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Published: March 9th 2008
After pulling the highest card from the pack I slept on the floor whilst Mark and Dale enjoyed the comfort of their beds! We woke up to find a newspaper and tickets for a complimentary breakfast had been slipped under our door. Very welcome surprise, breakfast was excellent.
The major plan for the next few dasys was to go and visit my houseboy from Oman who lives nearby. He looked after Rebecca, Dominic and I for nearly 5 years and I was looking forward to seeing his family. Unfortunately Yousef works in Mumbai so i would not get to see him but after speaking to him on the phone and getting some very detailed instructions we headed to the bus station to get a bus to Mananthavadi, his home town. This turned out to be the best bus ride so far. 3 hours journey into the heart of kerala and not even a whiff of another tourist! The bus climbed a massive mountain on the journey which provided great views. Arriving in Mananthavadi we found a phone shop and called Yousef's brother in law who came and picked us up and took us to the family house about 7km from
the town. Yousef and Zubaida lived in Oman with us and Zubaida was at home along with the four children and it was great to see them all. There was difficulty with the language barrier but Zubaida's brother had lived in Saudi Arabia for 13 years spoke quite good English so acted as a translator. After some tea and a whole host of snacks we were taken by Asif (Zubaida's brother) and Gufoor (Yousef's brother) for a ride to see the rest of the family. We went to see another of Yousef's brothers and his family as well as YOusef's Father, mother, sister and all the many many children. Full from all the tea and snacks we were given in every house we stopped at we then went back to Zubaida's for dinner.
A massive feast had been prepared for us and we reluctantly tucked in. I have never been so full. The food was the best I have had and we were treated like royalty. That night we had planned to find a hotel in the town but they were having none of it and Gufoor had moved out of his room to allow us to sleep there.
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