Wednesday, May 19, 2010

To Fort Cochin

The next day, the 17th, was a travel day. A bus from Ooty to Bangalore and then a flight from Bangalore to Cochin.

The local western coffee shop was closed when we had to head into town to catch the bus, so we went off with no breakfast. That was probably a good thing, because the ride down from Ooty was actually worse than the ride up. Plastic barf bags were handed out at the start of the journey and the first was in use by the family behind us within five minutes. The rest of the three hour drive down the hill was a constant chorus of vomiting from all around the bus. The driver pulled over at one time so that bags could be disposed of and people could get their acts together, and I’d say 40% of the bus filed out. I was feeling better by this time, but for Colleen who gets car sick at home, riding a swaying bus with the sound of sick all around was a nasty experience. Power to her though, she made it without joining the choir.

The rest of the ride to Bangalore was uneventful. A movie called My Name is Khan played, about an autistic Indian guy who goes to America. It seemed pretty bad to me, and we could only understand the American portion, but Colleen thought it was decent. Then a shocking Bollywood movie came on. I just don’t get that stuff.

We caught a cab from the bus depot to the airport, almost an hour away. We were pretty excited about the airport though, ‘cause we’d been told it had good restaurants and WiFi access and we had a few hours to burn. We checked in but couldn’t find any signs saying which restaurants were where. We took a look at our gate area and it looked promising, so we went through security to see what was there. It turned out to be a bad Indian restaurant and a bad coffee shop. We went to leave that area, at which point we were informed that once we’d gone through security we couldn’t leave. Now, I’ve done some decent travelling and this was the first time I’ve encountered this problem. I’m happy lining up and going through screening a few times, but here I was trapped in my one little gate slot. We hadn’t eaten all day and we were stuck with little option.

We did the best we could to get some pre-packaged sandwiches down and tried to make the best of it. Next, I wanted to get online. I pulled out my laptop and tried to access the available WiFi. I was happy to pay for it, but it appeared to be free, I just had to give some info. Unfortunately, the info they required was my SMS number, in order to text me the password to get WiFi. I intentionally didn’t bring my phone on this trip, which meant there was no way of getting access, free or paid. Aaargh. Bangalore Airport I hate you.

Some poor airport employee had the misfortune of approaching me to do a customer satisfaction survey. I don’t think he really understood what happened.

We caught a Kingfisher flight down to Cochin and got in around 8:00 PM. From there we got a cab to Fort Cochin, to the little hotel we’d booked, the Raintree Lodge. When we pulled up we were met by Victor, the incredibly friendly manager. The room was decent and the AC worked – we were happy. We went down the street to get some dinner, but most places had closed at 9:00 or so, and it was now getting close to 10. But we found an Italian restaurant called the Four Seasons, which served some good pizza and pasta, and stuffed ourselves.

Not much happens on travel days on a trip like this, but they’re hard work. We went back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep before the next day’s adventure in Kerala.

No comments: