUD-c/s800/India%202009%201058.jpg

If only Tesco made this type of effort


Finally we got to Panaji in Goa. Journeys unofficial winding down. What followed was a 5 day rental of Royal Enfield’s ( which despite the romanticism always break down). We cruised in utter bliss around the back roads of Goa before joining the crowds at the station for our last journey up to Mumbai. I savoured my penultimate sunset as the train trundled northwards. I would like to say that the trains in India where a total joy... Outshining flying!




Hassle in Goa


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Me and my hog!




Fish drying on the Goan backroads


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Riding past the cows




Only in India



The rape and pollution of the land in mountainous Goa is very far from the touristy beaches


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After riding on one of the mining roads

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Before our final train up to Mumbai.


At 5am we chugged into Mumbai CST. It was an awesome moment and marked our full circle of India. What a place. Also, Mumbai had brightened up ALOT. We enjoyed it soo much more – the sun, the vibes and the friendliness of the people. Our last day was slightly predictably spent as extras on a shitty Bollywood film set. It was about the bombings ( head in hands).

Our final sunset took place on the front of Mumbai Waterfront.... Our Indian odyssey was at an end.


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Trundling through the Mumbai slums at dawn


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Our Bollywood epic!


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Our final sunset in India as the chaiwallah looks on at the filming



Finally – the fuel that got me round India. Limca I love you...



Before going to India I heard this ‘Love it or hate it’ phrase alot from travellers. And I am so very glad to say that I came away totally captured by the vibrancy, diversity and intensity of India. The religion and people however are what truly makes India a wonderful country to experience.

~THE END~


Other Trip Reports -

Pivo In Bratislava ; A Day With FR (by lukeyboy95 May 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
BA And Cityjet - Scotland To London (DND/GLA/LCY) (by lukeyboy95 Mar 31 2010 in Trip Reports)



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinejohruk From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 20057 times:

Absolutley fantastic report!

Your pictures are amazing. My older brother did something similar a few years ago and spent nearly a year travelling around India....I never understood his fascination with the place, until i was lucky enough to visit in March. I feel in love with the country!! Although I did do it a bit more in 'style' travelling from Kolkata to Delhi on the new Maharajs' Express Train. Even though, we still spent most days wandering the streets of various towns and cities... The site and sounds of Varanasi will stay with me forever.

Thanks for bring back my happy memories!!


User currently offlinerogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 20004 times:

Hola Lukeyboy95!

No wonder it took you a a while to finish your report. Congratulations on your graduation!

It was really worth the wait, as well written and excellently pictures as part 1.

I loved your comments and pictures on the Andaman Islands, really a paradise, although most of us have only heard of them due to the terrible tsunami they suffered in Xmas 04. Really a place to visit, on my list now.

I enjoyed your pictures about Goa, I was there 10 years ago and clearly, although it was the monsoon season, it stays the same, I had a great time there, we rented motorbikes as well and spent most of our days there at the beach, I remember those lovely evenings, great time!

Really great that you took the boat back, it is always a great experience to travel on the surface for at least one of the legs, I did it from Punta Arenas, Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina and the twelve hours in the bus were far more satisfactory than the plane back to Buenos Aires.

Mumbai suburban trains are really an experince on its own, I traveled daily from Bandra to Mumbai Central and it was such an experience: most of the times you were hoovered in and out of the train.

Looking forward to reading another of your reports in the near future.

BTW, both plane legs seemed fine despite not being my main concern on your report.

Thanks.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineDunaA320 From UK - England, joined Feb 2009, 616 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 19739 times:

Hi Luke!

Great to read your part two, even if it did take a while. I'll be honest I kinda forgot about part II.

Some awesome photos of your travels, looks amazing. Not really my cuppa tea (I like my home comforts too much) but looks like such an experience and a blast!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Firstly I would like to apologise for the delay. I can illustrate my excuses in the following picture!

Congratulations. Nice skirt  
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
our attractive 737 (which I can’t decide whether it reminded me on a sanitary towel or a fat-free yogurt carton) pull in.

Brilliant description. I'd like to think more an ice lolly myself.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
At the airport I found the banana had split all over my starched change of clothes.

