The monsoon rains continued to fall hard flooding gutters, soaking shoes and sending pedestrians hurrying indoors for shelter. The waters had now risen to nearly 15 cm and covered the wheels of the waiting Tuk-Tuk’s which were now effectively stranded. The deluge had cleared the streets and even the ever busy queue for the Taj Mahal had now reduced to only a handful of hardy, determined tourists huddled beneath umbrellas and cloaked in ponchos.
This was India during monsoon. I had been advised that it was not the best time to visit India but as a Yorkshire-man, I was not going to be put off visiting by a bit of rain. But a month later and a bit of rain had turned into more and more rain, every single day and some days all day. Moreover, the permanent Myst meant that the sky had now been perpetually grey for the past 3 weeks, I had not seen the sun and the relentless heat (which continued despite the rains) had the awful effect of causing the rainfall to rise causing a permanent moisture in the air resulting in forever wet clothes. It was getting pretty depressing and I decided that a change of plan was needed.
A Change of Plan
I decided there and then, I had to get out of India. My visa had a month left to run and I had planned to see more of the country but enough was enough, this was no longer fun and after all, I would have plenty of time to enjoy the rain when I go back to England.
I sat down that evening (my clothes now smelling musty from drying wet) and racked my brains as to where to go next. I looked at a globe that sat gathering dust in a corner of my hostel and browsed the weathered, dated Lonely Planet volumes sat on their shelf. Yet nothing seemed to jump out at me.
Then I had a brainwave. I would let the internet decide…
I sat down on a well-known flight comparison website, put “Delhi” as the starting destination and searched the destination as “Everywhere” looking for a bargain. The options were interesting, to say the least. Kabul for £90, now that would be an adventure but too much paperwork needed. London for £181 was tempting just for the price but, no it wasn’t time to go home. Then somehow jumping out of the screen yelling “Pick me, pick me!”, I saw Phuket in Thailand for just £100. Somehow I had never been to Thailand despite its widespread popularity. That was about to change and ten minutes later my flight was booked for 3 days time.
It felt exhilarating, snap decisions and outlandish, improvised changes of plan somehow always do. I mentally listed what I would need to do. A visa was no problem and I was already packed so it was simply a case of finding a place to stay. My flight was arriving late at night (at such a bargain price, what could I expect?) so I decided to book a hotel near to the airport. I jumped onto on online travel agency, read the user reviews, took my pick and made my booking.
Ironically, during my last 3 days in India, the weather improved dramatically and I even saw the sun once or twice. When I got to Phuket my hotel was great and I got a sound nights rest which set me up perfectly for the 3 weeks of late nights and partying which followed.