Anyone staying with them has their own spacious
accommodation with views over their paddy (rice) field.
Meals, with home-grown fruit and vegetables, are eaten with
the family, who also take you to places of interest nearby.
Depending on where you stay, this can be as expensive as
being in a hotel, but will certainly give you an insight into the
lives and culture of the people with whom you are staying.
As our flight was not direct, we had to change in Mumbai.
The city has become a destination for clothes shopping, so it
was a good stop-off to buy some bargains. All the
international hotels are sited around the Gateway of India,
overlooking the harbour. This is also the location for the main
shopping street, Colaba Causeway, where, in addition to the
shops, the pavements are crammed with stalls all selling
brightly coloured merchandise for just a few pounds.
Well-known branded goods such as Nike, Addidas and Levi
jeans – which are made in the country – are less than half the
price of those bought in the UK. There are also many up-andcoming
Indian modern designer shops that are hidden away
inside what one might perceive as virtually derelict buildings.
A word of caution, if stopping in Mumbai, is to make sure
you stay in a hotel belonging to a recognisable international
hotel chain or at least check their website, as standards and star
ratings bare no relation to ours. Our trip was arranged by Indus
Tours & Travel, with flights courtesy of Jet Airways, who
kindly upgraded us to Premiere Class. This meant that, with
an overnight flight, we were able to stretch out in our seats
as they became beds, and wake up refreshed in Mumbai.
www.heathrowexpress.com t 0845 600 1515
Indus Tours & Travel Ltd. t 020 8901 7320 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jet Airways: www.jetairways.com t 0800 265 626
Indus Tours are offering MQ readers £150
per person off the price of any trip in their
India brochure taken by September 2006,
and subsequently a saving of £100 per
person to September 2007. Please
quote ref. FMIND. Tel: 020 8901 7320.
Kathakali, the classical
dance-form of Kerala
Web site created by Mark Griffin