Mumbai to Kerala - travels with Imodium

Trip Start Jan 27, 2006
Trip End Sep 09, 2006

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Thursday, February 9, 2006

We finally left the UK on 27th Jan. Lyndsay dropped us off at Birmingham Airport and we were greeted with great excitement by the Lufthansa desk, they flicked through our tickets with envy and then upgraded us for our flight to Frankfurt - who said the Germans were all bad - so we started in the Exec Lounge and in Business class - don't hold your breath, things did not continue in such style - but lovely start.

Arrived in Mumbai at 2am and it was literally the dead of night - people were sleeping in the streets under covers and they looked like the dead - 50 to a block in some areas - really quite disturbing, but we finally arrived at our hotel and checked in. The next morning started much better with a bustling street of food sellers and a man playing a snakecharming flute outside our window, it was quite hypnotic and we watched Mumbai come to life from our window. When we headed out we were quite surprised to be the only white faces in what appeared to be the entire city. We caused quite a stir - particularly Phil, who, at 6 ft 2in and blonde was stopping small children in their tracks. We obviously tried the local curry and it was delicious, although we made complete arses of ourselves in a restaurant, much to the waiters delight. We ordered a Thali, which is like a buffet, with lots of bowls on a platter - the waiters come around and loaded the bowls up with all sorts of goodies, bombay aloo, daal, veggie dishes etc and then the naan, chapatti and dumplings arrive. We dipped and sampled all the bowls and were getting some interesting looks from the waiters - eventually one came over and told us that we were supposed to mix the whole lot together in the centre of the plate to create our curry - umm, bit like eating all your peas at sunday lunch and then moving onto your carrots!

From Mumbai, we flew to Cochin - south to the sunshine .........35 degrees felt cool ! Fort Cochin is wonderful - relaxed, quiet and beautiful. A couple of nights sent getting our bearings and watching the sun set over the Arabian Sea and then OFF ! Up into the mountain area of Munnar.

we are back from all our travels around Kerala and had a throughly great time. Munnar was absolutely spectacular - the scenery was amazing, tea plantations as far as the eye could see and we saw Dams and visited national park lands, it was lovely for us Greenies. The only slight hitch was that it was absolutely bloody freezing at night - we had to ask for an extra blanket and sleep in socks - amazing and mad country!

Washing an elephant was amazing, there were 6 elephants altogether, the oldest was 35 and about 12 ft tall, it takes a long time to scrub one that size with a coconut husk!! Sam went for a slightly smaller one - 1.5 years old and female, they got along famously and the elephant spent most of the time with the trunk down Sam's shirt! It was hilarious - see the photos !!!!

Spent a leisurely day on the riceboat yesterday, it was really quiet and relaxing on the backwaters and our boat was interesting, not quite the one we had booked with our shark of a tour agent, but it was really lovely none the less. We went to see our agent this morning to discuss his business plan and he refunded us 1,000 rupies - so we are happy that we complained (only 12.00 but it is the principle).

We are now back in Fort Cochin and have extended our stay at the Kapithan as we love it so much -Sam is even getting used to a cold shower in the morning. We leave now on Tuesday morning and start our day from hell - 2 hour flight to Mumbai, followed by 7 hours on the train to Ahalmabad, and then overnight sleeper(10 hours) to Udaipur - ummm, better than a day in the office - just!!

More Soon - Rajasthan and the Taj Mahal await ................
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ianx on

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