Bad karma dude!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
Pip got ciggies to try and sell and make a profit from his friends back home because he is a miserable bastard.

C'mon, we've all done this, haven't we? Just me then?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
My friend went for the Biryani whilst I chose the international option having fulfilled my spice quota for a good while.

Food looks awesome, I do love a good bit of Indian grub.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
Mood-lighting from earlier in flight

Cabin looks very nice. Nice colours and looks calming.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
Finals – is this Richmond?

Sure is. One of my favourite drinking spots is down on the left of the river by the bridge. Twickenham is on the right side of the river.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
hopped on the mobbed M11 Megabus service for the long-way north.

Aaaah the wonderful Megabus. Bet that was pretty grueling eh?

Cheers for sharing Luke and looking forward to your next little jaunt (Istanbul/Doha?)

Matt


User currently offlinespootter10 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 19496 times:

Once again I´m amazed by the non-aviation pictures you are showing in your trip report.
India now is a definite must-visit place for me.

Thank you so much for giving me a glimpse of how India is like off the beaten track.


User currently onlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1261 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 19473 times:

Wow. How wonderful. Thanks for a wonderful report.

What vacinations did you require? Did you get sick ever apart from sea sickness? I would love to go to India.

What were your favourite parts of India?


User currently offlinetonyban From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 19403 times:

You're going to be a host on the Travel Channel one day because you've sold me a cross-country trek of this magnificent country. Another excellent trip report. The pictures are a delight !! The Indian Scot ???  

User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1341 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 19149 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Another fabulous installment and another great set of photographs too!! Well done.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
I showed the photo of the FA’s on the last flight and they all smiled and recognised them well – by name.

Why not have given them the same privilige too, and had their photograph removed too  


What a glorious way to remember your 21st....apart from the great trip you too in your 21st year   



User currently offline9V-SPJ From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 752 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 19136 times:

Again, a great report and congrats on graduation! You ought to submit some of your photos to the National Geographic Photo Contest: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/energizer

I am sure you will win!

9V-SPJ


User currently offline9W748Capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 626 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 19072 times:

Amazing report - I'm so jealous that you've seen so much more of India than I have! Love your writing style too. Good luck with your future plans and hope you get to travel (and post some more TRs) soon!

User currently offlinerajrs From India, joined Aug 2007, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 18658 times:

Outstanding Trip report ( Part 1 & 2). All this because of your positive attitude towards life.
Now I am also thinking to explore MY country.
& Congrats for your Graduation & All the best for the future.


Rajrs.


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 18589 times:

Hello luke! What a fantastic report, very well made, and very entertaining to read, good job!

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your gradtuation!

It seems like you had quite an andventure in India, at least from what the pictures were telling!
Your flight on Kingfisher seemed pretty good, the food looked fantastic to me. In fact, the presentation of the main course is something many other airlines serve their J costumers on long haul flights!

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3284 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 18531 times:

What can I say - except that this is my current Twitter status:

Quote:
Great Trip Reports from India - truly fascinating http://bit.ly/cWOWmL and http://bit.ly/d1URGw - strongly recommend reading!



Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1130 posts, RR: 32
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 18451 times:

Hi everyone.

Thanks for the kind replies on the last and final installment of this India trip. I hope it continues to spread the good words about IT and India as a whole...

Quoting johruk (Reply 4):
Absolutley fantastic report!

Thanks Johruk!

Quoting johruk (Reply 4):
My older brother did something similar a few years ago and spent nearly a year travelling around India.

A year is alot of time! I think I will have to go back for a little while longer as I did not see everything I wanted to...

Quoting johruk (Reply 4):
Kolkata to Delhi on the new Maharajs' Express Train.

ah ha... a young Maharaja?! I wish we could have done something similar. Indian service is superb.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 5):
Hola Lukeyboy95!

Hola Roger!

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 5):
although most of us have only heard of them due to the terrible tsunami they suffered in Xmas 04. Really a place to visit, on my list now.

Yes... they did seem to hit the news about then. I totally forgot before I visited. The damage was limited to the Nicobar part of the islands. You must certainly visit! Off season if possible!

