I’m going to miss Kovalam, a lot

After 4 lovely relaxing days here in Kovalam and as we ready ourselves to catch the train to Kochi for 5 nights I’ve been reflecting on Kovalam, which is meant to have really gone downhill in the last two decades since we last visited. Yes, it’s changed from the single storey palm-roofed places to multi-storey hotels, yes the small little restaurants have grown and grown, leaving behind their charm. Yes the hawkers have increased. But so have your local tourists and at the same time the drug-fuelled hippies have moved on – not a bad thing.

So, I reflect…

I’m going to miss your many different bays and your roaring seas.

I’m going to miss chilling with Amy and Jane in some of the nicest places to have a drink, like here at Bait.

I’m going to miss the beautiful hotel, the KTDC Sumadra.

I’m going to miss watching all the eagles, kites and fish eagles soaring in the early afternoon winds.

I’m going to miss the sunsets.

I’m definitely going to miss the way the fishermens’ tilly lamps twinkle like stars as the waves between us rise and fall. I love this is still the same as it was 21 years ago.

I’m going to miss all the fresh seafood at next to no money – Rs600 or £7 for 15 large prawns.

I’m going to miss being served a freezing cold Kingfisher Strong in a massive bone china tankard, just in case the police walk past…especially when I’ve eaten nothing that day (hic!).

I will be back.

Photos: Sleeper class isn’t so bad

In all the train trips we’ve ever done, none have been in Sleeper Class, which is the first class down from carriages with air-con. Sleeper class is a slightly misleading term as it’s perfectly fine for using solely for day time travel which is what we did.

It wasn’t actually possible to book from Kanyakumari to Trivandrum as the distance is short at around 100km, so I had to book up to Kochi, which at 310km is three times the distance. Total cost for the trip up to Kochi was £9 for all three. NINE!

Let’s let the photos do the talking…

Obligatory selfie, each carrying 9-13 kilos on our backs and 3-5 on our fronts:
ready for our sleeper class experience

We were in carriage S10, i.e. the 10th Sleeper Class carriage, it was the 12th out of 23 carriages, so it was a long walk in the searing heat along the platform:
a long walk

There’s no air-con in Sleeper Class but the lack of windows means there is air con.
through the open window

enjoying the real air con via the open windows

As well as the open windows there’s lots of fans:
insider sleeper class

Amy and Kev doing the standard let’s-look-through-the-open-door-as-we’re-hurtling-along thing:
hanging on tight

Kev, going one stage further
hanging out in/of sleeper class

Fun photo of the day: I like this term
differently abled, I like that

Kovalam accommodation – KTDC Hotel Samudra

Rs5000 £60
In Kovalam our accommodation is the KTDC Hotel Samudra, a hotel Jane and I stayed in before in 1996 and as our arrival coincides with our 23rd wedding anniversary it seemed fitting to stay here again.
With its views of the sea over the swimming pool and through hammock-supporting coconut trees it’s an easy choice to stay here, once we’d decided to blow our budget a little to celebrate our anniversary..

And to top it off no only have they given us a returning cutomers discount – it was 21 years ago! – but we’ve got the same room too.

Here’s my first pics of the place:

If we’d stuck to budget we would have chosen the Hotel Thushara which is a third of the price at Rs1700 per night.
The only downside for us is that it’s a 1km dark walk back from the restaurants and bars of Kovalam. At the time of booking it was ranked 4th on TripAdvisor and 1st within its class of a mid-level hotel.