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Escape from India during COVID-19 (Part 2)

One of many police checkpoints where we got hassled. — in Champawat.

In Episode One of Escape from India during COVID-19, we introduced you to veteran journalist Anietra Hamper who was trying to escape from India after the coronavirus pandemic derailed her fishing trip assignment.  Anietra and her fishing guide, Ian Henderson, were left stranded in India with only a narrow window to evacuate.

“All we want to do is leave!”

In this episode, we hear about the multiple obstacles that Anietra and Ian faced as they tried to get home–lack of food, embassy miscommunications with local officials, limited internet, etc.

Anietra and Ian basically went into survival mode to find a way out of India.   As the first episode mirrored a scene from The Fugitive this episode is reminiscent of The Twilight Zone

The many twists and turns Anietra and Ian experienced also resemble scenes from the movie No Way Out.  Anietra recounts every heart-pounding memory of their horrific ordeal that took them from hope to hopelessness and many grey areas in between.

  • A golden masheer. I caught a bigger one previously -all catch and release except when the lockdown happened, we had to fish for smaller ones for food on ocasion. Photo: Anietra Hamper
  • Ian Henderson fishing on the Mahakali. Photo: Anietra Hamper
  • A monkey skull we found by the river. — in Champawat. Photo: Anietra Hamper
  • Anietra using the rock gym on a good day before the heat set in.
  • The river junction has beautiful scenery. This is where many cremations take place. Photo: Anietra Hamper
  • "This is pretty much everyday in my tent from about 11am-4pm with the 100 degree stagnant valley heat. It's simply too hot to move." — in Champawat. Photo: Anietra Hamper
  • My shower for the last month. A bucket. The boys heated water over a fire and brought it to me where I balances on the stones to wash with my treestump to hold my bucket. — in Champawat. Photo: Anietra Hamper
  • Beans, rice and veggies were the common dinner dish at camp. Each night made with different spices and ingredients. Photo: Anietra Hamper
  • "Fish bites the cook made from a fish we caught for food during the lock down. This is the last meat protien I would have for 3 weeks." Photo: Anietra Hamper
  • Ian and one of our staff making a self-defence club to have in the car with us when we make a break for it to Delhi. Photo: Anietra Hamper
  • The skin-burning ink stamp the authorities made us get to prove a "health check" while making our way to Delhi. We were forced to go by escort to a makeshift medical tent off the main road to a dark empty field alone with armed officers. It has blistered and burned my skin so I will likely have April 9 branded in my hand long-term. The locals were allowed to pass...the foreigners forced to go with authorities to get "screened." One last literal scar to go home with. Photo: Anietra Hamper
"The closed Delhi airport the night of my evac flight and the U.S. Embassy table and that beautiful American flag awaited everyone who had such a journey to get there. It was an amazing moment knowing I was now safe." Photo: Anietra Hamper
“The closed Delhi airport the night of my evac flight and the U.S. Embassy table and that beautiful American flag awaited everyone who had such a journey to get there. It was an amazing moment knowing I was now safe.” Photo: Anietra Hamper

Cover photo of one of many police checkpoints taken by Anietra Hamper.

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