Aug 30, 2011

Family Fun in Kodaikanal

Usually due to limitations set by visas, we have spent no more than 1 month in a country during our 7 months of travel.  Having 3 months to explore only South India is certainly a welcome change that allows us to travel at a very leisurely pace.  In fact, we haven’t really covered much ground at all after being here for 1 month already, but that’s ok as we’ve been able to spend time in some unexpected places, doing unexpected things.

Aug 28, 2011

Things We Know After 4 Weeks In India & 7 Months Travelling

After 4 Weeks In India, We Know:

v  It’s been easier than we’d expected it to be travelling in South India with 2 pre schoolers.  In fact, there hasn’t been any particular issues at all.

Aug 24, 2011

StoneTemples of Trichy

Tamil Nadu is reputed to be the cultural heartland of India and its visitors tend to be ‘templephiles’—lovers of temples.  While we wouldn’t consider ourselves to be included in this group, we do appreciate a nice temple when we see one.  And in Tiruchirappalli, or ‘Trichy’, we got to appreciate two incredible temples in one day.

Rock Fort Temple, Trichy

Aug 22, 2011

Not A Foreigner In Sight: Karaikal

Our choices regarding our itinerary in terms of destinations and activities sometimes tend to be on the ‘haphazardly researched’ end of the organisational continuum.  It’ll come down to how interesting it sounds (the destination/activity), how much effort is involved to make it happen (i.e., getting there, timing), and cost (re: cost to get there, cost of the activity).  We ended up at our latest destination based on this:  it was on our way south and the literature from the Puducherry Union of States tourism office said that it was possibly the best natural beach in Tamil Nadu.  So off we set from the new bus stand in Pondy, destination:  Karaikal.

Aug 16, 2011

Pondy, The Place To Be This Independence Day!

From the quiet town of Mamallapuram we travelled 2hrs further south to the small seaside city of Puducherry (aka Pondicherry).  And luck was on our side as it turned out that we arrived just ahead of the Indian Independence Day long weekend.  This little city of 226,000+ people was already a buzz of activity preparing not only for the national holiday celebrations, but also for the annual Fete du Poudoucherry and for the (late) local guru, Sri Aurobindo’s birthday—all of which fell on the same day, August 15.  We managed to find a small ‘Inn’ right in the centre of town that was a nice clean, quiet and ‘cool’ (thanks to AC) refuge for us in the very humid conditions.  From there, we could easily take in all that ‘Pondy’ had to offer—and a lot to offer it did!
French Quarter, Puducherry

Aug 10, 2011

A Good Place To Have A Birthday--Mamallapurum

Our littlest lady has been really looking forward to her birthday for a while now.  Despite knowing that we are thousands of kilometres from our home in Australia she still had her heart set on being the centre of attention at her birthday party, complete with cake, presents and friends.  While we tried to gently remind her that this year would have to be different, her not-yet-4yr old logic still equated a birthday with a party (guess she’s the party animal in the family!).  As her birthday coincided with us being in India, we were really scratching our heads for ideas on how to make her day special.   To our surprise, our prayers were answered at ‘MGM Dizzee World’.

Aug 3, 2011

We Finally Made It To India--First 24hrs in Chennai

Logistically it would have made more sense and it would have been easier to have put India among our first destinations, but as Jim and I have to India before we had the girls, we remembered all too clearly how challenging traveling in India could be.  Yet there’s something about India and you either love or hate it.  In our case, we were keen return there and to introduce our kids to this crazy place.  We decided that by building our ‘traveling resilience’ through slowly tackling the other countries in SEA first, we may have better success in tackling India as a family.  It’s now been just a little over 6 months since we left Australia, we’ve visited 7 countries from Indonesia (Bali) to Sri Lanka and we’ve finally arrived in Chennai, India.  But despite our intentions, up until last week we weren’t even sure if we’d make it here!