Time for the annual email Christmas card, woop!!! I can't believe it's Christmas Eve - I have to keep reminding myself that it's not July and there's been snow on the ground back home. Although, we did spend a few days in the mountains last week in the Tamil Nadu town of Ooty, and we also managed to stay in an old-school Christian hostel that was fully prepared for the big day – baubles and everything.
Going up 2500+ mtrs to Ooty meant a serious drop in temperature that our thin t-shirts and hippy pants just weren't ready for. We needn't have feared though, because Ooty seemingly has an endless supply of truly amazing retro jumpers, all for no more than about 60p. John couldn't resist this super special blue number, and was all too willing to model it for us:
Don't worry – he's posted it home so will be wearing it again on our return.
Now as if an online Christmas card weren't enough, we've also decided to make a short festive film showing bits of our time in India. Too much time on our hands? I think so.
How cute are the little kiddies at the end?!!! So adorable....and they just loved posing for pictures.
The film was great fun to make, & although John's been doing this kind of thing for years its pretty new for me. It's the 2nd short film we've made in recent months - here's an animation we made for the birthday of John's gorgeous niece, Gwen. Future employers of John, I take full responsibility for the 'home-made' style :-)
The last couple of weeks in India were great, & probably the most chilled out of our whole time there. After a laaaaaaaazy week by the beach in Varkala, we put our swimming gear to rest and headed north east into the hills of Tamil Nadu. The bus rides there and back were spectacular, taking us through tea plantations, national parks and eucalyptus forests. We even spotted a couple of wild elephants on the way down to Mysore.
Ooty is a bustling hill station with a small pocket of tourists but none of the hassles we've experienced elsewhere. We met some lovely people in the hostel and spent a day trekking through the countryside with a local guide. It was pretty stunning and so nice to finally find true peace and quiet.
We were ready to move on though & head somewhere a little easier, which definitely sums up Thailand! Even the Indian airport proved difficult and we had to pay £100 for a flight out of Thailand that we won't be using, just to assure the check-in staff that we won't overstay our visa. Boo them.
After 5 days in Thailand we're still amazed by how efficient it is – signs and everything! We spent our first fun day in Bangkok with a friend we'd met in India, then took the overnight train southward - a bus & a boat journey later and we ended up in the small resort of Ton Sai. The pace of life is super laid back & the scenery is pretty picturesque, with amazing cliffs and jungle surrounding the small beach and blue water.
Unfortunately having avoided illness for the whole time in India I've somehow managed to get myself a bit sick, so have spent the past few days not eating and hibernating indoors. We've managed to move to the island of Ko Lanta though, a couple of hours away by boat and have found ourselves a beautiful beach bungalow to spend the next few days.
I guess that's it for 2011 then! We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas & happy New Year!!!