Well, I'm here.
It wasn't all plain sailing though. My flight from Birmingham was delayed and I only just made the conecting flight from Istanbul, which was also delayed.
On arrival in Mumbai I was stood arround the carousell like everybody else and I and about ten other people were still standing around when we saw the baggage truck drive away through the drapped doors - not good.
Of course, the good people at Turkish airlines had failed to load our transit luggage onto the second plane !
As there is only flight from Istanbul to Mumbai a day, I was stuck without any clothes, fishing tackle or toiletries and wareing the same increasingly fetid set of clothes that I'd set out from Birmingham in.
The ground staff refused point blank to put me or anyone else up in a hotel for the night and reunite us with our bags the next morning although this would have been by far the cheapest and least stressfull option. Instead, they took addresses where we were staying in India and promised to forward the bags on when they arrived.
Now I don't travel with specific destinations in mind so this was a problem but I was told to ring hem with an address and contact number when I arrived and things would be sorted out. Feeling exteemy dubious, we all left the airport clutching bits of paper that were our only links to our luggage.
My original plan was to travel down to Goa, dump most of my stuff with a mate and then immediatly head off to the very southern tip of India to catch tomorrows total eclipse but that plan was clearly dead in the water so I sorted out an address and contact number and tried to ring the airline offices. There was no reply and although it diverted to a voicemail system, it told me that the line owners don't subscribe to the service - worrying.
The next morning I got through and was told that my bags had arrived and were being flown to an agent to deliver them in Goa, so filled with probably unfounded hope, I gave them an address and Rupesh's contact number.
On returning to the guest house a few hours latter, Rupesh tells me that he's had a call from the agent and the bags are on the way down from Mumbai by bus and that we would have to collect them from Mapusa in the morning - even more worrying as this was a different story and it means that I'm going to have to pay taxi fares and give Rupesh a bung for what looks increasingly like a wild goose chase.
To cut a long story short, the agent was there and I got my bags. There is some damage and a few minor bits are missing but all the essentials are intact.
Oh, and I finally got out of my distinctly manky jeans and underware and got to feel clean.
So, I missed the eclipse, I had to buy some emergency toiletries and a shirt (actually a rather nice one), I stood arround stinking for a couple of days (showers just don't cut it when you have to put the same clothes back on) and I'm about 1000 Rupees out of pocket. As you can imagine, I will be having some fairly stern words with Turkish airlines when I get back.
Pesonally I would have insited on delivery direct to the guest house but Rupesh agreed to the meeting in Mapusa in good faith so I couldn't say anything at that point.
Fortunatly, I got to go out for a couple of hours fishing and although conditions wern't ideal (no moon and my mate Ashok hasn't had a bite for three days) I bagged a nice 6kg Baramundi and missed another two hits.
Interestingly, I was the only angler to have a bite and I do wander whether it was blind luck or the result of achieving significantly greater casting distances by dropping down to just 10lb Fireline on the reel.
Time will tell.