Sunday, 17 January 2010

Arrival in Kerala

India; October 15th; Day 24; Ernakulam

We were up early at about 7 and went downstairs for breakfast. The people from Himalayan Run and Trek were arriving at about 8 to discuss our trip and to help us with the arrangements for the next part of our journey. Keith and I were going to Kerala for a couple of weeks whilst Jim, Adriana, Jan and James were going home. We were in New Delhi a couple of days early so we needed to re-arrange our flights.

Keith and I use the hotels internet to find out the flight details to Kochi (Cochin). It looks like we will have to pay again. The others will have to stay another night here before they can get a flight home. I think they just have to pay a surcharge. The Connaught Hotel staff are very friendly and we manage to find a flight that is leaving today about midday. It doesn’t leave us much time. We also manage to arrange to leave a bag here at the hotel which contains all the camping gear we wont require on the next leg. On our return to New Delhi we will have to come back here to pick it up before returning to the airport. This is a much better option than dragging it all around with us.

The Himalayan Run and Track team offer us a lift to the airport and we leave in a rush after saying our goodbyes to the others. It’s decided that we will discuss the consequences of the trek re-arrangements at a later date.

At the airport we manage to pick up our tickets for the flight and get through the usual palaver of the check-in and security. Keith loses his knife as he’d left it in his hand-luggage!

After an initial delay we eventually leave for the first hop to Mumbai. We spend an hour on the tarmac and then take-off for Kochi where we arrive about 5.30. The sun is just going down, but it’s still pleasantly warm.

We take a pre-paid taxi into Ernakulam and find that our first two choices of hotel are full! the taxi has dumped us off at the first one so we have to manhandle our luggage through town to find another. The staff at the Sealord Hotel are friendly and apologetic that they can’t fit us in and get on the phone to a neighbouring hotel. We taxi around to the SAAS Tower and check-in. After a quick shower we go back to the Sealord as it is one of the few places in town with a bar selling beer! We have dinner at the rooftop restaurant. The beers are great and the food is good too.

We crash out tired after a mad two days. At least we are here. All we have to do now is figure where to go and what to do!