Friday, November 19, 2010


Hi troops,

just to keep everyone up to date, it is 29 days out from the departure date of 18/12/10.  Why a trip to India, Nepal and Bhutan?  Fair question.  Mid-life crisis.  Probably not.  Maybe,  and with all due respect to Douglas Adams, I'm looking for an answer to life, the universe and everything that isn't 42.  It is a 25 day trip through steamy flat lands and seriously high snowy mountainous passes. Open up Shining Shangri La Tour and you will see where I'm going.  It includes a PDF file with the itinerary.

It has been quite a trip so far just in the preparation.  Dealing with the Indian visa office and the Indian High Commission in Canberra.  They were all very cordial but extremely "party line".  I had to get used to the fact that I was dealing with a country of 1.1 billion.  The visa office also deals with a substantial number outside their country too.  They were sort of like the Vogons from Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.  I had to keep myself in check when I saw a sign on the wall of the visa office which said that aggressive behaviour would not be tolerated and offenders would be set on fire and cast adrift on the Ganges, or refused service.  I can't remember which now.  The elusive multi entry visa has finally been obtained.  Some of the other 20 participants on the trip are still butting heads with the bureaucracy to gain their multi entry visa.  One husband and wife got different visas when they had applied together.  Same surname, same address, same itinerary.  They had to drive to Sydney, a round trip of 500k and spend two nights in Sydney to get the correct visa.  Tiring.

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