Despatched to the Himalayas to report on a spa, off I went. Who could not love an airport that is called Jolly Grant? This is the official name of the airport in Dehradun. I looked for plaques containing explanations of the name on arrival but couldn’t find any. So I have been unable to verify whether the airport was named after a local hero, is a misprint for Jolly Giant (possibly Jolly Green Giant), or was a jolly grant from the Brits back in the day (before 1974, anyway, when airport was built).
The arrival was one of the times that my composure was wobbling. I had no mobile phone signal. If there was no-one at the airport holding a card with my name on it, what would I do? Hike through Uttarakhand on foot like the pilgrims around me? Charter a copter? The options seemed few. (I could probably have sequestered a minicab, I admit.)
But there was the man with my name on a card. All was well.
Off we set, and all was suddenly … interesting.