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Asia » India » Kerala May 29th 2019

It may be a self-proclaimed title to lure in the tourists, but I think it's deserved. We had flown into the Indian state of Kerala, otherwise known as 'God's Own Country'. The literal meaning of the word Kerala is ‘The Land of Coconut Trees’ - which is pretty much spot on. Arriving late at night into Kochi airport, we decided to kip at a local hotel before getting the bus into the old colonial town of Fort Kochi the next morning. The first things we discovered were that: a) it was beyond hot (we had come in the hottest and most humid month of May, just before the monsoon hit); b) good accommodation was not expensive at all; and c) public transport was, from our point of view, so inexpensive it was almost free. Great for ... read more
Old gateways in Fort Kochi
Our cooking tutor, Maria
Kathakali

Asia » India » Kerala » Kochi May 11th 2019

We had again done our homework for Kochi and worked out that it was a lot more spread out that Mumbai was. We planned to get a Tuk Tuk to the fishing nets and then work our way back towards the port. Unfortunately, all the drivers only wanted to do a tour. We asked a couple about a one way trip and they just walked away from us. This was a big clue for a rethink. Eventually, we went to the taxi tent that had been set up for the cruise passengers. They gave us details of a tour around Kochi. It was either 1000 rupees (£10) for three people in a tuk tuk or 2000 (£20) for four people in a taxi. So we agreed to a Tuk tuk tour. Our driver was very knowledgeable. ... read more
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Asia » India » Kerala » Kochi April 22nd 2019

Its finally here. The last day. We woke up to a gorgeous day and back to the sweltering pre-rain heat. We were all determined to make the most of this final day and set about getting down to breakfast to then finish off last chapters of books, soak up some final sunshine and get some last swims in. We had games of backgammon - Dad and Lucas followed by Dad and Phoebe. Mum actually went into the pool - a moment of great excitement for everyone! Dad spent ages getting slow mo pictures of Chloe and Lucas doing silly jumps into the pool. Phoebe was also keen to get a photo with the geese, but ended up getting chased by them instead - which was very funny.... The last day was filled with a mix of ... read more
The Geese gave chase
Waiting for our taxi to take us home
Beautiful girl

Asia » India » Kerala » Alleppey April 21st 2019

We're nearing the end! And its a very Happy Easter! After the thunderstorms of last night it was a nice and cool morning and so we had a relaxed morning by the pool. Minds are starting to turn to home but everyone is excited by our upgrade on Qatar which is a good distraction from the impending return to school / work / real life. Lots of discussion on what films are going to be watched on the flight home, the new plane we will be flying back on for the second leg (A350) and how exciting it is for us all to be on business class. We went for a lovely walk along the beach after breakfast as it was the first time we could actually stay out of the shade for a prolonged period ... read more
Boat life on the beach
The sight from our apartment
Whistful looks from Phoebe

Asia » India » Kerala » Alleppey April 20th 2019

Chloe, Lucas and Dad got up for an early morning swim in the pool this morning and enjoyed it before there was anyone else around. So we all ended up having an early breakfast before settling in for a day of leisure. It was another stinking hot day and we were all sweltering by 10am, so desperately trying to find shade by the pool or in the house. Mum still wasn't feeling 100% and so was taking it easy and we all spent much of the morning and early afternoon reading, playing spite and malice or swimming. We had lunch at the hotel and before we knew it, it was mid-afternoon. The ducks were back at the house and chased dad for a bit which was funny before we went to the market with Anoop. The ... read more
Posing at lunch
Pre-storm foliage
Golden Shower - flower of Kerala

Asia » India » Kerala » Alleppey April 19th 2019

We met up with Anoop this morning, after a day off yesterday. The plan was to go on a bike ride to the Coir Museum, however, having seen the bikes and knowing how treacherous the roads are, we decided to give the bike riding a miss and just get the A team van. The museum was interesting, the kids were interested...to a point and then they got a little bored. We heard about pretty much every element of this amazing plant - the coconut. From what we learnt it can basically do anything! Coconut water will sustain you, the flesh you can eat, the husk is then made into coir. Coir can make furniture, rugs, wood, rope and art, as well as fertiliser! They took us through the process of making it and were at pains ... read more
The band kicking off with each other - drummers one side, wind instruments the other
The elephant line up with the Sadhus on top
Phoebe enjoying the swings

Asia » India » Kerala » Alleppey April 18th 2019

Waking up to our first proper rest day and we all had a lie in. Just making it in time for the final call for breakfast the kids stuffed into as many cinnamon rolls as they could get their hands on - very healthy, but we deserve it! After breakfast we all made our way to the beach which was quite a sight - white beaches and palm tress for as far as the eye could see and hardly a soul on it. The temperature was fast rising so we found some shade and settled in for the morning. Chloe, dad and Phoebe headed to the sea for a swim which was like getting nto a bath it was so warm. However, the waves were fairly rough as there was a steep drop off into the ... read more
Chloe taking Dad to the sea
Northwards view
Southwards view

Asia » India » Kerala » Alleppey April 17th 2019

Quite a night on the houseboat! Air-conditioning on the blink so either hot or cold - no in between! But what a beautiful sight to wake up to...we all had showers and a breakfast of omelettes, toast and pineapple whilst looking out onto the water. It was an early morning because today we were setting off on a canoeing trip and didnt want to get destroyed in the mid day heat. Following breakfast we set off on a 20 minute cruise to where the canoeing kick off point was. Saying goodbye to our boat we met up with Anoop and Anil who grabbed our gear and transferred into another boat before we met up with our canoeing guide for the day. Dad paired with Chloe, Mum paired with Lucas and Phoebe went by herself. It took ... read more
The team with Anoop and our houseboat in the background
Chloe relaxing a bit too much
1/2 time break with a picnic

Asia » India » Kerala » Alleppey April 16th 2019

Time to leave Forest Canopy...very sad. It has been a really fabulous hotel, looking after everyone really well especially at meal times where the appetites have varied enormously. So it was an early start, and they opened up early for a special breakfast for us and then we were off. Bit of a trek in the A team bus this time round, it was about a 5 hour journey. We were better prepared this time round though, Mum, Phoebe and Chloe all took travel sickness pills and they were ready to go to sleep the moment they sat down! There were no 'accidents' on the way down to sea level therefore and everyone felt relatively fresh still when we got there. Anoop even managed to get some rubber bands for Phoebe's braces on the way down ... read more
The Nichols PLC
Traffic on the highway
The Kids on the balcony

Asia » India » Kerala » Periyar National Park April 15th 2019

It was a bit of a struggle to get up this morning but we managed to drag ourselves out of bed and up to a sumptuous breakfast in the hotel. Phoebe wasnt felling to well this morning and had a bit of an upset tummy. Apart from that we were ready for another day of adventures. First stop a forest walk in the national park. We took a van down to the reception and Anoop was there waiting for us, so we headed straight off to the park. On arrival, we had the option of going on bikes around the park but Chloe would have needed to perch herself on my bike as there wasnt one small enough for her and no kids seats. We decided against this rather precarious option and walked instead. Anoop took ... read more
What a team!
Periyar National Park at dusk...
Welcome to Periyar National Park




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