Wilson Palokkaran

Latetravelbug

Wilson Palokkaran

Was born in Kerala, India just after WW II (in 1946), studied at St.Joseph's College Devagiri Calicut. Initial jobs varied from teacher to fisheries inspector in the Laccadive Islands, Automobile and Aeronautical Enginner, Coconut plantation Manager and Engineering Foreman in a spinning mill. Unhappy with the lot, took up studies again, this time as Polymer Technologist (Rubber) and worked in Northern Ireland as Rubber Chemist in Arntz Belting, and Technical Manager/Director in Enbi Seals Ireland in the Republic. Retired from full-time employment in 2012.
I'm finally off on the trip of my life and looking forward to sharing whatever adventures lie ahead! After two legs (that is South America and Oceania) I still have both my legs intact. Might have lost just a pair of sunglasses so far. I have seen things that I had only dreamed about. The un-ticked on the bucket-list can now be counted on the fingers. Where to next I do not know. Should try to do more journeys overland.
The third was driving trip (2013) was with my wife, as it was more civilised for her. We travelled across the southern states of USA, From Dallas to Tucson, Arizona, then on Route 66 to Las Vagas, taking in Sidona, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley. Then on to California's capital (Sacramanto) and finally returning from San Francisco.
In the fourth (2015) flying to Beijing, train to Xi'an for the Terracotta Warriors, to Lhasa on the highest Railway in the World. Organised tour overland to Kathmandu through EBC did not happen due to continued earth quakes.
Currently on the Fifth covering Myanmar, Thailand (north),Laos and Vietnam (south).



Asia » India » Sikkim » Kangchendzonga November 23rd 2019

Zero Point and Yumthang Valley As often happens, we were ready at 0600 hrs, nobody else were up. After some breakfast we finally left the hotel at 0730. We were rather disappointed that we could not explore Lachung which was rated as one of the most picturesque and culturally thriving little towns in Sikkim. As we reached Lachung only after dark there was little chance of that. Now the importance of Lachung has shifted as the gateway to North Sikkim with hordes of tourists using it as a staging post for their tour of North Sikkim. Soon we were driving through the narrow lanes again. I had given up counting the number of "hairpin bends". Again we were just hugging the sides of the hills going up the hill then going down to the valley cross ... read more
Zero point1
Zero point 2
Dangerous roards

Asia » India » Sikkim » Gangtok November 23rd 2019

Two weeks running around visiting family and friends and after short hop to Chennai it was time once again to see if I still enjoy my nomadic wandering. On the flight to Chennai and to Bagdogra (Airport for Gangtok) the thing that stuck me most was the dust cover that pervaded over India. Even from a 1000 meter altitude it was virtually impossible to see anything on the ground (no fun getting a window seat, cant see anything below). Looking at a 4,500Rs taxi fare I Had booked a shared taxi from “Whizzride” for my 4½ hour journey to Gangtok, capital of the state of Sikkim. The car arrived a bit late due to traffic congestion, we finally started off around 2 PM. Due to some accident ahead there was a huge delay en-route and it ... read more
Botanic Garden
Enshay Monastery
From Hanuman Tok

Asia » India » Sikkim » Lachung November 22nd 2019

To Lachung What comes to mind is the old saying "It's not only the destination but the journey is as important". We (me and the girl from Malaysia, Khadija) were at the travel agents to discuss this group. The agent told us that he had another couple who would be interested in going with us. They turned up a bit later. The girl was friendly enough, but the boy only took one look at Khadija (in her head dress) and never looked at us again. They gave some lame excuse and left. Another pair would have halved our cost. I left my luggage at the hotel and took only my back pack for the 2 day journey. We left Gangtok 0945. Our first stop was a view-point outside the city. Even though we climbed to the ... read more
Hills & Valley
River crossing
Chumthang Hydro dam

Asia » India » Sikkim » Gangtok November 22nd 2019

Trip to Chongu (Tsongmo) Lake Continuing from earlier blog; I had not organised any activities in Sikkim and the best part of second evening was spend visiting the various travel agents. Thank fully they were all near or around the MG Marg (often in a small lane leading from it. Many of the agencies were not very interested as did not organise group tours and solely catered for private tours. He had another tourist from Malaysia who was in the same position as I was. The agent then organised our permits etc. Even if there was nobody else, we could still go together with the guide/driver. This of course reduced the cost by half. I received a text from the agent that I will be picked up from the hotel at 0830. We started dot on ... read more
ready for the ride
roads to get to
roadview

