Since the last blog, we have visited three different states in India. Tim (Ros' boyfriend) joined us and we all spent an amazing week in the beautiful Andaman Islands where we went scuba diving, bike riding and sunbathed on some deserted beaches - real paradise! After an unfortunate incident involving a miscommunication between the port officials and a group of travellers including us, we missed our boat from Havelock to the capital, Port Blair! They only told us our boat was there just as the anchor was being pulled up, so we ran to have our tickets checked, reached the boat side where it was now more than a metre from the port and were told to just jump! We hesitated momentarily to then be told actually it was too late, we'd missed it and it was all our fault, obviously.
After returning to mainland India we headed to Mamallapuram, a hippy traveller town famed for the stone carving industry and some beautiful temple ruins, including the famous Shore Temple. It was here that me and Ros were approached to star in a Bollywood film and get paid 700 rupees each for a days filming. We jumped at the chance (as it was on our list of top 10 things to do in India) but after further conversation with the head hunter we discovered that in fact it wasn't for a film but we would be flag girls to start a local car race and would only appear on a local TV channel. Had we not already made plans to travel further south that day, we would have probably still taken him up on his offer as we are getting a little low on funds and a free breakfast was to be thrown in as well. Alas, our film debut is yet to take off but we're holding out some hope for Mumbai (been told that if you hang around a certain street corner for long enough, you may be lucky enough to be head hunted...)
Then we hopped on a bus to Pondicherry, a quaint French Indian town on the coast where we were delighted to discover that our guesthouse was next to Hot Breads where we fulfilled our cravings for cheese baguettes four times in three days. We spent time wandering through the French quarter and found it strange to hear some of the locals speaking French! Ros and Tim were filmed on Valentines Day by a local TV company answering random questions about love!! Unfortunately we didn't get to see the full interview on Pondi TV.
After saying a sad goodbye to Tim (and filling his backpack full of the majority of our possessions that we don't want to carry anymore plus many purchases that we've accumulated along the way - thanks Tim!!) we took an overnight bus into Kerala and arrived at the crack of dawn in polluted and congested Trivandrum. We made the most of the day walking down the main road to see lots of interesting architectural buildings but the highlight has to be our visit to the local zoo which cost 7p to get in and provided hours of fun (no, it really did!) We were a little shocked to discover that the enclosures weren't really enclosed and have some great photos of us standing in front of just a metre high fence seperating us from two grizzly bears.
We were very pleased to escape Trivandrum and are now in the picturesque cliff side beach town of Varkala. We have been doing our very own yoga routine every morning and are currently on a detox (due to the limited selection of alcohol here), drinking freshly sqeezed juices daily at our new favourite place The Juice Shack! Tonight we are off to a local performance to see some traditional Keralan dancing. Tomorrow we have to be up early for a two hour Indian cooking class (Vicky is glad that Ros is going to be there next to her to assist and advise)!
We shall update again soon as long as Vicky doesn't give us food poisoning.
Lots of love xx