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Last day in Fort Cochin [Mar. 3rd, 2016|08:42 pm]
Today has been a relaxed but productive day. I went to breakfast at 8.30am and enjoyed chatting with two elderly Icelandic ladies, hippies at heart I think. I did some laundry, banking and then booked a flight back up to Delhi. It cost £80 which is good value considering it's a three and a half hour flight. That's longer than it will take me to fly from Delhi to Dubai!

I've been scratching my head the past week how best to get back up to Delhi but it was a conversation yesterday morning at breakfast in which someone suggested I fly from Trivandrum, that everything fell in to place. It's a city near the southern tip of India which means I can meander my way down for the remaining nine days of the trip. I've loved my first five days in Kerala so I'm really happy I'll get to spend as long here as possible. Quaintly, the road name signs here all have 'God's Own Country' written beneath them.

David, the owner of my homestay, has been able to give me plenty of recommendations. Munnar, high in the Western Ghats, is my next stop, a mountain range that separates the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. But on the way I'm making a hefty diversion to see Athirapally waterfalls. In Munnar I plan to do some walking and perhaps a cookery course, before perhaps heading to Periyar, a national wildlife park. Then I will head back to the coast. I've got plenty of ideas and my trip will culminate in the beach town of Varkala. The Icelandic ladies said it was a lovely place and it's located just a short distance from Trivandrum, where I will fly up to Delhi from.

The rest of my day was spent relaxing, wandering, shopping and lying spread-eagled underneath the ceiling fan in my room! The heat here has been intense - over 100 degrees farenheit every day.

At lunch I went to one of the Chinese fishing nets where there was a collection of different types of fish staring at me from a table spread with ice. I didn't recognise some of the fish but bought a red snapper for 250 rupees. I forgot to barter but it was still only £2.50. I then took it over to small stall and the owner grilled it for me with chilli and ginger. A little bit of lemon juice and parsley on top and it was without doubt one of the best meals of this trip. Simple, fresh and delicious.

Aside from watching some kids play cricket for a while, reading my book and having an afternoon nap, that's about all I've done today. Sometimes you need these kind of chill-out days. This evening I phoned my Mum and Dad back in England. They have one of those anti-coldcall systems where you have to say your name and they get chance to accept or reject the call, so I couldn't resist saying Mahatma Ghandi. It was nice to chat for a while and really cheap too - just 20 pence a minute (I was so surprised I double and triple checked he didn't mean £2 per minute!).

Tomorrow I get up at 6am and there will be a fair bit of driving - two four hour journeys I think. David from my homestay has arranged a driver for me and since I trust him so much, I took him up on his recommendation of a homestay in Munnar too. I'm really excited to head in to the tea plantations in the mountains. The scenery looks spectacular and the temperatures will be a bit more bearable too.