Published: April 27th 2010April 16th 2010
Delhi to Trivandrum (over 3500 kms) in 30 days. Mission complete with 8 hours to spare!
From Om Beach we catch a Rickshaw to Gokarna, then a bus to Ankola, then another bus to Karwar, then a Rickshaw to Karwar Road Station (8 kms away) and finally board the 11pm train to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivadrum). 17hrs later we roll in to our destination, grab a bite to eat and catch a final rickshaw to the airport out of town. Unfortunately the airport was closed until morning so we sleep rough outside and await our 8am flight.
At last we find ourselves travel-worn and exhausted on a plane to Kuala Lumpur. As we watch India fade beneath the wing it is with a sense of loss. India will stay in our hearts forever and we are sorry to leave her, but we must move on. New adventure in new lands awaits us but for the next leg we are flying blind with no guide books or maps...
Tom: "...Karwar is a place with no tourists, why would anyone come to this utilitarian and functional city? It is strange to not meet touts at the bus station and empty rickshaws drive past without hassling us for business. No one speaks English and no one cares. I find it refreshing.
Ness: "...We seem to use every mode of transport available on our journey from Gokarna to Trivandrum and indeed throughout India, but it just adds to the experience. Two days of traveling later we arrive at Trivandrum airport filth encrusted but joyous!
Tom: "...We find our berths on the train but they are occupied by a sleeping family of Indians. We find a conductor and inform him of our predicament. He perfunctorily wakes them and throws them out. I protest and beg him to explain why this has happened and where else can they go - the woman has young children - and in halting English he explains they were on the shortlist but we were bumped to the top of the waiting list. We had paid extra for our tickets and get westerner privilege. I am exceedingly uncomfortable with this but it is beyond our control and the conductor refuses to negotiate. The family adopt new positions on the floor and the woman has to sit up all night with her two children sharing her single berth. This is how India works and the woman seems to hold no remorse, but i lie awake for hours in the close darkness ridden with guilt.
Tom: "...Used to roughing it by now we happily lay a blanket in a quite corner outside the airport and attempt to get some sleep. Half way through the night a loud machine rumbles in to life within the airport and shortly after thick chocking smoke pours from the large vent above us. Alarmed we think there is a fire but a nearby Indian indicates that it is normal, so we wait for the air to clear. Lizards gather around the vent and i notice a few cockroaches escape from within and fall in to their trap. Not long later something large and chitinous runs over my bare foot and i instantly leap to my feet. Huge cockroaches seem to be fleeing in a tide from every vent and opening in the airport wall. It dawns on me slowly they must be fumigating the airport.. Before long there seems to be cockroaches running everywhere and we jump on to some nearby benches clutching our packs - much to the amusement of other waiting Indians who seem to mostly ignore them.
Ness: "...We are ambushed during the night by a swarm of cockroaches and Tom lifts his skirts in pure horror and legs it for high ground. I have noticed that his colourful use of language overplays the event in his journal, but it was quite foul. I am in charge of rescuing the packs.
There are more photos below