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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Kerala, India

Dec 26, 2015 - Moving On To Alleppy

Jeeva and Anil helped us to arrange a hired car and driver to get us to Alleppy. We requested a big car with air con so we could sit comfortably. It cost us 5500 Rps which equals about $100.00 CAD. When we checked out a photo was taken with our wonderful hosts. Hugs were exchanged as well. I would go back there and recommend their homestay to others. The distance was about 130 or so km but it took 5 hours to arrive at the Malayalam Lake Resorts our next accommodation booked for 4 nights. The traffic was crazy at times with cows, monkeys,...

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ASIS Abu Dhabi

Dec 25, 2015 - Christmas In India

What's this? A beautiful festive arrangement of flowers is on our breakfast table when we crawl out of bed this morning. How thoughtful! The attention to detail at this home stay is fantastic! They seem to think of everything to make our stay memorable. Christmas morning is bright and sunny with no real plans. At breakfast we gave the employees that serve us food and take care that we get everything we need a Christmas card each with a big tip from the four of us. They shyly received this from us and as they scurried around the corner of...

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ASIS Abu Dhabi

Dec 24, 2015 - Santa Arrives in Munnar

Breakfast as usual on our bright sunny deck overlooking the forest with singing birds. Elaine Dick and Al are still nursing a cold but doing better. All three are caught intent on their devices. Al and I decide to check out the nearby hotel for lunch today just for a change. The coffee and sandwiches are tasty and the view is great too! We can see our home stay in the forest from here. Elaine and Dick order lunch at our home stay. Late in the afternoon Christmas eve approaching and I hear some music drawing closer and louder. A open backed...

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ASIS Abu Dhabi

Dec 23, 2015 - Tea Plantations and More

A restful day two here for those trying to overcome their cold. Breakfast was more than satisfying. Reading and napping kept us going until five pm when we were scheduled for Anil to guide us on a walking tour. The four of us were greeted with miles and miles of unending tea plantations as we emerged from the forest surrounding Anil's Royal Mist home stay. Anil offers this short, pleasant walk free to guests. The knowledge he has of the area is evident as he offers information on the plants we pass by. Cardamom, coffee, peppers, various...

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ASIS Abu Dhabi

Dec 22, 2015 - Fort Cochin to Munnar

Following an early morning yoga session at the private Cochin Club just across the field from us, a pre-arranged driver, Antony, took us to The Royal Mist Homestay ten kilometres from Munnar. Elaine and Dick knew the driver, from a previous trip to this area. Our luggage was loaded, we said our good byes and we began our trip up, up, up to the tea plantation hills surrounding Munnar. The four of us loaded into the small Suzuki vehicle at 10:30 am and arrived at about 4:30pm. Al in the front and Elaine, Dick and I in the back. There were...

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ASIS Abu Dhabi

Dec 19, 2015 - Four Days in Fort Cochin

Every morning breakfast of coffee or tea, any type of eggs you desire with toast, jam, and fruit dish is served in a common dining area for guests staying at the homestay. Elaine, Dick, Al and I would typically meet for breakfast around nine am. Elaine and Dick know this area of India very well so introduced us to the area by taking us for a walk around town to get our bearings. We managed to walk a bit along the water, see the locals selling small items and fish. It wasn't long before a fancy hotel had us seated for a nice drink by the...

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ASIS Abu Dhabi

Dec 18, 2015 - Incredible India Indeed

With Al's visa in hand we head to the airport by 10:30 am for our 2:15 flight. I'm sure the airport will be busy with Christmas travelers but we quickly wisk through Etihad Airlines check-in counter and have time to relax, have a bite of lunch and shop before we depart. We are impressed with the airline once again. Providing us with a nice dinner for a three and a half hour flight is unexpected but appreciated. Arriving in Fort Cochin on time, the passport security check is without line ups. Al had to stand in a different line than me since...

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ASIS Abu Dhabi

Dec 7, 2015 - Tea in Anachal (near Munnar)

What a treat to stay in a bamboo hut in Anachal! We were saved an extra bus ride there by Fran's awesome app (triposo); typically we would have had to take a bus from Kumily to Munnar, and then another local bus from Munnar to Anachal. However, Fran was following the bus' path on its way to Munnar with his app and suddenly said, "Hey, I think we are passing through Anachal!" We confirmed with our driver, quickly gathered our stuff, and hopped off the bus! Score! Believe me, any time spared from an Indian bus ride is quite precious...

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Dec 4, 2015 - Turning 50 on a houseboat in Kumarakom

We had such a lovely time in Kumarakom. Our airbnb, also known as Cruise'n Lake, was very comfortable with a fantastic location right on a waterway across from the bird sanctuary. We got all kinds of good birding action in the park and even saw two rare river otter! Every night we watched cormorants and fruit bats settle into the bushes, only to be jostled by the herons that came a few moments later. We fell asleep to the sounds of geckos and frogs croaking, and did yoga to the songs of various waterbirds, including bee-eaters and...

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Dec 4, 2015 - My birthday continues in Kumily

My birthday, part two! Our houseboat dropped us off on a road where we flagged down a local bus headed west. Luckily we both scored seats right before the schoolkids started squeezing on it. To fit the maximum amount of people on the bus, the unfortunates standing in the aisles pass over their bags and backpacks to us lucky seated passengers. I had about 3 bags on my lap, the guy next to me had 10 or so. Even with the extra space saved from the absence of backpacks, a few people still hung out the door. The kids got to school ok and picked...

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Nov 25, 2015 - "Fort Kochi isn't really India..."

What a world of difference between north and south India! Or more specifically, at least between the majority of places we visited in northern India (e.g., Varanasi, Agra, Khajaraho, Delhi and Amritsar) and Kerala. We found the locals so much more friendly and laid back, the verdant, hilly views of tea plantations much more picturesque and cleaner, and the food even more delicious for us seafood lovers. In fact, one traveler told us that someone said that Fort Kochi wasn't really India! I beg to differ. The buses still refuse to maintain...

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Oct 25, 2015 - A sad day......Vale Frederick George Robinson

We alight from our houseboat at our hotel Kumarakom, located on the Vembanad Lake. The waters from this lake flow to the Arabian Sea. The afternoon brings the sad news that Mark's father Fred has passed away. Fred had been hospitalised prior to our departure, as a result of a fall several weeks earlier. He was adament that we continue with our vacation plans. We had been in constant communication with family since we arrived in Sri Lanka. His memorial service will be held Monday 9th November. He was 91 years old.

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