Arrived ‘Incredible !ndia’

We were expecting the worst with storm Doris’ arrival in London on Thursday morning.  Just walking up Blackhorse Road to the underground station was an effort as we struggled to make progress walking into the wind.  Doris was giving the windows of Heathrow’s Terminal 4 a good battering and Mr L was studying in a concerned way as to how much the wings of the planes taking off were wobbling! Mr L is not a fan of take off……

All concerns aside, our Qatar flight was excellent. Take off was pretty good and we were soon steadily cruising at 37,000 feet with no major turbulence. Good food and a couple of films later (Birth of a Nation – very good, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople – majestical as Uncle Hec would say!) we arrived in Doha where we had a 2 hour stopover to get our connecting flight to Cochin.

Doha International is huge, spacious and very modern.  All onward flights connect from areas A-E, all connected, no transferring on buses or walking a million miles.  There was time for a coffee break so we found a lovely looking cafe with comfy seats. Mr L ordered a coffee and some exceedingly sweet but very nice macaroons and I had a Moroccan green tea with fresh mint.  One word, delicious!!

Flight 2 was equally good but was time to try and get some sleep. It was 3am Qatar time with watches going forward another 2.5 hours for India time. We dozed a bit so were not feeling too sleep deprived when we arrived at Cochin International airport at 10am.  Colin airport is a fully solar powered airport.

Immigration was an experience! Directed down the eVisa tunnel we arrived in a room with several seats, no apparent queuing system, and a solitary man sitting at a desk behind a glass screen. His pace was measured, slow at best and I suspect did not intend to ever work any faster.  He had a look of calm serenity, never phased when the finger print gadget immediately failed to capture good images of prints despite repeated attempts by all incoming immigrants. Lots of stamping and pieces of paper moved about and we were on our way.  It did mean that the queue to put our hand luggage through the scanner had dispersed and our hold luggage was on the belt ready for collection.

Mr L as tour guide quickly found the orange bus which would take us to Fort Cochin, our destination until Monday.  There was one other white passenger, a loan female backpacker, and we were obviously the source of interest to a little Indian girl who clearly didn’t normally see white folk on the bus. The journey was fine and interesting, taking 90 minutes to our destination.  A short walk and we then found Fort Bridge Homestay.  Check-in completed, again painfully slow, but this is India and nothing happens quickly. Our room is very basic, but is clean and with a decent bathroom although we have yet to experience any hot water………

We had a walk around town with several failed efforts to find a coffee.  One lovely little art cafe tried very hard, but just couldn’t get their coffee machine to work despite best efforts by 3 men! A couple of hours rest, a lukewarm shower, and we were off out for the evening.  Mr L and TripAdvisor recommended the Rose Garden restaurant just round the corner.  

Noisy cats, pet eagles, and a rose garden longing for some TLC.  The food was enjoyable without being memorable.  It was amusing to see others order beer which was not on the menu.  A can and a mug were provided with the beer can kept out  of sight at all times, mainly hidden on the floor behind the table legs!

The Oy! cafe is just down from us and will definitely be our night cap stop off.  Mr L had his first decent coffee of the day and I tried the ginger and lemon tea.  OMG…..neat lemon flavoured to begin with and then more gingery towards the end when I could taste the slices fresh ginger at the bottom of the mug.  I think I might try something diffent next time.


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