Southern India 2019 – 12

And so, suddenly, it’s our last day in India.

We’re taking the day in a leisurely manner and after a lazy breakfast we went down to the beach again. I don’t usually do special effects type things with the camera but this one has a panorama setting so here’s a 180 degree view of the beach.

Today we walked in the opposite direction to yesterday and watched one of the fishing boats pulling their nets in with some big birds keeping an eye on things.

Once again it was so lovely to experience this beautiful beach and it’s very easy to understand why people keep coming back to it.

The hotel has a butterfly garden so we decided that we ought to have a look at it. All I can say is that the butterflies make life very difficult as they won’t sit still but there were some beautiful and very colourful flowers to be seen.

They also have an organic vegetable garden of which they are very proud and I was keen to see this, however vegetable gardening Kerala style is very different from the English style, oh my word what a shambles! Very commendable but really needed a Head Gardener (me) to introduce some order to the whole operation.

I was so shocked by this that I had to go and have a lie down.

The rest of the day was spent lazing and eating and trying to put off packing to come home.

The Journey Home

We had an alarm call at half past three in the morning and our luggage was collected from the villa and we left Marari Beach Resort at half past four for the hour and a half drive to Kochi International Airport; I am very glad not to be driving in India in the dark!

Since we were last here four years ago they have built a completely new Departures Terminal at the airport and it was all very impressive. Last time we were here it was, frankly, a complete bloody shambles but this time we swept through all the checks and x-ray machines very smoothly and very quickly. Inside the terminal itself there is much room for development of the passenger infrastructure in terms of food outlets, shopping etc. but I shall forever have a soft spot for Kochi Airport because at the gates instead of the usual rows on uncomfortable plastic seating they have armchairs. Large, wooden and gernerously upholstered individual armchairs, set in rows with plenty of room to walk between them. Bliss.

The second phase of our journey was the flight to Dubai on a Boeing 777 which wasn’t too bad at all and I think that I slept through much of it. My enduring memory will be of the chap sitting next to me who watched an Indian film which he clearly found hilarious as for most of it his shoulders were boouncing up and down as he tried to supress his giggles.

Phase three was a four hour stopover in Dubai and the less said about that the better as I think it’s a dump.

Phase four found us on an Airbus 380 (I shall miss these when they’re gone) for about eight hours. Fortunately we had a row of four seats between the two of us so were able to spread out quite well and I know that I slept for part of the flight. To my delight I found that Emirates have some really good music on their entertainment channels so enjoyed an excellent blues compilation and then flittered about with Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, 10cc, some Fleetwood Mac and lots of Pink Floyd………….and probably some other stuff as well.

Landing at Heathrow went well and we cleared through just as our bags were arriving on the carousel, on top of that we didn’t have to wait too long in the cold for the minibus to the car parking.

And so the final phase was the two hour drive home to Bath; I was very, very tired by the time we got home and if we ever do this sort of thing again we’ll stay in an hotel near the airport and drive home in the morning.

That was a week ago, on the next day I suffered the WORST jet lag I’ve ever had and the day after that came down with a streaming cold (I suspect all those flights and filthy re-circulated air) but now I’m feeling hale and hearty and enjoying hte memories of a fantastic holiday.

Our first trip to India in 2015 was supposed to be a one-off but we were there again in 2017 and that was supposed to be it. Then we decided that it would be interesting to visit the Darjeeling area in Northern India but ended up in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the extreme South but I really do think that will be our last trip to India. We’d love to go again but there is the cost to consider however the main reason is the travel with the long flights there and back. If I win the Lottery and we can afford to fly Business Class we’ll think again but I don’t do the Lottery.

My next travel blog will be nearer to home and I look forward to seeing you again then.

Thanks for following and for your kind comments.

19 February 2019

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