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Published: November 18th 2008
Total luxury for our last 2 nights in Kerala
Allepey to Kochi...................10th to 12th November
Caught the public bus from Allepey to Kochi. Fast and Furious!!!!
Arrived at Le Royale
to discover that what we had booked was a magnificent mansion!! Talk about from the sublime to the ridiculous (or vice versa actually). It was a really beautiful house. There was a guard at the gate house, a cook and a houseboy to look after us and one other German couple, Regina and Martin. Our hosts Jose and Jenny
were teaching at the University where they worked but met us later that afternoon. They were really friendly and made us feel very welcome indeed.
Apparently the house was owned by Jose's brothers from Chicago who wanted a nice place back home where the younger members of the family could enjoy western standard accommodation and therefore would want to keep coming back to Kerala. Well it was certainly that, very tastefully and very expensively designed and furnished!
Harry the cook was very good
and Dilip was very helpful with quite good English so staying here was a really nice end to our stay in Kerala. A real treat!
My only regret was that we hadn't gone
On the trip up from Kochi
to the hill stations to see the tea and cardamom plantations. Happily Jenny arranged a car and a driver Reggie
to take us up for the day. Reggie's English was quite good but he was an excellent
guide and made sure that we didn't miss any of the sights, waterfalls, trees, plants, spices and of course the tea plantations.
Our sight seeing in the hills started at a wild-life park. It was so wierd because we were taken in a 25 seater bus up the mountain on a really narrow road (passing the buses coming down was quite a thrill!!). We then had to get out and walk the last 1K with constant warnings to stay on the road and not wander intothe bush, and there were guards to make sure you didn't! We actually saw 12 mountain goats that were meant to be well hidden and timid but turned out to be almost tame...... and that was it. The scenery was fantastic though and it was such a relief to feel cool after the oppresive humidity of the coast. Lots of local kids had hats and scarves on but that was going a bit far really.
I said the scenery was to die for and seeing ladies actually picking tea was something I thought we had missed. We also saw tea being processed at a "Tea Museum"
went to see a lake and a reservoir and bought spices at Munnar. If you come here to stay, and I can see the attraction of the 'cool', other than just hanging out and admiring the scenery at a very expensive resort hotel, we couldn't see what else there was to do that we hadn't done in one day.
Apparently at night the clouds come in like thick fog and don't clear until mid-morning. Oh and apart from the fog the roads are really dangerous at night because wild elephants roam around. Wouldn't have minded seeing that!
We were really glad that we went but didn't enjoy the violent thunderstorm and monsoon type rains we had on the way home. Reggie drove brilliantly (ask for him if you need a driver) but the trip back seemed a lot longer than three and a half hours it took us to get back to Le Royale!
One last flight back to Delhi on Wednesday and then back to
Brum On Thursday.
We have had an amazing time. What an incredible country India is. We have seen 2 totally different areas at both ends of the country. I think after we have had time to reflect we may want to try some other parts and maybe see Nepal, Katmandhu or Bihar but just for now enough!!! Let's go home!
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