Well since my last post I've recovered quite nicely from the stomach upset and while I still miss my friends and family I'm going to keep going on my adventures. I took a night train from Kochi to Bengalore and then a 4 hour drive with a personal driver to Mysore to be reunited with my tour group. Apparently I hadn't missed much, the tea plantation was pretty but that's all, lots of driving, the animal reserve was interesting but they didn't see much wildlife unless you counted the mice running around the cabins. So now I'm feeling better that I didn't miss the best things ever. The night train was an experiance, I wasn't in the cushy 3rd class that we've travelled the other times on the trains I was in the next step down, 2nd class which is still reserved seating but not AC'd the windows don't really close and I could smell the bathroom from 30 meters away so I didnt' even try to use it. No pillows or blankets either and 3 bunks to each side, I spent my night using my purse and penguin as a pillow hugging my backpack in my bottom cave of a bunk. It wasn't all bad I was sharing my compartment with 2 older couples and 2 women travelling with a small boy. They were very friendly and helpful to this slightly overwhelmed traveller although I'm sure they went home and had a good laugh about me not knowing how to work the windows or fold the seats into beds.
Mysore was well worth the travel to get to although the monuments in teh south are mostly from the british era so not that old compared to the north but the scenery is beautiful along the way. The south also appears to be more prosperous than the north and the people are very friendly and I don't feel like they're just being friendly to get money out of me. We went to a silk factory in Mysore and got a badge from the security guards that allowed us to wander the whole factory, the workers were so proud to show us the machines they ran and the jobs they did while trying out their english on us. The one guy let us know his friend liked me but was too shy to talk to me :P it was pretty funny. The silk was beautiful so of course I bought some, I also bought some cotton sarees meaning I now need another suitcase and soon. Fabric is super cheap here and super beautiful so I'll be working on projects for my home and me for ages to come. The silk saree I bought and then bought matching plain rose silk and I think I'll find a dressmaker at home to make me a beautiful dress out of it.
We then took a much cushier night train from Mysore to Chennai on the opposite coast of India then this morning we drove from Chennai to this small beach town. Tomorrow we'll be touring the town by bicycle in the morning. Today's highlight was that since we're here two days we could send our clothes to be washed...both Merriette and I were getting desperate for that service...so that's our big excitement. After using the internet we'll probably wander the local shops around the hotel. Tonight we'll be taking in the festivities since there's a big local festival happening here where all the Hindu's come to this town once a year to worship and bathe in the ocean. Apparently it's a big party and we're very lucky to be here at this time of year.
Today's lowlight was the visit to the herpetology centre aka snakes, crocodiles, alligators and turtles....not my favorite stop ever. The snake part was horrible with the snake guy making poisoness snakes angry and then dancing out of the way at the last minute all while telling us how many hours we'd have to live if we'd been bit. I also really didn't need to know how many types of snakes live here in india and how many were poisoness....so now in addition to our monkey plan, cockroach plan and mouse plan Merriette and I are working on a snake plan. Most of these emergency plans are more amusing then effective we think but at least we're prepared for anything. LOL
Well I should go actually enjoy some sightseeing and get some sand for my Mom from the local beach (see Mom I remembered)