Published: January 24th 2008January 24th 2008
So yeah, not too much to add. I found out last night that our future planned train ride to Kovalam had very limited seating in the near future... the only hope would be to catch the train tonight, and arrive in the morning, or wait about a week until the next available seats were open, or go wait-listed, which with three people, well it keeps you a little too anxious, not knowing exactly which train we'll be able to catch next. So a train tonight it is... or was. Considering the price, we opted to go on a sleeper coach bus with A/C... basically a first class bus ride. The catch is that its about three times as much as the train, and maybe five times as much a normal bus ride (if you know what its like to ride the domestic buses in Mexico from city to city, multiply that by two or three). But then at the same time, the train was 100 rupees, and the bus is about 300 rupees... that's $2.50 versus $7.50... all things considered I think we can splurge on this one! So, long story short, we leave tonight for Trivandrum, and then a short taxi ride to Kovalam beach, where we'll be staying between 9-11 days... its the Indian version of being on the beach in Hawaii or Tahiti.
From Kovalam we can take day trips into Trivandrum, and we're going to look into (and mom seriously try not to freak out) renting a motorcycle or two for some tripping around outside the city. Traffic in India is psychotic, but we've all been studying and picking up on the small intricacies of driving here... hand signals, when you use the horn (which sounds like its all the time, but there is a rhythm to the madness), who rules the road (the bigger vehicle), and all that kind of stuff; when you learn how to cross a busy street in India, walking between moving cars, you could say you learn a lot about driving on the road as well (not to mention you spend half your time in auto-rickshaws)... and if it wasn't quite so attention demanding when you cross, I would try and film crossing a busy street for others to see (think Frogger on steroids!). Last time I was here I never would have thought of riding a bike on any kind of roads here, but we feel like we can handle it. (Mom, stop freaking out!!) We will probably also look into a possible fishing trip or something, but as sunny and hot as it is, I won't be getting on any boats... I'd be red as a lobster no matter how much suntan lotion I put on! And we may also look into a day trip (longer car ride) out east towards the mountains for some hiking... or maybe even ride bikes out there. Basically Kovalam is a nice little step off point for a small list of other activities, beyond giving us a looong stretch of relaxation on the beach!
Until we leave tonight we're just wasting time until the Meenakshi Temple re-opens for the evening, then dinner after that and find a way to waste time before the bus leaves. Oh yeah, we may not actually get on the bus, it depends on how many people get off, which they won't know until about 9pm tonight, and its 3pm now (bus departs at about midnight). So assuming seats open up, which I don't doubt some will (lots of people got off the train in Madurai when we did, which was en route to Trivandrum and Cochin, so I expect the same to happen with the buses), then we'll be on our way tonight. And even if we can't catch the bus, its not like the train where it's booked up for the next week, or so they tell us, as we should be able to find a bus in the next couple days.
Anyway, I'll post more later...