Free Spirits Around the World in 99 Days travel blog

The Indian Ocean

Not in Delhi anymore

After the usual horn-blaring near-miss traffic jam of a ride to the Delhi airport, we managed to find our way to Air India for our flight to Trivandum in the south. At the terminal, only passengers are allowed in. We had to produce proof of tickets and our passports. We got into the domestic flight line to check in, only to be redirected to the international line to check in for our domestic flight.

Once boarding, we had to produce our boarding passes for two different armed security guards before we got to the end of the boarding ramp. Cuts down on the terrorist types, no doubt.

Air India once again fed us. An uneventful flight ended in a harsh landing. It may have been a training touch down for the Co-pilot.

On deplaning, we had to again show our boarding passes, just in case one of us had parachuted out in a terrorist operation.

With bags claimed, we left the terminal. The first clue we were in the south was the Miami-style temperature. It was a shock after so many cold days in the north.

On the way to the hotel, our driver shocked us by not using the horn once. The awe was complete when he used his lane, turn signal, and speed limit.

Hotel staff was so attentive that Jim felt like hiding. Good thing he had squirreled away small tip-appropriate change.

Our room was the best in India so far. Spacious, clean, hot water on demand, and in-room instant coffee. Too bad it was for one night.

We met our new group and leader this morning. Two people from our northern group are with us. The rest are definitely younger and mostly female. Jim took pain to introduce himself as Mo's husband as a sign of respect.

We had a classic southern Indian breakfast of vegetarian fare. Mo was so enthusiastic that the floor manager gave her a tour of the kitchen.

We had a short bus ride to the Varkala coast. Palm trees, cocoa nut trees, lakes, forests, and the ocean. Sun and heat. It's like being snowbirds, Indian style.

We have mostly free time here. Mo plans to swim. Jim plans to nap.

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