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Mexican standoff with the taxi

Day 14 Kerala Backwaters > Fort Kochi > Mumbai

Did I appreciate the 5am / 05:00 wakeup call by the local cockerill? You can answer this.

Then as the sun rose listening to the birds, motors of the passing house boats, dogs occasionally barking, across the canal the house builders with their concrete mixer and next door the sound of breakfast being prepared broke the silence.

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Breakfast of apam, banana fritters and vegetable stew before at 9am / 09:00 heading down the water to Appelley.

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The hour sitting on the top deck seeing the boat traffic passing quickly went by but my memory will be the sound of the ladies at the riverside washing their clothes with them swinging the clothes high above their heads and down it came "wack" onto the stone blocks.

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There was in fact another person completely under water who surfaced just after we went by

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Travelled back to Fort Kochi with another Café Coffee Day chai for 20 rupees/ NZ$0.40 / US$0.30 and toilet stop part way through the hour long journey.

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Some high ranking Catholic official

Some high ranking Catholic official

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It was 12.30pm / 12:30 where this part of my India odyssey ended upon arrival at Fort Castle Hotel. But it wasn’t over just yet for the day!

The heat and humidity hit me again as I left the comfort of the air con bus.

Andrea and Marina had during the trip talked up Ginger House that we enjoyed on the first day. As we had time, wanted to show Rosie the place for lunch. After a few hassles with getting a tuk tuk at the right price, eventually made it there.

As Prem was to join us, Majnu proprietor whom we didn't know at first, asked us to wait in the air conditioned restaurant for an outside table for us five to become free. He then introduced himself and briefly told us his story as a guide and then a brief history of the Ginger House hotel and restaurant. It was karma in that he didn't seek what he now has but how it came into his possession.

Ginger mutton, ginger ice cream and couple of ginger lime soda coming to 2,000 rupee / NZ$42.10 / US$31.00 will be how I remember this first part of my odyssey through India.

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Tuk tuk back to the hotel but both drivers wanted us to stop at a shop for a few minutes, not buy anything as in the first case he will get a container of petrol (100 rupees/ NZ$2.10 / US$1.60) for his efforts.

We were supposed to leave the hotel at 4pm / 16:00 in order for me to board the 7pm / 19:00 Spice jet flight to Mumbai.

The hotel staff wanted 2,500 rupees/ NZ$52.70 / US$38.80 for a pre-booked taxi. It was a Mexican standoff with Prem trying to get another taxi.

Yes, I was anxious as in my mind I had to be at the airport 2 hours before flight to check in plus we had at least an hour travel in busy commute traffic.

Eventually paid 1,300 rupees / NZ$27.40 / US$20.20 shared 4 ways and we left at 4.15pm / 16:15. Yes, with the road construction the going was at times very slow. The taxi driver tried to reassure us all that for check in domestic flights all you need is 60 minutes and international flights 3 hours. He was right.

Dropped Rosie off at her airport hotel, Andrea and Marina at terminal 3 as they were also heading to Mumbai and I got off at terminal 2 at 5.45pm / 17:45.

Made it through by 6.15pm / 18:15 with boarding pass in hand so could finally relax.

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The Spice jet 737 7.00pm / 19:00 flight didn't leave till 7.25pm / 19:25 for the nearly 2 hour flight.

I think I heard "As you are a corporate customer you are entitled to a complementary meal". I had previously heard "If you have prepaid for a meal or wish to purchase refreshments...." so was somewhat pleasantly surprised at the meal service.

Despite the delay by Mumbai air traffic control where we were told to circle out at sea landed at 9.35pm / 21:35.

It's only 31 C outside when we landed.

At the pre-paid taxi rank it was 653 rupees / NZ$13.90 / US$10.00 which included for 70 rupees / NZ$1.50 / US$1.10 the air con option, but in hindsight wasn’t necessary.

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Welcome to Mumbai ... took less than an hour (10.15 / 20:15 – 11.00 / 23:00) to reach SunCity Apollo Hotel.

“I have a reservation” … and my paper work at the front desk was all ready for me. With the late minute ownership change of Garden Hotel and Treebo Hotels wanting me to move to their inner city hotel, but I wanted to be staying in Colaba. Many thanks Eve for your unrelenting efforts back in New Zealand over many days, coping with the time zone differences to sort this one out.

Glad of SunCity Apollo Hotel’s central Colaba location. Plus my room was far enough away from the next door night club that the noise didn’t really bother me.

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Posted by bruceontour 01:47 Archived in India Tagged boats kerela

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