It’s been a week since I’ve updated – I’ve been off blogging ill. My friends from home arrived last Friday and as of Saturday I’ve been a slave to the moods, foibles and eccentricities of the notorious ‘Delhi Belly’.
For your sakes I won’t go into the details but let’s just say I haven’t been able to stray far from a toilet since it struck. I’ve taken umpteen rehydration sachets, been on two pharmacy visits, had antibiotics, spewed off the side of a bridge, had to pretty much beg a random to go in their house and use their toilet (which was in the equivalent of an MDF telephone box in a living room full of people), had three nights where I spent more time in the bathroom than in my bed and haven’t kept one meal inside me for more than an hour or two in that time. It’s been emotional, annoying and disturbing. I was determined not to go to a hospital and have been drinking all I can to try and flush the bug out, somehow. I’m verging on the road to recovery now and hope that come Goa, the next stop, I’ll be back to my former self.
This sketch my brother sent me from comedian Mickey Flanagan explains the Delhi Belly more than I feel I can right now. Too soon.
All the eating and drinking I was looking forward to with my friends has been off the cards as for what could be the first time in my life I’ve been unable to finish anything that I’ve ordered, for six days. I’ve even ordered gin and tonics and wine and not been able to even start them, let alone finish. It’s bad.
So what have I been doing?
We’ve been floating around the state of Kerala, from Kochi to Periyar to Marari to Alleppey. It soon became obvious that neither of the three of us registered quite how big India is, although after two 7-hour journeys in cars and buses we’re starting to understand. We’ve spent a lot of time travelling. We broke down on both journeys and from the reactions of our bus companions it seemed perfectly normal.
The bus we got from Thekkady would be better known as the Thekkady Rollercoaster – after changing buses after the breakdown the next one was packed and we were stood down the centre holding on with white knuckles as the driver sped round the corners of the mountain. It was tough holding on to my stomach and the rails at the same time.
– Check out these Kerala tour packages to avoid these problems!
We haven’t done much in each place but then there’s not been much to do either. We’ve just been wandering around and taking it in. My friends went on a three-hour nature walk and saw some elephants in Periyar, the same hike which we found out later had been some snap happy tourists’ last. They’d used a flash on an elephant and it attacked them, killing them both. Apparently there was no mention of any safety precautions thanks to this on the walk though. They also went to check out a spice plantation for the afternoon. I missed out on both thanks to my new found reliance on the bathroom.
We stayed at the beautiful Marari Beach Resort near Alleppey (more on that later) and chilled at the pool for the day. Well, apart from the 15 minutes we went in the sea and my expensive prescription Ray Bans were ripped from my face by the huge waves, never to be seen again unless a short sighted mermaid happens to come across them that is. We also went to the Thekkady Flower Show and saw some great dancers among the huge yams, pumpkins and flower arrangements. And we’ve been to see a martial arts performance too.
I sound moany but in between the toilet visits, the lost sunglasses, the epic journeys, the under researched route and the wasted meal times I’m really enjoying being with my friends and experiencing India together. Highlights of the last week include a cooking class we did at the beautiful Marari Resort, more on that soon, a Kathakali show we saw in Periyar (photo above) and the houseboat we took through the Alleppey backwaters overnight.
I’ve still got mixed feelings about India. Right now I’m on the Radjhan Express train on the way to Goa. We got on at 10pm last night to find I was still on the waiting list – the booking process is ridiculous here – but my friends’ tickets had been approved. The only option was to share my sleeper bed with Chloe and to be grateful they’d even let us do that. So the last 7 hours have been spent very cosily.
We’ve got high expectations of Goa based on people’s reactions when we’ve said we’re going, and the fact we’re all going to be healthy, full of energy and ready for anything. I’ll let you know how I get on!