Almost there. Tomorrow at this time we’ll be sipping outrageously overpriced coffee at Chopin Airport, waiting for boarding for the first leg of our journey. Looks like we have everything covered, past dilemmas resolved, auto-responders operational. It’s just bits and pieces left.
Vaccinations, check. Gifts, check. Travel insurance, check. Printouts, check. Cat care, check. Reading & entertainment for the ungodly long flights, check. Batteries… sigh, we’ve a whole lot of battery charging ahead of us today.
Being Polish, you actually need a visa to enter India. I can’t image a deluge of Poles rushing to move into and stay in the country, but perhaps the government figured they have enough people in the place already and don’t want to encourage any additional immigration.
The upside is that the whole process is digital, including online payment and even PayPal is supported! The form’s length is reasonable, especially if you compare it to, say, the USA visa form. And from the sounding of some of its questions, as long as we have no relatives or other relationships with Pakistan, we’re good to enter.
Our “Granted” responses came within 24 hours.
We gave in to the pressure and hired a car with a driver. It’s a pity we won’t be having the bragging rights for having driven in the wild traffic of India, but our local friends' advice prevailed.
Our contract with the car company says we’re not even permitted to touch the steering wheel—our driver will do all of the driving. That’s probably a good thing, because this way he’ll be taking full responsibility for the condition of the car. If the road is bad, someone bumps into us or the vehicle gets damaged otherwise, we won’t have to cover the cost of repairs. And we’ve been told that damage is likely.
We did all of our bookings via Booking.com. Airbnb is widely available, but since we’ll be sleeping over for 1-2 nights at a time, we opted for classic hospitality—hotels, bed & breakfast and such.
Some of the places look amazing. In Kochi we’ll be staying right at the beach front. In Munnar, at a mountain top, with what promises to be breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. And in Kumarakom, we did rent a houseboat for two nights. Let’s just hope the mosquitoes won’t eat us alive.
Needless to say, I’ll be shooting photos and publishing as we go.
It’s mostly just packing left now. And since we’re expecting temperatures in the range of 30-35C, we certainly won’t be wearing too much material on us, so baggage will be rather light.