Monday, 22nd March - Dover, England
Tuesday, 23rd March - Benaulim, Goa
Wednesday, 24th March - Benaulim, Goa
Thursday, 25th March - Benaulim, Goa
Friday, 26th March - Hampi, Karnataka
Saturday, 27th March - Hampi, Karnataka
Sunday, 28th March - Hampi, Karnataka
Monday, 29th March - Hampi, Karnataka
Tuesday 30th March
Waking up just after 6:30, after a rather uncomfortable night on my first of a number of overnight trains, we had about two hours to go before reaching the end of the first leg of four on this journey. Serena had slept a little better, but she has done this before.
We met a very nice Indian family who were going to the Temple high up in the hills of Tirripaty, over 3000 steps if I remember correctly. A fair number of pilgrims have their heads shaved and donate their hair which is then made into wigs and sold around the world. This enables the Temple to raise a colossal amount of money.
Arriving in Tirripaty the temperature was again hitting 40c and got rather uncomfortable during our 6hr wait for the next leg, we slipped into the air-conditioned waiting room on the platform, which felt really comfortable and really cool. Surprisingly after looking at the thermometer it was 30c in the air con room, akin to a very hot day in the UK.
A little late, the train pulled in for the 10hr trip to Coimbatore. Our carriage was solid with a rather miserable bunch of people who never looked likely to strike up any conversation at all, come to think of it I think I only spoke to one person on the whole journey, but he did provide some very useful information. He knew the station at Coimbatore was closed and provided an alternative route. Without this info I'm sure chaos would have arisen, as we'd not have had a clue as to what we would have done.
We got off the train at about 23:30, a place called Tiruppi and found a rather abrupt Station Master who looked as if he didn't take kindly to us disturbing him from reading his paper. Eventually though he did provide us with the correct information we required to overcome our problems. Although the train we needed wasn't in until 3:30 am, another four-hour wait.
Four hours of counting carriages of trains in and out, the most being 40 carriages full of bananas on a seemingly never ending train, daft but rather funny when you've little else to do in the early morning hours. Sleeping wasn't an option as we were constantly aware of the presence of rats, mice and cockroach running around as well as the pack of station dogs.
Wednesday, 31st March - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Thursday, 1st April - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Friday, 2nd April - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Saturday, 3rd April - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Sunday, 4th April - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Monday, 5th April - Kollam, Kerala
Tuesday, 6th April - Houseboat, Kerala
Wednesday, 7th April - Houseboat, Kerala
Thursday, 8th April - boat to Alleppey
Friday, 9th April - Kochi, Kerala
Saturday, 10th April - Kochi, Kerala
Sunday, 11th April - Kochi, Kerala
Monday, 12th April - 2625 Kerala Express
Tuesday, 13th April - 2625 Kerala Express
Wednesday, 14th April - Friday, 16th April - Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Saturday, 16th April - Wednesday, 21st April - Ranthambore, Rajisthan
Thursday, 22nd April - Jaipur, Rajisthan
Friday, 23rd April - Jaipur, Rajisthan
Saturday, 24th April - Pushkar, Rajisthan
Sunday, 25th April - Pushkar, Rajisthan
Monday, 26th April - Pushkar, Rajisthan
Tuesday, 27th April - Delhi
Wednesday, 28th April - Delhi
Thursday, 29th April - Delhi
Friday, 30th April - back to England