The road from Munnar to Thekkady is simply magical. There are acres and acres of meticulously manicured tea plantations that hug these hills. Immediately it blows your mind to think of the amount of work that’s needed to maintain these trees. Traveling from one town to the next on a single road, there isn’t one view that beats another. Every now and then we see a parade of women in the field trimming the leaves and generally working their asses off.… Read the rest
Getting onto India’s terra firma from a crappy boat ride from India’s islands in the Arabian Sea was a godsend for me. Not only did it mean that my obligation to hubby was fulfilled, but it also meant that my portion of the adventure could begin. I had very high expectations for this ‘Cook-cation’. I was anxious. After all, I felt that I did get screwed over the island trip so I could be wrong about the rest of the trip, too.… Read the rest
For most vacations, it’s normal to admit that you didn’t want it to be over. However, every guest of Kadmat Island, collectively dreaded the trip back to the mainland for an entirely different reason — the boat ride.
At 5am, guests are awaken and rounded up for the final breakfast of tea, coffee and cookies. Shortly afterwards, we as were corralled onto a nearby pier and hoisted onto an open high-speed boat for transport 4 hours away –back to Agatti Island.… Read the rest
After four days in paradise, I am finally acclimating to island life, I think. It’s a tough road, having to shed the protective crust of tension that comes with planning, creating and executing a trip of this level. Then, add the worry and stress of not knowing whether anything will come together. All this, while feeding a North American body the strangest foods prepped under questionable sanitary standards. Add months of self-doubt and voila! You have a recipe for creating a nut job in India — me.… Read the rest
When I booked our stay on Kadmath Island, I consciously sought out the most upscale of the several inhabited islands. The availability of things to do was also terribly important. This leg of our trip was for hubby and not me. I was here to make sure he had fun. So you can imagine my anger when our accommodations gave him heat exhaustion! In my sleep-deprived, jet-lagged state, I saw blood. It was time for me to do something.
My options were to leave and forfeit the money for this all-inclusive stay or to broach management to make this right.… Read the rest
When I booked our trip, I thought that my research was thorough. I picked up independent reviews on-line, recommendations from expensive travel books, and spoke to native expats that told me of the fabulously pristine, expensive islands of India. Ah yes, I worked hard and this was payback — finally. I certainly deserved the best, as did my hubby. We knew that this vacation was perfect for us. Not only did all the reviews say so, we were ‘willing’ it to be so ergo, we knew that it would be great.… Read the rest
As part of my prep work in discovering India, I read every review to find the ultimate scuba diving venue in India. I was in search of perfection and not about to settle for something ordinary. I was paying for this fun and demanded nothing short of Eden.
Armed with the Visa entry to India, I focussed on getting our Special Entry Visas to the Lakshadweep Islands. These are the islands that only allow a total of 36 foreigners on this eco-protected ‘paradise’ that are the extension of the Maldives.… Read the rest
Have you ever had a fucking brilliant idea? An idea that honest and pure in its simplicity and yet, it brings an element of magic and fun. Well I have had such a moment of clarity in which I decided to explore India.
Oh sure, it was a great idea at first—a downright epiphany, really. That is, until it came to dealing with the Indian Consulate. Five months before traveling, and long after airline tickets were purchased, I did my research for “seamlessly” obtaining the necessary paperwork for our Visas.… Read the rest