Patnem, India

Patnem, India

Have had a couple of lazy beach days. The sea is definitely warming up. There is barely a chill now when you go in. Today we walked into Chaudhi and had breakfast at the Krishna and then went to the opticians. There are two opticians in Chaudhi and we generally go to the cheaper one. He’s a really nice chap and he’s got a great selection but he doesn’t do eye tests in house so you have to have your prescription. No problem as we have ours with us. I wanted a pair of bifocal sunglasses so that I can read on the beach. I have 2 pairs of prescription sunglasses already from him but I find it a bit awkward to read in them with my distance lenses. Anyway, chose a really nice pair which will cost me the princely sum of £29 and will be ready next week. They are very nice. I also got a pair of non prescription sunglasses from him to use with my contact lenses. They were ludicrously cheap at about £3. Bob needed a top range pair of new glasses. He’s chosen some lovely frames with varifocal lenses. There are two qualities and he has bought the French ones which art e top notch. With reactalight non scratch lenses etc his were a shade over £100. His last set from Specsavers were over £220 so a good deal.
Spent the rest of the day on the beach and then went to the Family restaurant tonight for dinner. It’s very much a locals restaurant, nothing smart about it but a pleasant atmosphere and fantastic food. The tandoori chef is brilliant. I had chicken malai tikka which is pieces of chicken breast marinaded in a nut and yoghurt paste and then cooked in the tandoori. They were so juicy and delicious. Bob had chicken tikka masala and a butter nann, and rice and we shared a mutter paneer (peas and cheese in gravy). All that with a double gin and tonic and a beer was £7. Brilliant value. Came back to a worrying email from our Chinese visa agent. We arranged and paid for a group Chinese visa to cover our 2 days in Beijing in late March. A group of two ie Bob and me. It’s a piece of paper that is issued by the Chinese government and it is being delivered to us in Hong Kong when we arrive on the 14th. All has been very straightforward. Now apparently they have been contacted by another customer to say that the cruise company they were travelling with would not allow them to board without a personal visa stamped into their passport.. They have advised us to check with P&O which we are doing. I believe we have plenty of time in Hong Kong to get individual visas for China if necessary but it is a bit of a faff when we have arranged and paid for this group one. Have emailed our travel agent to check with P&O. YIKES! Fingers crossed it will all be ok and they will accept what we’ve got otherwise we will have to hustle in Hong Kong. Watch this space!

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