Ooty-rageous accommodation

Ooty was my destination upon leaving the leafy paradise of Wayanad.  My “no frills” bus journey deposited me in the centre of a bustling hill station with brightly coloured buildings. Higher still than Wayanad, the air away from direct sunlight had a strong goose-pimpling effect which presaged nights on the cold side of chilly. Rant…

Wayanad suits me to a Tea!

To complete my time in Kerala, I had booked a couple of days at The Jackfruit Tree, an off-the-beaten-path serviced villa nestled in the tea plantations high in the hills in an area called Wayanad. In order to reach the villa I took a train to Calicut, a large coastal town in northern Kerala (where The…

Alleppey – Waterworld without Dennis Hopper

I arrived at Lovedale Lakeside Homestay thinking I had booked myself into accommodation in Alleppey, a greatly frequented tourist location in Kerala renowned for its ubiquitous houseboats and charming waterways. I hadn’t. I was still some miles to the north of the town but this administrative error turned out to be a boon, for the place…

Kanoes, Kanals and Kathakali: 36 hours in Kochi

I left Goa on the 19h30 train to Kochi (formerly Cochin) in Kerala. Which left the station at 22h00. I can’t complain: some fellow Brits had been waiting since 17h00 for the “Express” train to the same place and had just heard that their train would arrive at 1.30am when I left. Train times are…

Should I stay or should I Goa?

I landed in Goa unsure of whether I would find it as gratifying as my time in Rajasthan. You see, Goa is a beach place and I am not a beach person – I don’t like sunbathing and I can’t sit still for too long – so I had reservations, however, so many friends has…

Udaipur and the unexpected wedding

Leaving the Ranakpur Jain Temple in our rear-view mirror, Uncle Krishana and I wended our way towards Udaipur, the final stop of my Rajasthani road trip. Famed for the City Palace, the second largest palace in the entire country, which looks out over the picturesque Lake Pichola, Udaipur is a Rajasthan “must”. My visit did not…

Jodhpurs and Jains

A cloudless, vividly blue sky welcomed me to the city of Jodhpur, in central Rajasthan. Best known as the birthplace of polo and the eponymous riding trousers now worn the world over, Jodhpur is neither as large as Jaipur, nor as dazzling as Udaipur (my next stop) which means it gets a little less tourism….

Jaipur, Uncle Krishana and the Jantar Mantar

Before arriving in India, one of my besties, Sunaina, had put me in touch with a travel agent to organise a trip through Rajasthan in the north-west of the country. The agent and I had settled on an itinerary that started in Jaipur, the state capital, and took in Jodhpur and Udaipur also. Guides were…

InDelhible memories and Agraculture

I landed in Delhi’s international airport, took a deep breath, steeled myself for what I knew awaited me beyond the walls of the airport, and left the haven of international nomansland via immigration.  If you haven’t visited India, it is very difficult for me to find analogies to give a idea of the onslaught on…

A day in Hiroshima

This will be a short post and, for obvious reasons, will not be written in my usual, flippant style. Nor could it be.  Although I knew I would find the experience harrowing, I wanted to visit Hiroshima during my time in Japan. I planned to do so on my journey back to Tokyo from Kyushu….

Grand sensei Maezawa and sukiyaki

I returned to Tokyo from Kyushu via Hiroshima on the day my JR Pass expired. Despite successfully absconding to Kanazawa in a train seat-pocket, on the balance of things it had served me well. Frequent readers of this blog will know that I am a sucker for gimmicks so, when I espied an Airbnb listing…

Hakuba Matata and the capsule hotel

Some months previously, a friend from Hong Kong, to whom I shall refer henceforth as “Steve” (mainly because that’s his name), had contacted me to find out my movements in Japan with the goal of our organising a joint skiing trip. The stars (and, more concretely, our diaries) aligned and we set to planning. Steve…