. Still well over nonetheless, we coughed up the hefty charge. On to the flight, struggling to conceal the fact that our hand luggage probably weighed another 20 kilos. The first flight to Abu Dhabi was good, Etihad provided good food and we enjoyed the films on show (I went for Inception which baffled me, Polly for the much more highbrow, Twilight Saga). The change at Abu Dhabi was eased by the discovery of COSTA, very good, they really are everywhere. Polly has not been to this airport since she was 18 months old. We boarded the next flight to Trivandrum, India. This one was jammed and we battled to find space for hand luggage, it was also the hottest flight I have ever been on. This made it a very uncomfortable 3 hours and once the curry had been served the gaseous composition in the cabin shifted significantly, adding to our discomfort! I watched The A Team, bringing back boyhood memories of jumping out the back of a van and pretending I was B.A Baracus. We waited patiently in the passport line at Trivandrum airport, in no hurry as we still hadn’t really decided whether we were going to cycle out of the airport or get a cab. The decision was very definitely made for us. After an hour of waiting, and asking, and searching it became clear that our bikes had not made it to India. We were also missing the rest of our checked in luggage. Nightmare situation, stranded without our bikes. We were told they could arrive tomorrow? We hopped in a taxi and headed for a hotel in town. An hour later (this is now about 5am in the morning) we gave up looking. There was a conference on and everywhere was full. The sun was now coming up so I guess I should end this entry and start working on Tuesday. Will the bikes turn up? Is the dream over? Right now, I am far too shattered to care.
We woke up knowing the day ahead was going to be a mission. The first task was to seal up the bike boxes and drag them upstairs. We then worked on the panniers, the baggage weight limit was a problem and we were worried by how much we were over (at $35 a kilo we were in trouble). We said our 'goodbyes' to everyone at Harmony Hostel and successfully completed the first leg of this multi-hurdle journey. The booked taxibus arrived on time, and apart from a weird woman in the back who decided that eating a hard boiled egg in a confined space was a good idea, we enjoyed the ride out of town. The driver was a lovely man called Your who told us how he works in Istanbul for 5 months before returning home to his family for a one week holiday. He said that how in his village the only jobs are in fruit picking so he must travel to Istanbul to make any money. He left us at the airport where we went through a very tricky check in. Luckily we were processed by a sympathetic lady who managed to knock off a few kilos of our luggage