Day #289 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…3 days and counting…Are we worried about exposure while traveling?…

Beautiful statue at the beach in Pondicherry.

Today’s photos are a continuation of those we posted during our first few months in India on tour, in today’s case on March 27, 2020, See the post here. We’ll continue on this path, sharing more tour photos until it’s time for us to hopefully depart on January 11, 2021. From there, God willing, it will be an entirely new world!

We can’t believe we’re three days from departure and still, our flight remains in place. We can’t totally relax at this point, after our experience of being turned away at the airport on March 20, 2020, to then begin this awfully long lockdown in a hotel room in Mumbai, India.

A church we visited in Pondicherry. 

Peace of mind will only come once we’re in the air on the flight from Dubai to Johannesburg on January 12th. From there, an overnight stay in Joburg and then on to our flight to the Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger Airport, where we’ll pick up our rental car, to commence the one hour drive in daylight hours to Marloth Park.

The journey will consist of considerable exposure to people, at airports, hotels, and planes. Are we worried about the added exposure to Covid-19 compared to minimal exposure all these months in the hotel in Mumbai? We’d be foolish to say we’re not concerned.

The stunning interior of Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church in Pondicherry.

No doubt, Emirates Airlines have instituted extensive measures to protect its passengers while flying. We have less concern about being on the plane, other than if we have to use the restroom. We plan to be careful with our fluid consumption while traveling. Of course, we won’t partake in their complimentary cocktails during the two flights, only drinking minimal amounts of water as needed.

Our bigger concern is for safety at the airports, waiting in queues, and at the two hotels where we’ll be staying along the way, one in Dubai, the next in Joburg. At this point, we have no idea as to where and when we will eat along the way. Most likely, I won’t eat anything on the flights since they won’t have anything suitable for me.

Entrance to the cemetery in the French Quarter in Pondicherry.

Our current hotel chef stated he’d have breakfast delivered to our room on departure morning. We need to allow three hours at the airport for our 10:25 am flight, which is only a 3¼ hour flight until we reach Dubai. We won’t need to eat again until we’re at the hotel in Dubai near the airport. I looked up the menu and they have beef!

I’m certain Tom will order a burger and fries. I’ll order two beef patties without the bun with lettuce and cheese. Most likely, we won’t dine in the restaurant which may be packed with travelers and may be less safe than dining in our room. We’ll play that by ear. But, all of these factors are important to consider.

This morning, we packed and weighed our bags. We are within 2 kg of the maximum weight of 40 kg each. With Emirates Airlines, the total weight is the issue, not the number of bags. We have three checked bags between us and one carry-on we’d like to check, leaving us with the laptop bag for Tom and the yellow Costco bag and handbag for me.

A shrine on the interior of a temple in Pondicherry.

If for some reason, we are over on the weight, we’ll take the small purple bag with us as an additional carry-on which contains our heavy jeans, pants, and shorts. All we have left to do is pack the clothes we’re wearing, the laptops, cords, adapters, power strips, and the final batch of the few toiletries we’ll be using over the next few days and a few odds and ends.

I wish I could say we’re excited at this point, but until we get to Marloth Park and enough time passes when we’re at ease that we didn’t contract the virus during our two travel days, it’s only then we can fully relax and embrace our glorious surroundings in the bush.

Thank you to so many of you who continue to write and send well wishes for our departure and safety. It means the world to us, as all of you do as well.

Stay safe.

Photo from one year ago today, January 8, 2020:

This was the photo we posted, one year ago today. When we visited friends Kathy and Don in Pretoria, South Africa, two years ago, we visited this monument, the Voortrekker Monument, which is an unusual-looking structure located in Pretoria, South Africa. At the time I walked up all these steps (not all steps we tackled are shown in the photo) without getting out of breath or having any health issues. It was a little over a month later, I had open-heart surgery with three main arteries 100% blocked. Who knew? For more photos from this date, one year ago, please click here.

Comments and responses Day #289 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…3 days and counting…Are we worried about exposure while traveling?…

  1. Beverly Teixeira Reply

    I’ve been reading your posts for awhile now, we met on the cruise that left South Hampton in October 2019. I am wishing the best for you. I don’t know how well I would have handled your situation. I admire your upbeat attitude and look forward to seeing all your pictures in the future.


    • worldwide-admin Post authorReply

      Beverly, don’t we wish we could safely sail away on another cruise as we did in 2019? Hopefully, someday, cruising will become a part of our life of travel. Thank you so much for your thoughtful wishes and we, too, look forward to posting NEW photos. Stay safe and healthy.

      Warmest regards,
      Jess & Tom

  2. Kathleen Bizjak Reply

    Dear Jessica & Tom,
    Just would like to wish you success in leaving your current ‘venue’. You are definitely troopers to have weathered all the ups & downs since CoVid became a reality in all our lives. I’ll be thinking of you as you start & complete your journey to Marloth Park, and will look forward to reading your posts as you relax back into the place you love so much.
    Take care & all the best,
    Kathleen B
    Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada

    • worldwide-admin Post authorReply

      Kathleen, your kind words mean so much to us both. It’s hard to believe we’re leaving in 48 hours and hope all goes as planned. This has been a trying time for all of us, regardless of where we’ve been in lockdown all of these months, living with the fear and frustrations over this pandemic. Stay safe and healthy and thanks for writing.

      Warmest regards,
      Jess & Tom

  3. The Boe’s Reply

    We enjoy your post so much and even though we have never met we are seasoned travelers and we wish you the best as you begin this long journey. We are traveling 2 hours plus to get our first vaccine shot. Living in an area with 130,000 seniors has made it difficult to get a vaccine. So very best to you until you are safe in South Africa.

    • worldwide-admin Post authorReply

      Dear Boes, that’s a long way to travel for a jab but we would do the same. We have no idea when we will be able to get the vaccine but will keep an eye out. Travel safe and hope all goes well and you don’t have to wait in a queue for hours. Thanks for sharing our journey with us. It means so much to both of us.

      Warmest regards,
      Jess & Tom

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