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I’m off on a trip of a lifetime to India in search of the Holy Grail accompanied by a group of men and women most of  whom I have never met before.

Naturally I had to get a Visa  which required that I follow the link below

http://www.indianembassy.ie/consular-services/visa-services

And, if  you decide to follow me to India check out the photograph requested – as it is bigger than normal passport photograph – imagine that!

Also, send your passport by registered post AND most importantly  sealed addressed registered envelope for Indian Embassy to return passport with Visa to you.

At the  orientation meeting  under the guidance of our group leader and organizer Alan Kearns, the following Check List was provided to help us pack astutely. I think it is the best packing list EVER!!

 

 

The Best Packing list ever 

The ethos of the trip is going on a journey of spiritual discovery.

It is recommend in keeping with this we strip ourselves right back to the basics/core and really travel very light and bring only the bare essentials with us

Checklist

Documentation

Passport & Visa                                                          

Yellow card (vaccination card)                                   

Copies of the following:

Passport, Travel insurance, Visa,

Medical cert.                                                   

Clothes

Dress should be cultural appropriate i.e. full length or ¾ length trousers/long sleeved tops – see note below.

Long Linen Trousers                                       

T Shirts                                                                        

Light Jumper for evening                                

Socks/Runners/Comfortable Footwear                       

Hat for the Sun                                                           

Sunglasses                                                       

Long sleeved shirts                                         

Misc

Socks/ underwear                                            

Toiletries etc.                                                   

Towel                                                              

 

Medical

Malaria tablets                                                 

Sunscreen                                                        

Insect repellent                                                            (min 50% deet)

Personal medications (inhalers etc)                 (See note below)

Travel wipes                                                    

General

Documentation from Alan’s emails                

Diary/Journal                                                   

Small backpack/Day bag                                             

Torch                                                               

Sunglasses                                                       

Spare batteries                                                 

Camera                                                            

Books                                                               (There is a library at Fr. Korko’s ashram)

Spare glasses, if you wear them                                  

Mosquito net                                                   

Plugs: Take an international adapter with you but please only bring a minimum amount of electrical goods.

Power:  power is available at Korko’s ashram but may be sporadic. We suggest as above to limit the amount of electronics/electrical items you bring.

Phones: see note below

Note:

We suggest you travel very light-  i.e. One Day bag/backpack and a small suitcase or typical carry- on bag you can put in the hold with various liquids and creams that may not be allowed on the flight. This advise is only a recommendation and may not suit your personal circumstance so please travel with what you feel you need to have a comfortable trip.

We suggest you carry all your very essentials such meds/documentation/credit cards/monies/glasses phones/  cameras etc with you on you on board the plane just in case baggage doesn’t arrive or goes missing as can happen

  • If you are on any medication please ensure that you take adequate supplies with you
  • Please bring a suitable course of antibiotic to mitigate against illness while abroad- GP prescribed.
  • There is a chance like all trips to these countries of people on the trip becoming ill with vomiting/diarrhoea/tummy bugs etc please bring suitable meds for these illnesses.
  • Also suggested is Dioralyte, Motilium, Imodium, antiseptic cream, anti histamines etc – please ensure that whatever you bring is suitable for your consumption and approved by your GP
  • Once we arrive in Pondicherry there will be some time for shopping. We suggest you travel very light and purchase some basic clothing when you arrive; these will be available at very low cost in Pondicherry. Phillip will accompany us to suitable shops
  • As we are visiting another culture and we are spending a lot of our times in Ashrams and other religious or spiritual institutes we are expected to dress very moderately at all times- long sleeve tops and long or ¾ length trousers.
  • In Pondicherry there will also be an opportunity to exchange money. Since all accommodation, meals, transport etc is covered you will only need a small quantity of money for buying bottled water, drinks, shopping, books and occasional meals out, etc. It’s up to you how much you feel comfortable bringing. ATMs are available in all cities and major towns and we recommend you bring your credit cards as back up(MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted). Please inform your bank you will be abroad and may be using the card in India as otherwise they may block its use unless informed prior to the trip
  • Currency is the Rupee (see internet or banks for current exchange rate).
  • There will be a washing facility at Fr Korko’s ashram so 3 – 4 changes of light clothing are adequate.(as mentioned above these can be purchased at a very low cost in Pondicherry)
  • If you have special dietary requirements please let Alan know ASAP, also suggested you bring adequate supplies of special foods required with you. All meals on trip will vegetarian based.
  • Fr Korko suggests that you bring some nuts (Walnuts/Almonds etc) and seeds/grains with you. Also, if you wish to take some cereal bars/energy bars, western snacks, please do so.
  • There will be access to the internet occasionally at Fr Korko’s if you need access it. But this is not encouraged as Korko will explain.
  • Roaming works for all major international phone networks but may be unreliable in rural areas
  • I have some unblocked phones and I will bring them with me. We can buy local Sims cards locally and use pay as you go for very low costs.
  • Fr Korko has a water filter in his ashram and water is fit for drinking/general consumption
  • Fr Korko assures me that there is little problem with Mosquito’s in his Ashram at present. I would bring a mosquito net with me just in case to limit all risks. I will confirm with Korko re him having mosquito nets in his ashram but elsewhere we may need to bring our own ones.
  • The Lonely planet for Southern India is an excellent book to get to read prior to the trip for further info

 

 Note to self

This list is fantastic: Decided to  add the following,

  • sandals/ flip flops that can be taken off easily
  • Walking/hiking  shoes.
  • Alarm clock so that I do not sleep in for the early morning rising.
  • Bandages and disinfectant
  • Toilet roll or tissue paper – individually wrapped packets
  • Good carbolic soap for body and cloths
  • Nice odor  free shampoo and conditioner- essential
  • Citronella. Euctlaptus and Tea Tree to  keep mosquetoes away.
  • Specialized camping towel that washes and dries easily

Another Note to self

Not being morbid or anything…

 But

What do you take with you in a spiritual bag?

When we die we are going on a journey and its forever

And

There is absolutely no luggage

Strange that!

 

 

 

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