Taking Off from Coimbatore Airport

We left our amazing tree house in Mudumalai and headed towards Coimbatore to catch our train back to Hyderabad.  Our day started at five in the morning, when we showered, got ready for the wildlife safari, and then returned to the resort to have some breakfast, meet nawab sahab, and pack our bags.  It took us around four hours to reach Coimbatore, but since we hadn’t planned this trip out, our train seats fell under the “reservation list”, which basically meant that unless another passenger canceled his or her confirmed seat, we didn’t have a chance to board the train.

This green building proudly stood in the afternoon summer sun, causing permanent damage to my retinas …

Anyway, so we were really looking forward to getting a confirmed seat in the train.  All throughout the ride from Mudumalai, I checked the railway’s official website for updates.  By the time we arrived in Coimbatore, the railway officials have posted the final list of passengers, and we didn’t get the seats.  By this time we were tired, hot, disappointed, and irritated.  The thought of riding the bus all the way back to Hyderabad brought back painful memories of how we got to Chennai, and we shuddered at the thought.

Immediately, Masood booked two plane tickets to Hyderabad.  Alhumdulillah for wireless internet connection!  So instead of the railway station, our driver turned the car and headed towards the airport.  “Let’s take another route,” the driver decided.  “Er, is that a short cut?”  inquired Masood.  “No, it’s actually longer but we won’t have to face traffic,” replied the driver.

And so we took the longer route to the airport, a road that stretched out endlessly between coconut trees and farms.  There was no traffic, except for an occasional cow or goat crossing the street.

On our way to the airport …

Coimbatore airport is small;  but it is an international airport, nevertheless.  It has two terminals, but one is under construction.  There are two hangars, but one is reserved for the Coimbatore Flying Club. The parking bays in the airport can accommodate a maximum of six air-crafts.  They have one runway.

We were allowed to enter the airport without having our bags checked by the security.  Later, we learned that only passengers who get a call to go to the boarding area will go back to the security at the gates and have their bags scanned.  In the meantime, we could bring our suitcases inside the airport with us.

The airport has a couple of coffee shops, but only one restaurant, located upstairs.  And at 4 pm, we were told that they didn’t serve lunch, so we decided to settle for some snacks.  And since there wasn’t an elevator or escalator in the building, we were told to leave our suitcases in the coffee shop downstairs, and we’re assured of their safety.  When we finally settled into the restaurant, we were again reminded that lunch was longer available but they had dosas and fried rice.  Masood and I both ordered fried rice.

The airport is not air-conditioned.  And the fans  in the waiting area were strategically placed at locations where there were no seats below them.  However, we somehow managed to secure seats that were closer to the fans, and as the place slowly started to fill up with passengers, the demand for these seats was such that even when our throats dried out from thirst, we didn’t move an inch to go and buy ourselves a bottle of water.

And we finally sighed with relief as we walked towards the only boarding area and into the plane.

We arrived at the airport around 4 pm.  Our flight was expected to depart at 7 pm.  The plane finally took off at 10:30 pm.

26 comments

    1. Yes, it wasn’t the most glamorous or comfortable experience, but I’d hopped on that plane anytime in exchange for traveling by bus 😀

  1. awww glad the plane took off finally … nevertheless u guyz did manage to have some amazing safari experience ..

    1. LavendarClouds, yes, we were at the airport for that long! At one point, we even entertained the idea of checking into the hotel for a nice shower and much-needed rest, and then thought about taking the next day flight. But then the thought of spending 24 hours in this place felt like a bad idea, lol.

      It was just a one-hour journey home, so it was okay.

  2. i enjoy reading it! and those pictures are exactly representing your story, were you plan for the story while you are taking the pictures?

    i like this one:
    This green building proudly stood in the afternoon summer sun, causing permanent damage to my retinas …

    hahahahaha! well that building is unique definitely. ty for sharing nadia.

    1. refinehere, thank you, sis!

      Before I embark on a travel, I usually research about the place online and look at people’s photographs. It gives me an idea about what to expect when I get there. I try to spend less time shooting popular landmarks (because everyone has pictures of those anyway) but pay more attention to smaller details instead, things that tourists normally wont pay attention to when taking pictures. And it is from these photographs that I get my stories 🙂

  3. Loved the way you shared your experience! Funny and entertaining 🙂

    I’m glad that both of you finally went home in one piece 🙂 I’ve heard of horrible stories like missing bags or things and bribery stuff.And one more thing.Alhamdulillah,you didn’t have to go thru’ all that.This only reminds us how our home is the safest place in the world.Take a trip around to know the truth 🙂

    1. Thank you, Lat!

      LOL, yeah, alhumdulillah. We did make it home in one peace. It’s a wonderful feeling to sleep in your own, familiar bed and feel totally safe 🙂

  4. lol @ lunch was dosa and fried rice…

    kahin bhi jaao..ye dosa hamesha saat main rahega 🙂

    =====

    On another note, I am amazed that it’s now been a month approx (or maybe more) since your trip and you still remember the vivid details…

    1. Behbood, correction: According to the restaurant manager, “We do not have lunch anymore, only dosa and fried rice.” So this wasn’t “lunch” LOL 😀

      Yeah, lekin dosa peecha nahi chor raha tha!

      It’s been two months now. I think the photographs help me remember the details. But I have a problem in remembering phone numbers. In fact, if you ask me Masood’s number, I’ll have to check my phone first.

  5. 7 hours at that airport! No a/c! *the horror*!

    Although plane beats train any day for quickness – except in Europe. I was stuck once in Kolkata airport and regretted that, especially since they had no a/c as well ! (no power). this, at a major airport.

  6. I am sure it’s a sweet memory, though you both went through tough times. That is why you can still relate the story to us after the adventure took place two months ago. Good for you, sis!

    The thing is, you really make Madumalai sounds so interesting to me. Perhaps I should go there and experience the safari myself. But what will be your advice for tourists like us who don’t speak the same language as the local people and dont even understand a thing? Will it be difficult for us? That’s what we’ve gone through in Istanbul. Sign languages all the way during the 7 days stay!!! Funny, made us laugh, but very taxing!

    1. Atie, language shouldn’t be a problem in India since almost everyone speaks English. Mudumalai isn’t the only wildlife sanctuary, there are other equally exciting parks like the Corbett National Park located in the Himalayan foothills (I’d love to visit this place!). But if you want a tree house experience, Mudumalai is the place for you 🙂

    1. sharmila, it was a thousand times better than the bus ride! But then thinking in retrospect, I think I do not regret taking that bus ride to Chennai because it made an interesting blog post anyway 😀

  7. You waited 7 hours?! gosh!
    At some places ac’s are just there for decoration purposes but without one, mann that musta been horrible. The electricity went at Islamabad airport, once i was there and that was a major shock.
    Glad you got home in one piece thu!
    🙂

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