I had slept well… Jayne not so much… So the dynamics have reversed from yesterday’s bus journey!! Got us checked out, Jayne having a disagreement with the hotel manager over the lack of promised hot water that we’d paid for. 20 minutes, with a 200INR refund but no apology later, we crossed the road to the bus station. I took charge of finding us a bus to take us all the way to Alappuzha and, after getting on a bus that had no spare seats together (and then getting off!), managed to find a surprisingly empty bus with the seats near the front with the most leg room ever! Got Jayne into a seat, stored our bags and then went looking for Bovonto (the Indian equivalent to cherry Coke) to cheer her up. Failed miserably in that task, only being able to find imitation Limca and mango juice. As soon as I got back on the bus, the bus driver pulled away from the bus stand and we realised quite quickly why this bus was so empty in comparison to the other one… We’ve had our fair share of loony bus drivers in India but this one was on a whole new level! He wasn’t a fan of the wacky races – he was the inspiration for them!! Spent a significant amount of time bracing ourselves against the bars that separated the passenger section and the drivers section, going back and forth between looking at the road to anticipating crashing and not looking at the road!!!Watched ‘Tangled’ on the iPad to try and distract ourselves as the driver spent more time chatting to the conductor rather than keeping his eyes on the road. He, very kindly, stopped for a while in a bus station so Jayne could use the toilet before he continued driving in his manic way, over taking TukTuks to then cut them up immediately afterwards when he slammed on his breaks to stop to let off or collect passengers. Arrived three hours later, miraculously in one piece, in Alappuzha and made our way to the guest house down the road from the bus station. Dumped our bags and headed out to check the ferry schedule for the next day before jumping in a TukTuk to take us to the beach. Had heard that Kerala beaches were supposed to outshine the Goa ones, we found this one to be quite dirty and disappointing.However, it had sea, sun and sand which is all we really wanted after two days of travelling. We walked up and down the coastline watching locals get very wet as they paddled (fully clothed) into the water, mis-timing the waves and getting soaked from head to toe. Watched a father try to help his young daughter jump over the waves, only to drop his phone and then her trousers, which got washed away. Grabbed an ice lolly as we walked back into town, passing by a car park that had a cricket match going on whilst a group of ladies were learning to ride scooters. Was interesting when one of the women had trouble turning and ended up in the middle of the cricket match. Back in town, we got some dinner before returning to the guesthouse to use the wifi and head to bed.
Tuesday 19th January 2016