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 5):
it is always a great experience to travel on the surface for at least one of the legs,

Of course. After doing the trans-siberian railway this has become one of my travelling mantras ( a battle when I love flying so much!)

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 5):
I traveled daily from Bandra to Mumbai Central and it was such an experience:

Ah ha - Bandra? The rich area! Was it nice there? Never got a chance to visit. Where you working out there then?

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 5):
BTW, both plane legs seemed fine despite not being my main concern on your report.

Yes... the report is a little aviation light.... I sort of didn't have TR intentions a year ago so only took fleeting photos so it isn't very thorough like some of the other reports...

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 6):
I'll be honest I kinda forgot about part II.

Matt... how could you forget!? Travesty

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 6):
Not really my cuppa tea (I like my home comforts too much) but looks like such an experience and a blast!

Only the Enlgish would bring tea into it. Nah - you'de be fine. Its just the level you choose to slum it at... in our case we are tight Scots!

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 6):
Congratulations. Nice skirt  

It scared you English off in the 16th century!  
Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 6):
C'mon, we've all done this, haven't we? Just me then?

No its fair enough. But he sells his for like 5 p below the Uk Retail price to his best mates!

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 6):
One of my favourite drinking spots is down on the left of the river by the bridge.

It looks a superb spot.... do you get very good views of the planes?

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 6):
Bet that was pretty grueling eh?

I am blessed with being able to sleep anywhere but yes it was pretty dull. I am taking the National Express bus Londont o Glasgow on 27th so we'll see how that compares

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 6):
Cheers for sharing Luke and looking forward to your next little jaunt (Istanbul/Doha?)

Sadly that won't come online untill I am home from Africa. As I have a single ticket there is no timescale. I am doing that silly NCL- LHR flight so might do a wee TR on that!

Quoting spootter10 (Reply 7):
Thank you so much for giving me a glimpse of how India is like off the beaten track.

Cheers Spoorer10! I love the feeling of getting off the beaten track and found it quite easy in India. But in Nepal there were tourists everywhere and it was overpriced.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 8):
Wow. How wonderful.

thanks!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 8):
What vacinations did you require?

Well I am like a pin-cushion already from other trips but I got a rabies. Hep A and B. MMR. Just about to go get my next batch for Africa soon too!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 8):
Did you get sick ever apart from sea sickness?

Very very ill at the beginning for 2 days and then ill for about a month with crippling crypto-sporidium which was horrid. I just take it all as part of the experience. I also had impetigo for a wee while in the central parts...

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 8):
What were your favourite parts of India?

Definately the far south (kerala is very calming) and the Andamans (paradise). Also I loved the Buddhist far north of Ladack too and kashmir

Quoting tonyban (Reply 9):
You're going to be a host on the Travel Channel one day because you've sold me a cross-country trek of this magnificent country. Another excellent trip report.

Haha. Thanks Tony. I seem to be 'selling it'! you'll have a superb time...

Quoting tonyban (Reply 9):
The Indian Scot ???  

Well the Indians seem to have a penchant for dying their hair the natural Scottish color!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 10):
Why not have given them the same privilige too, and had their photograph removed too  

For my personal collection!? You know i think I was enjoying the flight so much I overlooked many of the 'key' photos on that return leg!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 10):
What a glorious way to remember your 21st.

Yes! It was just what I wanted... low-key. Unique. Paradise! And when I think of some of the disasterous booze-fueled parties I went to back home. Oh one thing too.. how do you requote one of my pictures? I would really like to do that when replying to others trip reports!

Quoting 9V-SPJ (Reply 11):
Again, a great report and congrats on graduation!

Many thanks! So glad to be done with Uni!

Quoting 9V-SPJ (Reply 11):
You ought to submit some of your photos to the National Geographic Photo Contest:

Cheers for this... I might just give it a bash. However it seems that every tom. Dick and Harry is out there with their SLR nowadays!

Quoting 9W748Capt (Reply 12):
Good luck with your future plans and hope you get to travel (and post some more TRs) soon!

So do I. I may start a job in the oil industry when I come back from travelling so hopefully that would support my travelling needs!

