We never thought we would ever travel to Sri Lanka let alone India.
Here we are up 0440 for our flight to Thiruvananthapuram (or Trivandrum to make it easy) in the district of Kerala in the south of India. Driver picked us up 0500 as requested, he was chewing the beetle nut, so pretty chilled out while driving although he did enter the airport area at pace with the customary horn applied. Summer had done online check in so we actually transferred through quite quickly and decided to grab some breakfast as we didn’t know what we were going to get on the plane. We ate at a coffee hut and as per usual airport prices are through the roof but they did have nice coffee. It was good to have a bit of time before the flight, as we looked at the long queue below we thought how lucky we were. Then we looked at were our gate was it was back down stairs and so we had to join the end of the long queue. It was weird that you do the check in and then go upstairs to the gates and then return downstairs to enter the gate for the flight.
It was OK we were still an hour before our flight so just jumped in line. The first thing I have noticed waiting in line is alot of moustaches. You actually look out of place if you don’t have one. I have no chance to reach some of the exceptional standards of tache’s on display at the airport. Anyway we boarded the plane and it was a quick 40min flight and we were clearing customs 0900 in India. Got a pre-paid taxi to our hotel and then just stayed at the hotel for the rest of the day as it was awesome. The surprise here is that the Kerala is mostly dry, meaning no alcohol and so I guess I will be drying out for few days.
Lets have a look around.
Decided to get out of our comfort zone and have a look around town. Caught a Tuk Tuk to the Shri Padmanabhaswamay Temple. We arrived right on 1300, closing time, so we decided to have a look anyway and realized we would not get access. Returned to the street and had a walk around. Took some photos from a distance.
Bought some snacks from the local street stalls for lunch and the young fellow told us tourists cannot enter the temple anyway. We then caught a Tuk Tuk to the Museum. The zoo is also located at this site, so it was down to a vote to see which one we would access. The Zoo was a clear winner. $40 Indian rupee for a family ticket into the zoo and $50 Indian rupee to get your camera in. Mind you $45rpe = $1 Aust. Still doesn’t seem to add up for value.
Anyway the zoo was really good, not clean and polished like Taronga but you could get really close to the animals. We were right on feeding time so this may have also boosted our opinion on the place. Got to see mum and baby hippos feeding and then going for a swim. The rhino was just walking around waiting for food and then the tiger and leopard feeding was pretty cool. We left the zoo and then walked up to the museum but it was closed by now so we caught a Tuk Tuk back to the hotel for a swim and then some dinner.
Check out Train Station.
Today we were going to go into town to check out the rail station and trains to our next destination Alappuzha. First of all we went via Karikkakom Temple as it was close to the hotel, this was OK in the middle of nowhere, hot with heaps of rubbish around. Again it seemed like we were there for closing time went up to the entrance and sure enough it was shut. We got back on the Tuk Tuk to the rail station and checked out trains to Alappuzha. This was a good experience as the locals were staring at Summer as though she had something wrong with her. It was fairly easy to manage the train station and the staff at the information centre were very helpful. 0950 tomorrow will be our train ride. We then walked around the tourist area had some lunch here and caught another Tuk Tuk to the Veli Tourist Village which is past our hotel. This was OK, we got stuck with a school group walking around the place.
Got a Tuk Tuk and returned to the hotel for a swim and dinner.