Wonderful food, a warm welcome and a beautiful location.

We’re in Delhi, bags are in Munich!

  • 18th December. Landed in Dehli (Blog ) and will spend 3 nights here.
  • Day 1 - A Dehli walkabout around the back streets and some great food already. (Blog )
  • Day 2 Some thoughts on Dehli so far. (Blog )
  • Day 3. more exploring in South Delhi and some great food. (Blog )

We took an overnight train from Delhi to Jodhpur arriving on 20th December. We we're here for 4 days exploring the city and learning about Rajasthani food.
  • Our Trip from Delhi to Jodhpur (Blog )
  • And some cooking classes in the Blue City. (Blog )
  • And a blog about lfe on the streets of Jodhpur (Blog )

We decided 5 hours in a car was preferable to a 15 hour train journey so we've arrived in Udaipur mid afternoon on the 24th December. We're at the Panorama guest house overlooking Lake Pichola. It has a great view and a nice room. In Udaipur we have three days private cooking classes with Mary Thomas, an Indian friend of Vicky, who has a farm in Kota with her husband Joy and who is the sister of Frances, who I sail with and who lives in Kingswear. I know, right?! It's a small world.
  • Christmas in Udaipur (Blog )

We'll be pitching up at Vicky and Joy's place, Colonel Sudhir Farm, on 29th December and staying through New Year. We'll be taking it easy here although hopefully we'll get to see the farming side of food in India and get our hands dirty with some tasks around the farm.

On 3rd January we leave Kota and take the overnight train to Mumbai. I'm already thinking that going from 4 relaxing days in rural Rajasthan to the incessant noise, crowds and clamour of the city will be a shock. But there will be a new style of food and our old friends Sue and Nathan have introduced us to Kalyan. Kalyan is a journalist who gives private tours of Mumbai and has produced an itinerary of all the best eateries and markets. Having a local guide to help us make sense of it all will be a great help.

Another overnight train (and the rest) will bring us to Kochi, in Kerela on 8th January. After at least 27 hours on a train a little luxury is called for and we're booked into The Old Courtyard Guest House. Kochi has a multi cultural history and we'll be visiting Vasco Da Gama's grave, finding out about the Chinese fishing nets, exploring the Spice markets. After that our friend Annamma is sending us by taxi to Munnar, 6000ft up in the hills.

On 14th we fly from Kochi back to Delhi and we'll have a final day in Delhi before heading home.

A four hour drive from Kochi to Munnar will take us into the mountains where we'll be exploring tea, cardamom and coffee plantations.

In Calicut we'll be guests of Annamma's cousin. We can't wait to experience Kerelan hospitality. the people of Kerela are world renowned for their generosity.

Click on the flags for information about our route.

Having got a taxi at 4am, a bus at 4:45, a plane from Heathrow at 9:45 and then another from Frankfurt at 1:30pm we finally arrived in Delhi at 1:30am local time.  Sadly our luggage did not arrive in Delhi at 1:30 but may be coming in the morning as it may be en route from Munich.

What followed our arrival and discovery of the lost luggage was pure theatre and evidence that the famous India bureaucracy is still thriving. First a visit to the Lufthansa baggage desk, actually a dusty office  where a charming gentleman had me fill out forms which he then copied out word for word, longhand, on to another form. Then he filled out a third form which I had to take to the customs desk to be stamped. Another nice gentleman looked perfunctorily at this form, stamped it and then sent me to see a customs officer.

The customs officer, a charming lady, looked at the form and asked me for my flight number, which I couldn’t quite remember.  Luckily her colleague, stood nearby, overheard and pointed out that the charming man in the baggage office had already written this on the front page.  So the customs officer was then able to copy it directly onto the second page. Phew!

Then back to the first charming gentlemen who filled out another form, this time in quintuplicate which I then had to sign.  He then gave me an overnight bag, filled with toiletries and a t.shirt; a nice surprise.  Then he pulled out a wad of notes from his breast pocket and skinned me off 4000 rupees; an even nicer surprise. If all goes to plan then the bags will arrive by 11:00 tomorrow anyway so the money wasn’t really necessary but I was really too surprised to say, ’no, no, really, I couldn’t possibly’.

By now it was 3:00 am and I’m worried that our driver might have given up on us but not at all.  There he was at the arrivals gate with a welcoming sign and an even more welcoming smile.  A 30 minute drive through the very foggy outskirts of Delhi (not unusual at this time of year apparently) and we arrived at the Master Guesthouse, and very comfortable it looks too.

Master Guesthouse

night, night!