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Published: April 10th 2017
India! I'm back and a symphony of senses envelopes my soul. Noise, chaos, sounds, smells hit all at once. If like me you're used to more temporate climes nothing can prepare you for the tsunami wave of heat that hits you and seeps into every core of your being. It feels like there isn't enough air to breathe and instant beads of sweat form on my forehead and around the nape of my neck. Scorchio!
My life is in the hands of the transfer guy I'd prearranged with G-Adventures as we weave in and out of constantly honking cars, trucks, buses, tuktuks and mopeds. Those from my native UK who tend towards road rage on what they think are our overcrowded roads would be in a constant state of eye popping, vein bursting, heart attack inducing stress city central at the crazy maneouvers going on around us. All along the roadside are massive bill boards with photos of beautiful, sari clad women advertising the latest block buster movie, fashion, selfie sticks, cars etc. Every guy I see is sporting the biggest Tom Sellick Magnum moustache; huge hairy caterpillars adorning their top lip. It's obviously on trend here like the silly
big hipster beards that are all the rage back home.
We eventually get off the main road after crossing a long bridge over palm fringed waters. After lots of twists and turns, heading in the general direction of Fort Cochin, we arrive at my first hotel of the trip, the Bright Heritage. After settling into to my blissfully cool, air conditioned room and grabbing a cooling shower I have a couple hours kip to catch up with all the sleep I skipped on my long flights from the UK (I never manage to sleep when travelling and envy those that do) before meeting the rest of my group at our welcome talk.
We meet our tour guide Muthu (pronounced 'moo-two' - yes he has a Magnum moustache - and find out from him what to expect from the trip. In the group are two lecturers, two teachers, a mum and her two sons, an art student, a couple are from Germany and that's all I pick up so far.
We head out for our first group meal together and so the food heaven begins. So many veggie choices and a lot cheaper than back home. Half way through the meal my room mate turns up. She's had a horrible time with two cancelled flights and to top it off her luggage went missing. Hopefully it will turn up tomorrow.
And so to bed, my first sleep back in India. I pinch myself to make sure it's real. Let the adventures begin...
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