…. Hey Pops, welcome to India ☺️
So a few days ago off I went, catching the local bus, to pick up my dad from Cochin International Airport.
For the previous week and a half I had been consciously making my way down from Jaipur headed towards Cochin. Knowing that I absolutely had to be in Cochin to meet my dad from his flight in from the UK, from time to time I had felt a little panicked that I wouldn’t be able to get there! I had come up against a couple of little snags that I hadn’t quite anticipated on – FYI guys…you need to pre-book your sleeper trains well in advance!
You’ve guessed it – I hadn’t known this! And so the train I was hoping to catch from Jaipur to Goa…well the damn thing was full wasn’t it! Gah….!!!
‘Okay I’ll just catch a flight’ – I didn’t want to do this but needs must n all that, and I had seen a flight for about the same cost as the train, so no issues there.
Nope! Flight cost gone up to just under £100!
Okay, I had to think about what to do logically, what other routes will work? I went through so many different alternatives, but none of them sat comfortably. Everything was just too far away from where I needed and wanted to be.
Just so you know…India is a bloody big country! Just in case you didn’t know that…it’s big okay. Haha.
But isn’t it amazing how sometimes in life, a situation can just completely turn around? And actually the thing that you thought was going against you becomes the thing that ends up creating an alternative and better outcome. If I had of been able to get that train, or if that flight hadn’t had gone up in price, then I wouldn’t have spent the time that I did following on from Jaipur.
I met a friend, Loki, we caught a train to his family home in Kota, and I was able to spend a night there with him and his family. They welcomed me in no questions asked, we chatted and we ate (amazing food), and my friend showed me around Kota on his motorbike. I got to see a part of India that I never would have thought of visiting, and I got to spend time with, yet again, a family who made me feel completely welcome into their home. A family whom I could hug and wish to see again as I said goodbye to them. These are the types of memories and experiences that I’ve come away for. To me, they are invaluable.
The plan was we were going to bike from Kota to Goa, what we hadn’t thought through properly was the heat (fooking hot), the distance, and the time in which we had to do it in. Realistically the fun element was going to be taken away from us, replaced instead with massive discomfort from the heat, and the pressure of trying to cover such distances in just 4 days. I had to think of something else.
Which we did…. there just so happened to be a train going from Kota to Goa the next day (a 23 hour journey), and there was availability. Jackpot!
Double jackpot, the 2AC sleeper seats we booked were upgraded to First Class! Sweet!
So…the next day off we went to Goa. I had previously found a train that would take me from Goa to Cochin (a 12 hour journey), the day before my dads arrival, so I had booked and confirmed this. This gave me three days to enjoy Goa, which both myself and Loki did…
…our first day we found a beach bar, and well…really didn’t move far from here for the day. A day on the beach with some beers… Needed!
The second day we biked from south Goa to north Goa on the motorbike we’d hired (yes I can totally see myself converting into a biker chick) and then back down to the train station ready for my early start the next day; a 5.55am train departure.
I loved these few days; from Jaipur to Kota to Goa, with a new and dear friend. Thanks for the memories Loki ☺️ x
All this brings me to said title; a little visit from someone familiar…
Joining me for just under two weeks, my dad.
He’s been here now for a few days; we had a couple of days staying in Fort Cochi, and yesterday we begun our 4 day bicycle trip taking us into the hills and tea plantations from Munnar.
I’m not much of a cyclist, this really is my dads domain, and so the night before we were leaving I started getting some familiar feelings that I’d had the night before my Everest Base Camp trek – unable to sleep and a slight bout of anxiety, fortunately this time without the sickness I’d had before.
You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve actually taken to the cycling pretty well, no issues thus far – this stubborn mind of mine seems to be working for me recently…something along the lines of “well if they can do it I can bloody well do it too…and better!” Haha.
Day 1: Two hour transfer outside of Cochin city. A 35km cycle alongside canals enroute to Munnar – staying at Hornbill Camp. Kayaking and bird spotting.
It was a lovely day, finished off nicely with that kayaking – the water was warm and the air was thick with the rain that fell over us as we headed back.
Day 2: 11km cycle to kick start the day with. Then a two hour transfer taking us to Munnar, up into the hills and from an altitude of 400m to 1500m. From here we started another 35km cycle taking us through windy roads and into the tea plantations. The scenery along here was something special. It was, as I described it, “quaint but on an epic scale.”
As we go to print, today begins day 3, and as always folks…. I’ll keep you posted 😉 x x x