Illegal drinking I knew it went on.

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Sonetti Residence

Flag of India  , Kerala,
Thursday, April 15, 2010

We woke and it was our last day on the Rice Barge, how quickly can 3 days go. We had an omelette and some masala tea before setting off for another leisurely day touring the backwaters. We read, listened to some tunes, did a little sunbathing however Erica got so scared by the amount of sweat I was pumping out she dragged me back inside.

We moored out in the middle of one of the big expanses of water for lunch which was really nice and gave us a great "last lunch" and we eventually headed back for the 'Finishing Line' where most of the boats moor up. (It is called the finishing line as this is where most of the boat races in Allepey end).

We played some of our favourite games, Erica suggested we gave the men a tip so we gave them 100 Rupees each and obviously did the old see how long you can keep hold of the note before the man starts to snatch it of you. It is a truly great game that I know we have competed against Sharkey at (he received loads of abuse off Cockanees he was so bad at it). Then obviously did a hand shake were you simply refuse to let go of the mans hand when you have a grip. Its always the simple childish games that we enjoy the most.

We then walked a few hundred metres to the road and waited for a rickshaw, after 20 minutes one pulled up and wanted 100 Rupees, I politely explained it was 48 Prepaid but we could stretch to 60. Lady E on the other had just threw a wobbler at him and sent him packing. We did get another rickshaw about 5 minutes later that only charged us 70 so we ended up back at the train station.  After paying 20 rupees each we realised the train that we thought left in 5 minutes left in one hour and 5 minutes so we sat roasting to death on the train again. At least this was our last train journey in India so we reminisced about just how mad travelling in India has been and what a great way to end it we had found.

The train took over an hour and a half before we arrived back at the station we were at three days ago. I found the phone booth and rang a couple of the budget hotels that were all full. Erica got involved and got us booked in the most expensive one in the budget section of the book. We prepaid for a rickshaw then just got hassled by all the drivers who all wanted to see where we were going. I nearly boiled over when they were pushing me around but we got in with a driver and headed off through a series of shortcuts, dangerous bridges that had been shut to cars and other odd ways. The driver got lost then tried to dump us at a church but in the end we got to the hotel. We looked at the room and he wanted 900 without AC, I told him no more than 700 and he spat his dummy out, eventually we agreed on 800 but the man wouldnt speak to me and said "sir can you go to your room" while he sorted everything else out with the Lady. Erica edit:  You just don't do that to a man who has a picture of himself with Mother Theresa on the wall!

Erica came back nearly in tears after seeing a plaque dedicating the building and hotel to his late beloved wife. It was 9pm so we headed out for a bite to eat before the restaurants shut. Just wandering around we got offered 20% off menu prices but I found a shady little place upstairs. I approached, viewed the menu which looked really good and cheap before I asked "Can you serve me some beer". Now I think we may have touched on it somewhere else but there is definitely a hidden boozing scene in India (this was made more evident by the train guard who we were introduced to by the alchies on the way from Goa who said "Ssshhh this man can get you any liquor you want, whiskey, vodka etc"  and in Kerela only the upmarket hotels and restaraunts are licensed to sell booze. With a wink the man said he could arrange something for me, we leaned close winked again and whispered "Sir I can give you beer but it has to be in a teapot as we are not licenced if I have no beer I can get you some Gin". Oh my god I'd reached the promised land illegal drinking and of all the things the man suggests a Gin and Tonic. Without asking the price I asked for two. 2 quadrouple measures arrived in a glass of what I presumed is 'local' / homemade gin as he could not tell me what it was, he then went on to put a bottle of sprite on the table as the tonic. I had one more with my Tandoori Squid and Erica only finished half of hers with her chicken and pineapple. I had to polish off the last of her gin (honestly she didn't finish the first gin in 6 weeks), that may have had something to do with the fact I told her that homemade spirits often make people blind, the Matalan specks just can't help me now.  As we were waiting to leave the wind came from nowhere, we were sitting in the window which had two open shutters, somehow, maybe the Gin, I managed to rip off the right hand shutter as I pushed it open after the wind blew it shut...quick get your coat Eggsy!
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Gregg & Graeme on

Very disappointed you didn't have a better experience on the train as a lasting memory of India.......was expecting a s**t bomb thrown at you or maybe Erica being touched up by a gang of Drag Kings......

Jan on

Nowt like a good pot of tea!!!!!

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