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Seminyak November 30th 2018

The Bali Temple Tour and the return As a solo traveller i preferred a join in group tour. In addition to reducing the cost it also facilitated companionship on the tour. But I was in poor luck for the. “Temples Tour” as most people had already have made their arrangements. So,I had to take the expensive option of hiring a car myself for the day. Then I reasoned that it was a price worth paying as a Bali visit will not be complete if I left without seeing some of the temples. Temples are such n integral part of Balian culture. There are thousands of temples on the island graded according to their importance and location. Nearly every house of any value has a temple on ite grounds and then there are ones shared by a ... read more
Kehen steps to inner temple
a stone carving in kehen temple
Large BAnyan Tree

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud November 28th 2018

Downhill Cycle Tour.. I have just returned from one of the exhilarating and enjoyable activities. Again it was the drive to the activity area that was a problem with 1.5 hrs and 2 hrs getting back. However this time it was better than on Monday with a better car and driver. I was collected from the hotel around 0745 hrs. There were 6 other people in the car, all Aussies. A mum and dad with their young adult sons, and another couple. We reached the start point of the activity by 1100 hrs. On the way we stopped for breakfast. Then there was a visit to a coffee plantation. This was a beautiful location as if in the middle of the rain forest overlooking a deep valley. Here they showed us how they make Luwak coffee. ... read more
Ready to roll
A temple gate en route
Start rice field cycling

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley November 27th 2018

The Sunderjal Chisapani Nagarcott trek. I had knowingly let things a bit loose on this trip. My intention was always to go with more than one other person in addition to the guide. This would have given encouragement from fellow travellers and made the exercise to come within the budget. Unfortunately Bimal (the manager at the hotel) dragged on the issue too long and there were no others to go with me. To compound that our guide did not turn up till 10AM and it was 11 AM before started the drive to Sunnderijal. With traffic and road conditions it took longer than 1 hour. So it was well over mid day when we started on the trek. Our estimate was that it will take approximately 6 hours for the trek and we will be in ... read more
at Sunderijal with Kumar
Steps on the trek
Narrow slope up

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Seminyak November 26th 2018

The night flight from Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Airport landed in Kualalampur by day break. This time there was a special route for transit passengers ( flight from Kochi for some reason did not have that option) and one did not have to go through customs formalities. With a window seat it was nice to see all the landmarks below though there was fair bit of cloud cover at times. We landed in Bali on time. Got a taxi to Grandma's hotel. Escaping the grime, dust and chaos of Kathmandu Bali was more than living up to the expectations. The roads were clean and less crowded. Except a couple of dual carriageways most roads were single carriage. However the dirt and dust were absent. It was hard to find any potholes on most roads. In the cities and ... read more
Live music at dining-bar
Mount Agung at sunrise
Mount Agung before sunrise

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley November 23rd 2018

Thamel and Chandragiri Hills. I had no problem when I get back to the hotel. Just tired a bit, and after a shower decided to take a lie down and rest which was a mistake. I fell asleep and. When I got up after a couple of hours had to struggle even to get out of bed. Just severe aches mainly on the calf muscles. It was evident that I am paying for lack of training. In a way I was lucky that the pain was setting in only now. Had it hit earlier it would have been necessary to carry me down. Realizing the condition I decided to walk it off, starting very slowly. Within 15 minutes it eased a fair bit band I was able to manage to move more freely. I met Pat ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamal November 19th 2018

First Days in Kathmandu After two hectic weeks of travelling to meet friends and family and the incessant political/religious turmoil going on in Kerala I was relieved to get back on the plane and leave it all to the locals to suffer. As a person who has escaped from the clutches of faith It is unbelievable what is going on in "Gods on Country" or indeed in the wider India. It appears that we are turning the clock around and instead of marching into the 21st century we are going back to the early 19th or even the 16th century. The Islamic ferver is now followed by militant Hinduism and devotional Christianity. The loser in all this is the Individual who has no status in the society except as a member of a religious or political ... read more
Patan reconstruction
Patan court
Pashupathinath temple




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