Quoting rajrs (Reply 13):
utstanding Trip report ( Part 1 & 2). All this because of your positive attitude towards life.

A compliment always made more important coming from a citizen of India.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 14):
Hello luke! What a fantastic report, very well made, and very entertaining to read, good job!

Thanks Jonas. I have yours saved and will give it a good read tonight after work.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 14):
In fact, the presentation of the main course is something many other airlines serve their J costumers on long haul flights!

Its really great! And they serve it with the same attention. Breads are brought separately and warmed! The service really makes IT unique for me.

Quoting Nimish (Reply 15):
What can I say - except that this is my current Twitter status

Haha Nimish. Thank-you very much. I hope I portrayed your country well enough!

.



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinetonyban From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 18412 times:

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Finally – the fuel that got me round India. Limca I love you...

...that stuff is sure refreshing.....it's sold here in the U.S at the local Indian shops !!


User currently offlineAI151 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 303 posts, RR: 15
Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 18073 times:

Dude amazing 2nd part of the India trip. If anything, its made me more excited for when I go there in two months time hopefully. However I will be trying the new Air India all being well. Again the pictures from both reports are absolutely stunning. I would choose many of them to be hung in my house!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
If he had his way he’d take an FR flight STN-BOM as the quality of the airline means zilch to him.

Heaven forbid a horrendous route like that on an FR aircraft!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I got a little food, and Pip got ciggies to try and sell and make a profit from his friends back home because he is a miserable bastard.

He wouldn't be the first and most definitely won't be the last.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Landing was good and breaking easy and smooth. Soon we were off the plane and in the usual bastard immigration queues of LHR,

Why don't you sign up for IRIS like I have, saves you queueing up every time, just scans the eyes and lets you pass through.

Sandeep (AI151)



Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
User currently offlinejayeshrulz From India, joined Apr 2007, 1029 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 18046 times:

Nice TR Luke, well done.

Hope India served you well  


cheers!



Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
User currently offlineturk223 From Barbados, joined Aug 2003, 400 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 18041 times:

Absolutely fascinating! The pictures were... wow. That's about as much eloquence I can muster. Just, wow.

I am very envious!


User currently offlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2988 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (4 years 5 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 17979 times:

Wow really lost words for this splendid TR ... covering a lot of India!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
they’re not normally day time visitors to India are they?

EK has multiple dailies to 10 cities in India (BOM 5X daily, DEL 4 X daily, MAA/BLR/HYD 3X daily, COK 2 X daily, TRV/CCU 12 weekly, CCJ 11 weekly, AMD 10 weekly). So you will see a day flight everywhere in India.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently onlineairpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 957 posts, RR: 26
Reply 22, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 17837 times:

Hey Luke.

This is truly an epic journey. Amazing pictures, much like in Part One, only different. Thank you for sharing them with us: what more can I say - fantastic! The flights were interesting but after a while, one forgets this is an aviation website - so compelling is the Indian travel collage. And the Andaman islands bit, that's just to make us salivate with envy, right?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 3):
Before going to India I heard this ‘Love it or hate it’ phrase alot from travellers. And I am so very glad to say that I came away totally captured by the vibrancy, diversity and intensity of India. The religion and people however are what truly makes India a wonderful country to experience.

Very well said.   

And finally congratulations on your graduation!

Cheers,
airpearl


User currently offlinekaran69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2893 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 17610 times:

First of Luke congrats on your graduation,

Secondly congrats for making myself realise the beauty and the literal virginity of the Andaman region compared to the congested city life of Mumbai and for continuing with the entertainment of the diversity in India

I guess u got me all charged up to go exploring the regions of my country i am still to find out especially the north and north west and Andaman ofcourse

I dint know about most of the snorkling stuff you could do down there, seems like pure bliss alongwith the back waters of Kerala


Karan


User currently offlineDunaA320 From UK - England, joined Feb 2009, 616 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 17489 times:

Quoting Nimish (Reply 15):
t looks a superb spot.... do you get very good views of the planes?

You do, infact, most places round my manor you get good views.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 16):
I am doing that silly NCL- LHR flight so might do a wee TR on that!

