I am completing the last full entry of our India Adventure, as I sit here overlooking the beach from our hotel room, but still have yesterday’s adventures to regale.
Colin and I rose early as we had a tee off time at Trivandrum Golf Club at 09:00. We breakfasted at 07:30 and finally headed off in a public taxi that declared our journey to be 190, which we thought was a bit cheap and even more so when the driver stayed at the club and was waiting our return from playing.
The Trivandrum Club house was built back in the late 1930’s by the Maharaja after having visited St Andrews golf club in Scotland. The club secretary was there to welcome us and we were given a caddie between ourselves as well as two sets of clubs. Our caddie Anis had between up at 3:30 to cut the greens and prepare the course for our arrival. He played off 10. The course was the academy course for the locals and a number of the students were out on the course homing their game. We were later to find out that Anis son aged 17 was also at the club and had recently won the Chennar Open Golf Championship. Very much a family affair.
The course was seeded with elephant grass, which was the only grass that could grow. The course had been very wet due to the rain, so when playing the ball, the secret was not to contact the extremely snatchy grass but to cleanly strike the ball. The tee zones where best described as muddy patches and the greens were poor with a stent rating of 1. So despiite these factors the game suited my farm like larup approach and went into a 6 up leap, with chip ins monster putts. Colin struggled to keep away from any man made structure and twice awoke the green keeper when entering his lawn mover store. The course was haphazard, it had nine holes two flags on very small greens, but it seemed as if every teeing position sailed over an alternate green in front. Very unnerving as the academy players were putting out. A quick shout for our caddie and the students scattered about.
Colin only got serious on the back nine when unsurprisingly he declared that the front nine was lossener.
His concentration kicked in as those that know him as soon as money and winning are offered a different Colin stepped forward. However it took until hole 8 where Colin Sunk his only long putt of the day to break our deadlock. With the green keepers hut coming into play on the last my opportunity to win was lost as my second was hit into the jungle. Somewhat surprisingly Colin got a free drop from behind a tree on his third and also another free drop when repairs on the green block his Putt to the hole. So there it was a win for Colin.
We headed back to met up with girls after a shower and down to the beach.
The beach I have not described in any detail because I am so concerned about the water quality as effluent is being washed in near by. The sea is full of plastics, clothing and detritus I just cannot face stepping in in fear of getting some contamination. However not deterred Colin and Zoe bravely go in for a swim. Alison paddled I just looked on in horror. I was also surprised that such an environment can still support lots of fish, hundreds of eagles and kites, as well as a flotilla of fishing vessels. It makes me sad that there is an acceptance of human waste and created waste in roads, streets, rivers and sea, with very little to stop or solve the problem.
We walked along the Kovalam commercial beach for sunset and whilst Alison and Zoe explored everything shop, every backstreet store to spend the remainder of our money. Zoe actually asked how much for a little girl to bring home, the little girls mother the shop keeper replied “ we do not openly sell children any more, but if you come back later we can see what can be done”. After completing a number of negotiated settlements a number of purchases were made but no sisters for the Halcomb family. Colin was happy paddling with the locals whilst I acted as look out when they disappeared into the back street stores.
Again tonight at the sea food resturant, Colin and Alison “The catch of the Day” or should I say the “Catch of some day” a giant 1.2kg Red Snapper between them. No fear but after my risk assessment I opted for the Meat living off the rubbish in the streets'!!!!!!
We had a lovely meal and we all went to bed, fatter, redder and saited.
Monday 4th November 2019.
Alison and I slept soundly until 09:30 and had to rush to breakfast as we had not eaten for at least eight hours!!!!
To day it is very humid and very hot, as we stepped out of our air conditioned rooms, our glasses steamed up.
We had an extremely lazy day down on the beach watching the fully clothed locals coming down to sea and playing around, even a bus load of school children wearing their uniforms gladly all piled into the sea fully clothed. I do not how they got back home but I am sure the driver would have been pissed.
We took part in archery at the hotel to pass some time, with this time the Theobald’s triumphant.
Back to the beach for further drinks, lunch and upsetting the boatmen offering Colin a fishing and snorkelling trip, despite Colin not being good at sea. So for 2 hours Colin had to make out he was asleep, until the boatman went for a late lunch.
The sun is now beginning its final setting of our holiday, as Alison is packing the bags for a 4 am start tomorrow to journey back home. In someways it seems as if it were only yesterday but it others it seems a long time since we first landed in Delhi. So many magical sites, experiences and iconic places of interest but also the normal life within a remote village has some of our more golden moments.
For my last post, when back in the Uk, I will consider and construct my thoughts of this incredible journey of diametrically opposed opposites yet an acceptance from both ends of the spectrum.
I hope you have enjoyed the back stories as the photographs, I look forward to sharing these when back home, although Alison does have her doubts