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Craig’s Travel Diary

Friday, 19 Jan 2007

Location: Cochin, India

MapHello,

Again itís been pretty hectic traveling from my last entry but here I am back where I started 2 weeks ago.

The Sri Meenakshi temple in Madurai was amazing, a huge structure with lots of Buddhists who are incredibly dedicated to their faith. Our leader is a Buddhist so he gave us a real insight to the religion which is fascinating.

The following day we went to Pondicherry on the east coast. This has a huge French influence so that evening we went to an "expensive" French restaurant which came to about a fiver with a 3 course meal and drinks, it was nice to have a break from curry! We visited this strange experimental village which has been set up called Auroville which was a bit strange, this place was set up for people who don't want to live in todays society and everything is shared - just a random hippy place to be honest.

We then traveled to Mysore by overnight train which was an experience, 8 people set out in a square on bunk beds, can't say it was the best nights sleep I've ever had! Once we arrived we saw the magnificent Mysore palace which also lit up at night and looked incredible. It is just a shame the city is such a garbage pit, it really smelt bad and someone had decided to put a tip in front of our hotel - nice!

We made our way back to the east coast to a place called Ooty and stayed at this stunning jungle retreat which was in the middle of a mountain range and had a beautiful pool which was taken full advantage of as well as an excuse to even out my current t-shirt tan. We stayed in the jungle retreat dormitory this evening with all 12 of us in the same room which was actually pretty good. We went on a mountain trek the next morning where we claimed to 1800 feet over 12 km with stunning scenery, good practice for my Nepal trekking!

Yesterday we made the 8-hour bus journey back to Cochin. I have decided to go to Goa next with a Swiss guy I've met. Getting the 15-hour train tomorrow afternoon. It was sad to say goodbye to the rest of the group today as everyone was really nice but hopefully Iíll see a couple of them later in my travels.

I seem to have settled into Indian customs now, even the sideways head wobble for every question and crazy traffic and random animals are the norm!

Hope your all having a good start to the year back home and I promise to upload some pictures soon!