#7 – Beaches and Palaces

Near the southern tip of India is an incredible stretch of beaches in an area called Chirayinkil. We stayed in an Ayurvedic resort with a pool and lush surroundings. I do need to now confess that my stomach has betrayed me. While others shopped I rested and restricted my intake to rice, water and activated carbon capsules. I discerned that it was the malaria pills and stopped taking them. I indulged in a four hand Ayurvedic massage and steam - quite the experience - lovely really but not for the modest! Later in the day I rallied through a great treatment known as retail therapy.

Early in the morning we headed to the airport Thiruvananthapuram (and if you think I can pronounce it you have over estimated me). A two hour flight landed us in Mumbai on the way to Jaipur a few hours later.

Jaipur is a modern, almost European city in some areas. The streets are wide, often four lanes which felt luxurious given the narrow highways of Kerala province. Our guide Sher Singh met us at the airport. We drove past palaces and gardens and then gradually into a seedier area of town. He began warning us not to leave the hotel. We wondered what was in store.

The bus passed though a narrow gate and suddenly we were in another world - the world of the Raj! Marble, frescoes, fountains and sweeping archways grace the building. Elaine and my room is vast compared to the little room on the beach. We sink into the brass beds ready for an early night.

Tomorrow - meditation at 6:30; breakfast at 7, bus by 8.

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