Nostalgia – 1973

The Taj 1973-2AHere I am in 1973 staying at the very regal Taj Mahal Hotel™ (Bombay) along with Royal Navy man Paul Rogers-Gray.
Our ‘Epic’ journey to Calcutta, to join a ship picking up aid for Vietnam.
Found Paul RG at Heathrow on a cold November day. We were bound for Calcutta India by Air India. (Fly Air India and get there Faster was their slogan).
6 Hours on the runway, waiting to take off as there was an Air Traffic Controllers strike in France.
No Duty Free and only a sandwich in those days.

Taking off, we had to stop in Dubai to refuel, on landing heavily the plane burst a tyre and this again delayed us by several hours.
taj-mahalArriving at Bombay (Now Mumbai) by some 12 hours late, we had missed our connecting flight. Air India put us up in the Grand Taj Mahal™ 5 star hotel. 3 days 2 nights and looking at what it cost is probably all relative – then around £20 per night B&B today £200+ upwards.
After our very nice stay, we were off again, via somewhere else I can not remember, eventually arriving at Calcutta nearly 6 days after leaving the UK.
Remember Air India slogan ‘Fly Air India and get there Faster’!
Luckily for Paul RG and myself the ship was still there – (Delayed by several weeks).
The Taj is very famous in many ways, being a 5 star colonial hotel, it has hosted our own Royalty and that of many other countries, been subject to a terrorist attack in 2008 and had a Television series recently on UK TV.
An epic journey, was just one of many I encountered – how about when it took me 8 days in Panama on another occasion NOT to find my ship, another story at some time in the future.

I travelled in excess of 1,000,000 nautical miles travelling to over 100 countries in my vocation at sea.
As of today I have been to 111 countries.

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