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Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala April 16th 2019

Warning: long blog ahead. Make your tea now. I started to write this before I got sick and never sent it. Now it feels unfinished to send without being updated first. So here goes: March: This past year has been filled predominantly with joy, watching my baby become a boy. Considering I left the decision of my motherhood up to fate, I never counted on having a son. So I’m beyond grateful everyday that he came to me. But once the sadness of the situation surrounding his arrival subsided, I was still left with wonder and questions, many questions and worry of our future. Much of this was surrounded by finances of course. But with no clear path for me and the unusually large amount of hours of sleep I’ve needed since Taylor’s birth, I often ... read more
Taylor drinking his chai at the local chai shop
Taylor with Kuku
Getting his haircut

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

Asia » India » Kerala » Periyar National Park April 14th 2019

OK, so our last night at Shola Crown wasnt the best. We went down for the BBQ and quickly decided that we needed some different food so proceeded to the restaurant where the Hotel Manager told us that he would bring it up to the room. 2 hours later, despite multiple requests and growing frustration it still hadn't arrived and the kids needs to sleep. However, with the music still blaring from the BBQ there was no chance of that. Anyway, after much gesticulating by Dad and some fairly colourful language, the food came and the kids ate a bit before going to bed.......once the music had stopped! All of this on top of the fact that mum and dad found out that our flights home might be cancelled, this could be good news if it ... read more
2 against one with swords and shields
Chloe and Lucas duking it out!
Bougainvillea everywhere

Asia » India » Kerala » Munnar April 13th 2019

Woke up to a beautiful view outside our window. As the mists started to rise off the mountains and the sun started to burn through it, the cockerel was crowing and the hotel was beginning to wake up. We had a short breakfast of eggs toast and a savoury pancake- Indian style and celebrated the exciting news that Phoebe has got a major part in the Rose Theatre production of Snow Queen. She is going to be the narrator which she is over the moon about. Today we had a big trek through the hills South of Munnar, of about 12km. Up and down hills, through thick plantations and forest but also across wide open hills with views right across the valley. Anoop brought with him another guide who showed us lots of fauna and the ... read more
Full team shot
Shiva Shrine with view of everyone behind
Mid-Morning Break

Asia » India » Kerala » Munnar April 12th 2019

We moved on today. Leaving behind our gorgeous views and rooms at the Olive Brook Hotel and moving to Shola. So, it was back into the A team van for a couple of hours, and after a short pit stop for a breathtaking view of the blue mountains, we arrived at Camp Kalypso - a Glamping Site built by our tour guide's company which they use as a trekking base camp. After a very welcome snack and delicious tea (cinnamon, cardomom, pepper and ginger), we headed out on our next trek to a village called Pacidpulkudi. The trek was through heavy undergrowth with lots of cardomom plants and endless Eucalyptus trees (brought over from Australia and slowly taking over). Heavy going up hill but our guides kept us entertained spotting black eagles, snake eagles, snakes and ... read more
Camp Kalypso with Phantom Head behind
Bonfire night
More views of the landscape

Asia » India » Kerala » Munnar April 11th 2019

We woke up early at 5:30 to the cacophony of the dawn chorus ringing in our ears. All extremely tired because in the UK it was 1 in the morning and the jet lag hasn't quite adjusted. Once we'd managed to drag ourselves out of bed we went down and had an amazing breakfast. Everyone had an omelette apart from Lucas who had some scrambled eggs! We met up with Anoop at 6.30 and started the days adventure in the A team bus to Ernakulum national park (@1500 meters) to see Nilgiri (meaning blue mountains) Tahr Goats, which are an endangered species and only found in the Western Ghats of Kerala. We only saw one in the distance which dad thought was a bush to begin with but finally figured it out through the binoculars. It ... read more
A history of the national park
Walk up the National Park
Mountain views

Asia » India » Kerala » Munnar April 10th 2019

A bit of a lie in this morning after a rather disturbed night. Olivia and I decided that an adult should be in each bedroom rather late. So, I picked Chloe up from the kids room and Olivia slept in there. Phoebe then had an upset stomach into the early hours of the morning and so not a great deal of sleep was had. After a light breakfast we packed up and left Whispering Waters for our new destination in Munnar. We stopped after a few minutes for Anoop to show us how rubber is collected. He gave us a couple of interesting facts about it too: rubber was discovered in Brazil and was first used as a pencil eraser! It was a 3 hour journey to Munnar and everyone was fairly quiet as the roads ... read more
Beautiful waterfall on the way to Munnar
Team photo at the hotel
Leaving the pool at Whispering Waters

Asia » India » Kerala » Angamaly April 9th 2019

After a delicious breakfast at the Casino Hotel we packed our bags, checked out and headed out to the A-team bus for 9.30am and a 2 hour ride to our next destinations; Whispering Waters. Selected by Olivia to ensure that we had a swimming pool in as many hotels as possible. The journey went by without any drama, bar a small crash with a tuk tuk driver who broke one of the side mirrors. In arrival, we were really excited to find a beautiful hotel right on the river, surrounded by lush vegetation, rubber trees, Jack and Mango trees. With a big old swimming pool, hammocks and games room this is paradise and so hugely excited to be here. The rooms were better than expected and we, yet again, were immediately into the pool! A lovely ... read more
The view from our hotel room
Hammock fun
Hammock fun

Asia » India » Kerala » Kochi April 8th 2019

It was an 8.30 start as Anoop didnt want us to get into town too late and then get caught by the sun. Today we were shown round Fort Kochi - which includes the Fort (built by the Portugese, then destroyed and re-built by the Dutch). We started with the a rather curious trip round the laundry of Fort Kochi which used to wash all of the military clothing. We've still no idea why we wnt round it but it was quite interesting to see a traditional laundry still in working order - no washing machines and irons heated by coal! Our guide tried to make friends with Chloe by teasing her which she was not impressed by and made her cry!! After the laundry we went to the Roman Catholic Church that Vasco De Gama ... read more
The Laundry
Catch of the day
Slightly more appetising catch of the day




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