Final Day

We were up and out promptly this morning with our first stop for breakfast at a cafe called The Teapot which is just down the road (Raintree Lodge does not do meals). The Teapot has good reviews on TripAdvisor but we were not overly impressed.  Mr L enjoyed his bowl of muesli with yoghurt and banana, but I didn’t particularly enjoy my fruit bowl and the so called filter coffee was vile.

We then had a wander around familiar streets looking but not buying, much to the frustration of the store owners.  Once inside a shop it can be difficult to extricate oneself without imparting oneself from one’s rupees!

Mid morning coffee was at the delightful Kashi Art cafe – excellent coffee and chocolate cake for Mr L and a very good lime, mint, honey soda for me.  I did have to help Mr L out with the chocolate cake!

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Hot and sticky with a temperature of 32c we decided to take the ferry to Willingdon Island to cool off and explore somewhere new.  Ferry fare was 16IR (20p) return for both of us.  We did a circular walk on the island around the Port area.  It looks very colonial in some of its buildings, certainly all the ones on the front are lived in by senior officials such as Chief Engineer, Deputy Chairman etc.

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Willingdon Island is the largest man-made island in India. It forms part of the city of Kochi and was created during construction of modern Kochi Port in 1936 with the soil dredged out while deepening the Vembanad Lake to accommodate the new Port. It was named after The 1st Earl of Willingdon, the Viceroy of India at the time, who commissioned the project.  Robert Bristow, the chief protagonist and engineer for the project, owned the first building on the island. The island is home to the Port of Kochi, the Cochin Port Trust (that controls the Port of Kochi), the Customs Office, the Kochi Naval Base (the Southern Naval Command) of the Indian Navy, the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, a constituent unit of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and more than two dozen export-import offices, warehouses, a few hotels and business centres.

Once back on Fort Cochin we walked back to our favourite Pepper House for lunch before heading back to Raintree Lodge to start packing to come home, and freshen up with a hot shower before going out for our last evening……..

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We took a tuk-tuk to the Dutch Palace and then walked from there into Mattancherry. It was only about 18.30 but several of the shops in Mattancherry were closing.  We went to a spice shop we knew and purchased a couple of items we wanted but it was hard work haggling over the price (only trying to get an equivalent price to what we had paid elsewhere for something similar).  Mr L gets very irritated with this sort of thing and intensely dislikes having to haggle so wandered off leaving me to it.  The shop owner and I agreed a mutually acceptable price and we were all happy.

We had thought to have dinner at the Ginger House in Mattancherry but when we looked at the menu the prices were extortionate with a single main course costing more than the total bill at Sutra. Mr L and I abandoned the idea of eating there and ended up back at Sutra for our last supper.

We went for a wander after dinner as it was still quite early and were drawn by very pleasant live Indian music to the Old Harbour Hotel where we went in and sat outside listening to the music and I had my second Kingfisher Blue lager of the holiday.  Mr L had an apple, banana and cinnamon shake which he also enjoyed.

The alarm is set for 6.20am and our taxi is booked for 7am.  Time to go home…….

Back to the Beginning: Fort Cochin

Once again all packed up and ready to leave, this time it’s goodbye to Green Spaces and Munnar.  We are sad to leave as this is a truly beautiful place.  Mr L, with the help of Green Spaces, finally managed to get us a telephone reservation on the Kyros Connects coach that would bring us back to Fort Cochin.  All previous efforts at trying to book online had failed miserably.

 

We had time this morning for a quick 2 mile stroll up and down a few hills to take a final look at the beautiful scenery and the cardamom plantations and spot poinsettia plants growing in a garden.

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This poinsettias looks as sad as the remnants of the Christmas one at home!

We got back to Green Spaces just as the rain started.  Thunder, lightening and heavy rain which fortunately stopped before we had to leave.  The tuk-tuk booked for 14.00 arrived promptly and delivered us to a random car park just outside Munnar town centre.  Our tuk-tuk driver checked at the entrance kiosk and assured us that this was where we needed to be. He left, the thunderstorm recommenced, and Mr L, me and our luggage sheltered as best we could under an awning and kept fairly dry.  The Kyros Connects coach duly arrived and it was soon time to board.  Unfortunately the coach parked at the opposite end of the car park.  I made a dash for it and got absolutely drenched, Mr L was more patient and waited until the storm had eased a bit before making his dash.  Wise move as he was considerably less wet than me!

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Kyros Connects provided an excellent service in a comfortable air-conditioned coach with a very good driver.  Sadly the bad weather continued for the whole 2 hours it took to get out of the mountains so we really didn’t see much of the view. Once we got to the towns and more built up areas the traffic was steady and slow at times.  We finally got to Fort Cochin at 19.30 where we were dropped on the edge of town……a bit random…..but the coach driver hailed us a tuk-tuk and we were soon at our accommodation for the next 2 nights – Raintree Lodge.  Mr L and I were very impressed with Kyros Connects which provides a link between Munnar and Cochin (132km) for 350IR (£4.32) per person.  It is a new privately managed coach service that only started in January 2017, but which appears to have not quite sorted recognisable pick up and drop off places as it clearly does not have access to the government subsidised public bus and coach service depots.

We have checked in to Raintree Lodge, our room is spacious with a nice looking bathroom and hot water – yay!! Dinner was a short walk away at our favourite Sutra before heading back to bed with the alarm set for 7.30 tomorrow morning for a full final day of holiday.

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We are now back to the warmer climes of the earlier part of the holiday with evening temperatures of 25c.  We don’t feel cold here!