From Mumbai with….out..

7.1483658141.jw-marriott-sahar-poolFrom Mumbai with….out..
Patnem, India

Patnem, India

Woke up at 4am! Not a surprise really given all the sleeping we did yesterday but still….drat and double drat….. Bob managed to drift off back to sleep eventually but I didn’t. Thank heavens for a Kindle Paperwhite and good wifi. Went downstairs to the buffet for breakfast and the service and the food was almost as amazing as last night. Well, the service WAS just as amazing. The food was great. I’m just never hungry enough in the morning. After breakfast Bob sorted out a late checkout and the hotel car to take us to the airport and I went off to the spa to have a Supreme Pedicure!!!! Lovely spa, very large. Had my feet buffed and polished to a fine state and some rather dashing dark cherry polish applied. The pedicurist – if that is the correct term – was a man. That’s a first for me. He did a good job.We left the hotel about 3pm. It was really hot. Maybe 36C and we were glad of the nice limo to take us right to the airport door. Very impressed with the JW Marriott. Would definitely stay again if we were flying into Mumbai and can heartly recommend it. Things went a bit downhill at the airport. We had already checked in and we got in the baggage drop queue. It was pretty long, and after a while the lady in front of us told us that we should have gone to another shorter queue desk. We couldn’t understand at first but then realised – HORROR OF HORRORS – that this was a special desk for the disabled, pregnant and ELDERLY!!!! I blame Bob obviously. Anyway, a Jet Airways operative came by and she badgered him on our behalf and he eyed us up and then agreed, yes, we could go to the Elderly Queue. I didn’t know whether to be insulted or relieved!
Anyway, it was a massive, massive mistake. The ordinary queue, while long, was moving quickly. The “Disadvantaged” queue was moving very slowly and had a ghastly woman doing the check in who had a face like a slapped… ar**… well, I’m sure you can imagine. It limped along. Literally.
Eventually we reached her and she began to check us in and then announced triumphantly that our two cases both weighed 21 kg each and were therefore over the baggage allowance which was 15kg each. No, we said, we came in on an international flight yesterday and you’ve always honoured the international baggage allowance on a connection. Ah, she said, no, you don’t have the two tickets linked so we can’t do that. Its going to be very expensive. I got a bit cross and demanded to speak to a supervisor. Like you do…..
At that point things got a bit hectic. Lots of people were buzzing around us at the desk. It was hot. We were tired. She moved us aside while the awaited supervisor came…..
Two years ago when we went on a round the world cruise, I’d bought Bob a Smythson leather travel wallet and passport cover. When we were checking in, he’d given Mrs Nazi the passport in the cover and put the wallet on the check in desk counter. During the hullaballoo, someone, probably the rather respectable seeming man behind us in the queue, nicked it. Thank heavens there was absolutely nothing in it as Bob had removed the tickets and passports he’d been carrying in it. But still. It was very shocking. The first time we’ve ever been the victim of dishonesty in 11 years of visiting India. Bob was really shocked by the whole experience. It shook him up.
The supervisor arrived. We had a long and rather circular discussion. Things like “I’ll never travel with Jet Airlines again” might have been said. Protestations and wailing occurred. We pointed out we’d been robbed while we stood there – piteous elderly people. In the end we had to pay about £10. Honour was satisfied all around. Not a good start though.
We were tight on time by then so we went straight to the gate. And waited. And waited. Eventually, after the flight was an hour late, some Goan people led a sort of assault on the gate desk which was deserted. As if by magic, a man turned up and made a phone call and a bus appeared to take us to the plane. Which was packed. We took off about 90 minutes late.
The meal was a ghastly wrap of some indiscriminate mush. No alcohol. When we landed in Goa, the bags took over an hour to come. By then I was convinced that the two harridans in Mumbai had sent our bags to Timbuktoo in revenge. But…. they turned up eventually. The poor taxi driver who’d been at the airport since 530 was in despair…
We got to Patnem just after 9pm, rather than at around 7 as expected. Clive and Marylyn were so welcoming. The hotel looks fantastic especially as like many other buildings seen along the way, it is all still decorated with Christmas lights. They escorted us up to our room which is just charming, comfortable and with a balcony looking out over the trees and jungle to the rear. It will be a peaceful spot. I’ll take some pictures tomorrow.
We set about unpacking and managed to get that done in about 30 minutes. Then as we were so late we decided that rather than eat on the beach we would go down and eat in their restaurant. We sat outside under the moon and I had two g&t’s and Bob had a large Kingfisher in an iced glass. Then – naturally – I had my favourite Palak Paneer and Bob had a chicken masala with cumin rice. We chatted to the waiters and to Clive. Really, the hotel is just great and such a triumph for them. We look forward to seeing it all in the morning. They are completely sold out which is just brilliant. Thank god to be here.