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 - en route to Ooty
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
The last night at the Darshan Hotel went with a bang, quite literally. They had been working all week refurbing the two rooms alongside ours. Although the smell of adhesive and paint were just about bearable, with the aid of some air freshener and some strong smelling flowers, the banging of walls gone midnight as they added the finishing touches to the room next door because they had just booked it out to someone was the final straw.
Serena was up in a flash and shouting at the workmen to stop as we were up early in the morning. She was assured it would stop in two minutes. Half an hour later I was wide awake as the noise was still very loud. Up I got to add my bit to the argument , not before I was reminded that I had nothing on, and it wouldn't go down well to have a naked white man running around India. Still, half-dressed I went out and said my bit. Luckily all was finished and peace was restored.
Morning came and we were ready to check out , our bill was ready, and as we had guessed all of the things we ordered and never got were still on there. Eventually we settled the correct amount and all was well.
The hotel manager, a very nice Indian man named Giri, who spoke very good English and was very well educated, had tried all week to entice us to go up to the hills to a spot he knew about, and take a walk through the Nilgiri Hills. We both decided that as it was our last day we would take his advice.
He ordered a rickshaw and came with us as he felt certain that the driver would take us the wrong way. Giri was right and a quick slap on the driver's back got him back on the right road. We came to the trekking path and got off. Giri pointed us in the right direction and off we trekked.
From the hustle and bustle, noisy horns , galloping horses and all sorts of other noises this place was heaven. It was as if no-one else had ever been there, and nobody was there today. All you could here was the sound of animals high in the trees above. After about 20 minutes Serena spotted some Black Langur Monkeys and a maroon coloured Giant Squirrel with a tail about 3ft long. Later on some wild Deer went running away from us as we had disturbed them roaming the woods. This was definitely a walk worth taking, although I did feel the effects of the sun shortly after 12 o'clock.
We arrived back at the hotel to collect our bags and thank Giri for his advice. Leaving about three for the bus station to catch the first leg of the journey down the mountain on our way to Kerala, we were left bemused by the total chaos at the station. People were jumping on and off moving busses, throwing their luggage in through the window to bag a seat and eventually when the bus had stopped not even giving anyone a chance to get off jumping on and adding to the already tight squeeze.
After half an hour waiting we decided that when in India, do as the Indians do and piled onto the next bus in, successfully pushing past, knocking people out of the way with our heavy backpacks we bagged a seat each somehow and the bus was full in minutes , Cool!!!
Not so cool.... It's the wrong bloody bus , bugger!!
Off we go to try again. As it turned out shortly afterwards we got offered a taxi , which turned out to be 11 people crammed into a jeep type vehicle for the two-hour trip back down the Nilgiri's. Although a little scary at times, I'm guessing far better than any bus.
We reached our destination of Metapulayam safe and ready for the overnight train journey to Kollam in the Indian State of Kerala.
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