Mid September 2006
Having arrived in back Trivandrum,( South West India), after a three month home visit. We enjoyed what I thought was the best of the English weather. We are now starting our second 6 months stay in this great country and looking forward to avoiding the English winter and new adventures in this land of endless surprises. The flight out here is a bit of an ordeal, but the 5000 mile trek is well worth suffering. We have settled into the usual trend.
We went to Kovalam Beach on our first weekend and made some new friends. I text an ex pat friend, Linda to say we were in India and she invited us to her husbands Ian’s birthday party at The Rockholm hotel in Kovalam. The setting was great. The Rockface hotel is literally sitting on the rock face looking west out to the Arabian Sea, and overlooking crescent shaped beach which leads the towards the Vizhinjam Mosque. This looks a really impressive place we intend to visit the area soon.
The late Monsoon
The bright sunshine soon gave way to the unwelcome and late remnants of the northern monsoon. This has been lingering around Kerala longer than has been known in the past. Global Warming is blamed by many locals. The weather, pictured below, changed from sunshine to wet and windy with rough seas in a matter of minutes
Our planned outdoor dinner birthday party overlooking the sea was soon abandoned and we retired inside. The food was up to the usual excellent Keralan standard.
Sea Rock Hotel Terrace
The South West Monsoon was still going strong for the rest of the week though it should have faded weeks ago. The erosion of sand from the beach at Kovalam is cause for concern. It normally recedes during the monsoon then returns in the high season. It appears to be returning less sand each year and a lot of the sand is black. There was hardly any beach left at the front of the hotels , there used to be about 50 yards of it out here. You can see in the photos below that there is only a little room for the beach beds on any part of the beach, compared with March this year.
Kovalam beach Sep 2006
The photo below (from Blog five) taken earlier this year at the same part of the beach above illustrates this clearly. The tidal movement is minimal in this part of India
Kovalam beach March 2006 (from previous Blog 5)
October 6th 2006
The weather is now improving and only rains occasionally. It has been sunny all this last weekend but just started raining this afternoon, the monsoon is on its way out and weather is more bearable, walking into town is less of an ordeal. My new Tilley hat is more at home out here and doesn’t look as daft as it does in Bolton. We are due a second monsoon later this month. Then we get the best of seasons for November till March
The normally beautiful clear sky of an October’s sunset doesn’t escape the effects of a late monsoon weather front
I have just been into town this morning with Anita organizing our xmas trip up the Western Ghats to Goa, from 22 - 26 Dec Then we will travel the Golden Triangle ( Delhi, Agra & Jaipur) by car from the 26nd Dec to 2nd Jan.
Even at this date it is leaving it a bit late for bookings due to the popularity of Goa as an xmas destination We have booked a first class an overnight sleeper train to Goa, This is a 12 hour journey, a bit like the trains in Thailand but bigger wheels and longer beds with air con, not that we need the extra bed length. We will be staying at north Goa near Fort Aguada for three nights. Aguada Fort is north Panaji in northern Goa, the fort was built by the Portuguese on a well spring area in the 1600s to look after their spice trade and keep the Dutch out of this lucrative trade. Being well built and with a siege supply of water, much of the structure has survived; what’s left is now the State Prison, an ancient water supply covered cistern and light house. The light house is the oldest in Asia built in the middle of the fort in 1864.
The cost of the hotels round here are doubled over the xmas period as this is the most popular season.
As the beach in this area is the most popular so it should be lively at Xmas. If you look on Google earth it is near the marooned ship. I hope to get some decent photos of this (what an anorak ??)
We then fly from Goa to New Delhi. In Delhi We pick up a Toyota Qualis A/C car and driver, similar to the one we all had at Munnar in March this year. Many of the journeys are 5 or so hours and comfortable air conditioned car is a must. The driver will take us to the our hotel in Delhi. The driver will stay with us for six days and drive us everywhere This will give us an opportunity for full days around all the sites. The driver will take us to Agra for 2 nights to see the Taj Mahal then on to Jaipur for we are planning to spend New Years Eve in Jaipur.. (Tut, tut this retirement is devilishly hard work) then fly back to our flat Trivandrum.. For more slog.
Hope fully then I will have something a bit more interesting to write about and give you all an idea of the cost. I and hope this then may be useful info for anyone tempted to come out here.
Terry and Anita