My India and Sri Lanka Trip
I have just had the most amazing 6 weeks travelling around South India and Sri Lanka. It was monsoon season so the weather was a lot cooler and a little wet at times but I prefer travelling in monsoon. I have so much to write about but you need to bear with me as I am feeling slightly jetlagged and all I want to do is eat, is this even a symptom of Jetlag or am I just wanting all the comfort foods of home. Anyway, I thought I would give you a quick briefing of what I got up to over the last few weeks. There were so many places that I didnt get around to visiting so I have to plan another trip to see Leh Ladakh and Goa and I am sure there will be more when I do a little bit more research.
After visiting the Golden Triangle in April, I had already fallen in love with this country and when I got invited to stay at the Indian Summer House I used it as an opportunity to explore more of India. If I didn’t have a trip planned for Australia in a couple of weeks I would have visited more of Asia as I just love this continent and I am already planning to go back next year.
India really has a place in my heart now especially the Indian Summer House which was my main reason for visiting south India. I spent 6 nights at this luxury accommodation in Muvatupuzha, Kerala and I cannot wait to share with you my experiences of this beautiful place, the accommodation, the staff, the food the massages were all out of this world.
I went shopping at a local market with the chef, I had a type of Ayurveda massage which I have never experienced before. I made some great friends and I got to eat foods that I would never have tried otherwise. Our host Don is so proud of this place and he has every right to be as it is remarkable, he even took us to a temple to help celebrate his brother in laws star birthday which was a cool experience, but everything about this stay was brilliant.
I then had a few days to myself before joining a G Adventures tour. I spent my time writing, got to review another great hotel the Palm 36 in Kochi and generally just getting my strength back up for this 2-week tour which I was so looking forward to.
Unfortunately, the morning of the tour I woke up with a very swollen eye. I must say I was shitting myself, I didn’t have a clue what had happened and my anxiety was hitting the roof as all crazy thoughts were going through my head. I went running to reception who calmed me down and explained that it was an ant bite and quite common in this area. I wanted to go straight to hospital as irrational thoughts of going blind were going through my head but they calmed me down and explained that putting hot salted water on it would bring the swelling down and it did.
Also, I was concerned that I looked like the elephant woman whilst meeting my new group of travellers that I would be spending 2 weeks with but by the time we met the swelling had gone down a lot. The CEO of the tour was amazing and when I arrived at the hotel he helped me find a chemist and as it was a Sunday this was quite a challenge but in the end, I opted to just keep bathing it as the chemist wanted to give me drops and since the bite was on the outside I didn’t think this would help.
This 2-week tour was Kochi to Kochi. I got to spend this time with 8 other avid female travellers and we got on amazingly also having the best CEO made this trip on of the best I have been on and I would recommend if you are heading to this area.
Kochi – Kalpetta – Mudumalai – Mysore – Mamallapuram – Puducherry – Madurai – Periyar Sanctuary – Kerala Backwaters – Kochi
It was my birthday during the tour and they decorated the bus and sang happy birthday and a delicious chocolate birthday cake!! But the best bit had to be spending my birthday driving through the national park and seeing elephants.
The tour was just the right pace and didn’t overwhelm me with too much activity which was good as in this heat you just couldn’t do too much more anyway. We saw temples (not too many like during my Vietnam trip where I just got sick of another temple as they all started looking the same) we went on a safari and saw elephants and a bear, we did a sunset canoe ride in the backwaters where I saw hundreds of huge fruit bats. We saw the scariest Kathakali dance show which was the strangest experience but you must do it as it is just so weird. Then the best martial art display that just blew my mind with the skill and breath-taking display of jumping through fire rings.
After this amazing tour, I headed to Sri Lanka only an hour’s flight. I again had a few days before I met with my tour and spent it in Bentota area which is in the southern region. I stayed at 2 different 4-star hotels and if these are only 4 stars then 5 stars would be out of this world as these places were amazing. I had 2 tuktuk drivers that gave me tours of the area but then one of them would just not leave me alone. I had given him my whatsapp number so we could communicate when I needed a tuktuk but even when I left the area he kept messaging me he even said he wanted to marry a English woman doesn’t matter if they are old like 36!! old cheeky sod he was 31 so not much younger than me, I could have come home with a husband but luckily for my mum I came home alone haha.
In Bentota I visited a turtle sanctuary and went back at night to see them released into the ocean. This was a bucket list item for me and was so special. I hope some of the little turtles survived as only 10% do which is so sad.
This is a whistle stop tour of Sri Lanka as it is only a week it just gave me a taste of what the places we visited had to offer.
Negombo – Kandy – Ella – Unawatuna
I did feel as though we were just driving to a destination and then unless people on the tour had done their own research the information offered by CEO was not the best. One of the group members stated she chooses G Adventure tours because she does not have the time to research trips and was also disappointed with the information provided on this tour. If I had not already done 2 amazing tours with G adventures the South India and Cuba last year then this could have put me off this type of tour but I know this is not the norm. Maybe I was totally spoilt with the 2 other tours I am not sure.
This was a slightly larger group than the South India one being 15 but we had a comfortable bus with lots of room so it didn’t even feel a bigger group. We all got on well which is always going to be important during a group tour. I was so jealous as most of the group had combined this tour with a week on a boat in the Maldives. If they didn’t already have a group of 8 (max for the boat) I could have been so tempted to add this onto my trip.
However even though this trip did not do as much sightseeing as I am used to it still had some amazing highlights such as the Pinnawalee Elephant Orphanage, train journey which is supposed to be one of the most scenic in the world and a whale boat trip where we headed into a storm and I actually feared for my life but once I saw the whales it made it all worth it.
This trip has been life changing I am now over my fear of bananas, yes, I know this was slightly odd but the smell just made me heave bringing on my Emetophobia.
If I was to choose whether to do South India or Sri Lanka it would be South India as it is so colourful, the locals are so friendly and I just had the best time. Sri Lanka was nice but I didn’t feel as though I got as much out of the trip, however I would definately visit again for a beach holiday as the beaches were like paradise.
Come back over the next few weeks where I will be posting more in-deph articles on what I got up to on this trip.