Last week the New Zealand Herald published the third and final chapter of my southern India adventure from October 2014. Based on Intrepid Travel’s 16 day “South India Unplugged” tour, this was one of the most intense, wild, mayhemic and beautiful travel experiences of my 10-year travel writing career.
The events of the article all take place in the state of Kerala and begin with me playing cricket with kids in Fort Kochi and arguing with an 11-year about what constitutes an off-spinner. The boy didn’t know what he was talking about! Fort Kochi itself is home to the oldest European churches in India and is dotted with grand colonial buildings that have been converted into hotels. It is also famous for the Chinese fishing nets that have long provided the postcard images of Kerala alongside the rice-boats that glide the state’s backwaters.
From Fort Kochi the story moves to the jungled highlands of Kerala and Periyar National Park. Here we went searching for tigers and elephants in one of southern India’s best regarded national parks. We also discovered beautiful waterfalls, saw a wonderful spice garden run by possibly the hairiest-eared man on the planet and learned first-hand about local sports like kalari and kabaddi.
Click here to read the full NZ Herald article and click here to link to Intrepid’s website for more details about this tour. Many thanks also to Student Flights and Flight Centre who made this incredible trip possible – click here for the Student Flights website.
Here are my top 50 Fort Kochi / Periyar National Park photos which you may notice also include a couple of my great buddy Richard. At one point we had to rush Richard to hospital due most likely to dehydration and dirty water related issues. Luckily he fully recovered and our tour guide Thilip was outstanding. It’s fair to the say the smiling hospital photos don’t reflect how Richard was feeling, nor the worry of his not particularly helpful, stressed-out friend. All part of the adventure! And what an adventure – absolutely unforgettable and I’d love to go back one day.
Enjoy the photos and the article!
- Intrepid Travel – “South India Unplugged” 16-Day Tour
- NZ Herald Tim Roxborogh Fort Kochi / Periyar National Park travel article
- NZ Herald Tim Roxborogh Hampi travel article (Part 2 in my Intrepid Travel India series)
- NZ Herald Tim Roxborogh Kerala backwaters travel article (Part 1 in my Intrepid Travel India series)