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Tuesday 26 Nov
Pushkar Ajmer, India

Winding Up My Trip: Time to Leave

Back in Pushkar, it was time to wind up my visit and get ready to head home. I had decided not to continue on around the world, as I had thought I might. I was ready to head home in preparation for Christmas with my family. I would be traveling on Thanksgiving Day, but I was anxious to be back in place in time to put up Christmas lights at my house. I plan to celebrate Christmas with my twin daughters and their families in Wyoming, so I knew I would have more travel awaiting me after I got home.

My friends were downcast at the prospect of my leaving, as I knew they would be. It is hard to leave them. Suresh decided to accompany me by bus to Delhi, which only delayed the good-bye drama. His friend Navneet also came with us. I made the rounds and said good-byes at the hotel and other places where I had hung out. I had made friends next door with a young man, whose restaurant caters to young backpackers. He always insisted that I join them and soon I found that I was accepted and welcomed into the group. Funny how my advanced age seems not to be an issue with anyone as I travel. I became friends with several from Israel and Australia.

On the night of departure, I was given the tika blessing at Suresh's house by his mother. His brother took me on his motorcycle to the bus stop and Suresh came separately with my bags. We boarded the sleeper bus. On board, I got acquainted with the only other western occupant, a young man from Israel. We sat and talked for some time before crawling into our respective sleeper compartments. Ours was crammed with luggage and the two of us. It's a long trip through the night to Delhi.

In Delhi, we checked into the Prince Polonia Hotel where I have stayed on many occasions. I made connection with the mother of the young lady who married one of my nephews. She teaches music at a Christian Academy and they were doing a special 50th Anniversary performance in a stadium in Delhi. We arrived and enjoyed a production of music and dancing as they did an intepretation of John Bunyon's Pilgrim's Progress. It was quite good. Suresh and Navneet enjoyed it as well.

At the airport that night we said our good-byes. I boarded a Gulf Air flight to Bahrain, and then on to Frankfurt, Germany. From there I flew to Dallas and then finally to Oklahoma City--a 36-hour marathon. In Frankfurt, I was detained and thoroughtly searched because they were suspicious of my cowboy hat. They seemed obsessed over the materials from which it was made. I had purchased it in Wyomng, but it was made from palm leaves from Central America, I was informed by security. Satisfied that it was legitimate, they still insisted on patting me down, leaving nothing to the imagination. Every item was taken from my carry-on bag and opened as well. Finally, they allowed me to proceed. Hmmmm.

After the long ordeal of flights and airport time, I arrived in Oklahoma City. My friend Hap was there to pick me up. He had just returned from Ft. Worth where he had spent Thanksgiving with his family. We made it to my house. Even in the dark, it was good to be home once again.

NOTICE OF BOOK PUBLICATION: OUTSKIRTS PRESS HAS PUBLISHED MY BOOK: AROUND THE WORLD: A SOLO ADVENTURE BY KEITH WILKINSON. IT IS AVAILABLE THROUGH AMAZON.COM IN BOTH PRINTED AND KINDLE VERSIONS. THE BOOK DETAILS MY FIRST SOLO TRIP AROUND THE WORLD.

 

 

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A Wayward World 2013

Travel blog by kwilkinson

 


Fascinating. Dangerous. Delightful. The world seems to offer so much for the wayward traveler and the willing learner. Once begun, one does not stop exploring. Curiosity leads to knowledge and knowledge leads to more curiosity--a never-ending journey.

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