We made it to Mumbai…13 hours until we return to the airport…Broken suitcase dilemma…

While traveling on the historic Toy Train through the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains, the train stopped for a food break at this quaint station.

It’s Thursday, March 19th. In 14 hours, at 3:00 am, we’ll be picked up by a driver to return to the Mumbai Airport, which we left only hours ago. We barely slept last night after the late arrival at our hotel, and tonight after dinner, we’ll try to get some sleep before the 2:15 am wake-up call.

When we’d originally arrived in Mumbai, security at the airport had broken the zipper on our third checked bag. With no way to repair it, we left it behind, crammed with “stuff” for the hotel to hold for us until we returned. 

We couldn’t purchase a new bag until we arrived in Mumbai since we’d have to pay excess baggage fees to bring it with us. We’ve had no choice but to go out today to purchase a new bag. 

The first palace we visited on tour from the Maharajas Express was the City Palace, also known as the Shiv Niwas Palace.

The hotel manager told us some luggage shops are still open in the area in light of the Covid-19 fears, and soon we’ll get a tuk-tuk to take us to a few nearby luggage shops.

But first, we’ll see if we can locate a bag and the cost. We’d make an effort to unload most of our rupees, but now, if they don’t accept a credit card, we’ll also have to go to an ATM to pay for the bag. We don’t want to be left with rupees when we soon depart.

What an unusual seat!

The two flights from Madurai to Mumbai (via Chennai) were packed with face-masked travelers. We both wore masks throughout the flights for the first time, although we realized it’s not a 100% guarantee of safety from the virus.

We wiped down the armrests, tray table, and seat belt buckles with the Clorox wipes I’ve been carrying in a plastic bag. They sure have come in handy. Every hour or so, we used hand sanitizer and a few times, went to the bathroom, and washed our hands with soap and water. What more could we have done?

View of the city from the palace in Udaipur.

Once we have the new bag, we’ll need to repack to distribute the weight properly to comply with Kenya Airways baggage restrictions. They allow two-23 kg (50 pounds) bags each which we can manage easily once we have the new pack.

I can’t wait to have this new bag thing over with to allow a little time to relax before tonight and tomorrow’s big travel challenge. We’re still uncertain if we’ll be able to get into South Africa, let alone change planes in Nairobi, before we even arrive in SA.

Gold was often used in creating artifacts in palaces.

Update:  It’s now almost 2:00 pm, and we recently returned from a 20-minute tuk-tuk ride through traffic to a Luggage World store (go figure). We easily found a “Swiss (army knife people) 26” bag in bright yellow for IDR 7000, US $93.25. We prefer unusual colors in bags, making them easier to spot on the carousel. They accepted a credit card, and we didn’t have to go to an ATM.

We took everything out of the old supply bag, threw several items, and packed the new one, which now meets baggage regulations. Our other bags are packed for leaving in the middle of the night tonight after leaving out comfortable clothes and shoes for the long journey. 

At the nightly closing of the border ceremony between India and Pakistan, the Border Security Force members were aligned and ready to perform.

Whew! That was labor-intensive after only a few hours of sleep! The rest of the day, we can chill, avoiding any naps so we’ll be able to fall asleep after dinner. I’d intended to do the final expenses for our time in India, but I think I’ll save it for the 12-hour layover in Kenya, during which I’ll prepare and upload tomorrow’s post. 
Well, folks, the next time you hear from us (tomorrow), hopefully, will be from the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. And after that, may safari luck be with us, from Marloth Park, South Africa. If you first see a pig as the primary photo on March 22nd, you’ll know we’ve arrived!!!

The 108 foot Lord Hanuman at the Jakhoo Temple in Shimla.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch surfaces. Stay far away from others, if you can. And somehow, enjoy this quiet time doing things you may have wanted to do for a long time but never had the time.

Thanks again for all of the good wishes. We’ll be thinking of all of you.

Photo from one year ago today, March 19, 2019:

Mom and three babies.  The fourth baby who’d been missing for several days never reappeared. For more photos, please click here.

Comments and responses We made it to Mumbai…13 hours until we return to the airport…Broken suitcase dilemma…

  1. Jessica Reply

    Unknown, we are laughing out loud.
    Thanks for your great wishes!
    Be well and safe!

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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