Due to there being a big Hindu festival, the school got 10 days holiday! For this holiday we were joined by 5 other girls from projects near us, Molly, Eilidh and Abbie from Tangatur and Katie and Luana from Pernamitta. It was so nice to travel in this group and I can’t wait for our summer holiday to do it again!
We started off the holiday with a train delay – which I now know to expect from our last holiday. But thankfully not as delayed as one we saw in Chennai which was 16 hours delayed. All of our trains this holiday we at least a little delayed but the longest we had was 7 hours.
When we arrived in Alleppey I knew it was exactly what I needed, it was so calm and peaceful which was a nice change of pace to my usual life on Ongole. One morning we woke up at 5am and went kayaking down the backwaters which was absolutely beautiful, words cannot describe how stunning it was so please have a look at the photos! In a kayak we were able to see the people’s lives who live around the backwaters as we could fit through the narrow lanes. It was definitely the best £15 I have ever spent and a memory I will cherish for a very long time. We went to a beach and had a quick dip which was amazing, although we did all feel self-conscious even getting our shoulders out after being fully covered for the last 4 months. We also took a different boat tour around the backwaters, so although we had already been in some of the same places it was a very different feel to the kayaking – especially as this time I wasn’t scared of being run over by a house boat!
Next, we travelled up into the hills to a place called Wayanad. To get there we took a rather cramped train and then a 2-hour bus journey which had incredible views of the tea plantations. We spent 2 days here which included us going to the Phantom Rock which gave amazing scenery and a lot of green (which I do sometimes miss from home as we don’t see it in Ongole). We then went on a safari in a nature reserve and WE SAW THREE TIGERS and TWO ELEPHANTS! We spent our last day in Wayanad wondering around some nearby tea plantations which meant more stunning views. Katie and I even worked up the courage to ask some of the tea pickers if we could take a photo and got to see what they were doing close up!
We spent the last two days on Goa just on the beach dipping in and out of the sea and shopping at the market which is exactly what we all needed. Catherine and I finally got our embroidered jackets which we have been dreaming of since Pondicherry. And on the last night 6 out of 7 of us got a piercing (sorry mum)
We ended our holiday with 36 hours of train travel back to Ongole. Which actually wasn’t as horrendous as it sounds, just a lot of naps.
This holiday has been absolutely amazing and has made me realise how lucky it is that I am actually in India! And how excited I am to go back to teaching (I missed my kids).