27 March 2006

Beautiful Kerala

I've now had a chance to store and organise (if not edit and process) the large number of photos I took on our holiday. I've posted a small selection of these up on my personal website as a slideshow.

I'm also going to photocast a photo every day or so, which you can subscribe to in your RSS reader.

If you're not familiar with Kerala (and I expect that's the vast majority of people visiting here), it's a medium-sized state in the South of India, described by various publications as follows:
One of the 50 must see destinations of a lifetime - " National Geographic Traveler"
One of the 10 paradises of the World - " National Geographic Traveler "
One of the 100 great trips for the 21st century - " Travel and Leisure "
One of the ten hot spots for the millennium - " Emirates In-flight Magazine "
One of the ten love nests in India - " Cosmopolitan "
One of the six destinations of the millennium - " Khaleej Times "


I have to say these comments are not hyperbole. The landscapes were glorious - everywhere we went. The people, as always in India, were wonderful and friendly. Our food was superb EVERY time - from takeaway Veg Biryani to multiple course sit-down meals. Washed down with a Kingfisher beer of course. Our accommodations were all memorable, with each providing a different vantage point for understanding the country. These ranged from a massive 3-bed bungalow in a tea plantation, to a 2-bed houseboat, to a 250 year old guest house on the beach (with one night in the most luxurious tent I've ever been in complete with ensuite bathroom and hot water!). It also boasts a 99% literacy rate - better than anywhere else in India (and indeed many developed countries).

As an aside, all of this was researched and booked online - the trip and the flights, including checking in. Not a single phone call was needed beforehand. Responses to emails and enquiries was always fast (even from India).

Special credit to both www.responsibletravel.com through whom we found this holiday and booked it, and especially to Kalypso Adventures (www.kalypsoadventures.com) - ex-Commanders Sam Samuel and Thomas Zacharias for designing and operating such a wonderful experience. And, not forgetting Bhinu, our guide and cycling companion, and Das, who was there with bananas and water when we needed it (and made sure we and our luggage got safely to each point when in the vehicle)!

1 comment:

Betsy Fowler said...

Ian and Sue- Just spent yesterday with Spice who told me about your wonderful trip to Kerala! Really enjoyed the slideshow, could almost taste the food! Hope you are both well and have regained whatever weight was lost..... and also hope to see/talk to you sometime this year.

Love, Betsy Fowler 9 April 06