Im doing the LHR-NCL leg. Gutted as most people are doing the opposite so won't get to meet up with many members. Im taking the train up to Edinburgh (awesome city) and spending a few hours there before catcing an E190 back to LCY in the evening. Guessing you'll be out and about in London?

Matt


25 lukeyboy95 : Really it is so perfect in the Indian heat of the day when I am exhausted from travelling... That will be really cool. So interested to see what this
26 RAFVC10 : Hi lukeyboy95, thanks for share your fantastic trip to India and congratulations for your graduation! Regards, Gerard
27 Post contains images tonyban : What was the hassle here ???
28 Post contains images gr8circle : Excellent TR and beautiful pics....brought a tear to my eyes (as Mumbai is my native city).... The station that you identified as Andheri is actually
29 Flying Belgian : Hey Luke, I'm bluffed by the quality and intensity of the trip report. I'd never have imagined to read a TR with an Andaman Islands chapter !! Congrat
30 colts001 : Hi Luke, Congrats on your graduation. After I read the Part 1 of the trip report sometime back I was waiting for Part 2 and this one was definitely wo
31 Post contains images lukeyboy95 : Yo. Thanks for your continuing kind comments. They are truly appreciated. Thanks Ojas. We covered quite alot of ground, but you can never stop explori
32 Post contains links DunaA320 : Sure do. Hopefully we shall cross paths at NCL, again, you know what I look like. I was lucky to be allocated a window (46K) Ah bad times. You can bu
33 lukeyboy95 : Yes I think I am 33K but was not allocated this! It seems the flight should be busy. Is there any sort of thread about it or the day as a whole on he
34 Post contains images DunaA320 : Yeh, its over in the non-aviation forum, surprised you've not found it. Hopefully might catch a glimse of you in the departures area. HA! Apparently
35 Post contains images gr8circle : I was born and brought up in Mumbai.... Saw a video demostration of how the LCD works on the 787....it's amazing! I assume you can set the window to
36 azjubilee : Part II = well done! And congrats on your graduation. Kerala, thus far has been my favorite part of India. Loved the backwaters and loved Munnar.
37 ba757gla : Great report . One of the best . This is giving me some crazy ideas for trips next year. This may be funny but i seem to remember your face from monda
38 lukeyboy95 : Many thanks... just glad for it to be over! Yes kerala had a certain freshness about it that was superb to experience in India. I also went to Munnar
39 JL418 : What a trip! I love to read reports which gave me insights about the flights, how good or how bad it was, but most of all I love when a report shows a
40 Post contains images ba757gla : Yeah i was thinking of China or Thailand , ive not been to Asia , well apart from Istanbul ive not been further east. I was in First Class too on Eas
41 PlaneHunter : Hi Luke, what a fantastic report full of outstanding pictures, I'm absolutely stunned. Jetlite, Andaman Islands, Kingfisher - perfect Friday evening e
42 Post contains images MadameConcorde : What a fantastic adventure, really the kind I like for myself. Not easy but always so rewarding! Great trip report by all means!
43 NZ107 : Hey Luke, Great finish to this series. Photos were amazing again. India certainly looks like one crazy place! Thanks for sharing this epic adventure w
44 lukeyboy95 : Hi Everyone, Thought I would just catch up on some replies to your kind replies!! Yes, its important that a TR gives all the right context to a report
45 NZ107 : Aye, unfortunately the latter in this case! Indeed, we'll see how long it takes for some of those carriers flying to Australia to head over here! I'v
46 PlaneHunter : Many thanks, Luke. I'm glad my guide was helpful. PH
47 exFATboy : Fantastic trip report, pictures even more amazing than part 1! Really makes me want to go to India, and on Kingfisher! There's no getting away from th
48 globetraveller : Hi there Luke, I really enjoyed reading this trip report series of yours. Congratulations on graduating as well! My favourite part was the collage of
49 Post contains links and images abrelosojos : Can I just say how much I loved your report? And, as others have pointed out, it is just not the aviation part. I have this urge to book myself a vaca
50 BA319-131 : Hi Luke, Not sure where to start! Loved the 'aviation' part of the TR, Kingfisher actually seem to make economy travel quite bearable, the way you des
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