So we – our friends, plus Chris & myself – went out for another explore on foot, finding a park and zoo near to the hotel. We wandered about, saw buildings, animals (that seemed suitably content, plus tigers that weren’t so much) and generally got very warm.
We had been invited for tea over to the grooms parents place for a couple of hours in the later afternoon, and that was also good: Christian family, clearly connecting well together, Carol visibly part of the family too.
It feels like there should be so much to say about that last day, but with the main event out of the way we were really just waiting to fly back.
We had dinner in the hotel Restaurant that night. It’s memorable because we were going to try a ‘garden restaurant’ in the grounds, but it a) had a menu that made little sense and b) seemed a bit more ‘greasy spoon’ than we’d expected. Having said that, returning to the main restaurant wasn’t a complete success – Chris ordered a butter chicken dish as the safe option and got something that was the hottest, spiciest dish we’d had between us all week. Overall the food was excellent as I’ve probably said already, but definitely Kerala upped the heat quotient over Goan cooking.
One more curious thing that’s connected was the smells and scents.
We noticed the spicy smells – all very pleasant – as soon as we got on the domestic side of India and away from industry, but we’d not realised how strong and all-pervading those smells were. For the wedding I’d brought a bottle of CK One (gift from Carol on her first Christmas here) with a plan to ensure I could smell myself at least a little at the wedding: couldn’t smell a thing! It didn’t matter what we wore in terms of perfumes etc, because nothing was going to overcome the natural fragrance of the country.
I’d booked our hotel room for the rest of the evening, and we checked out around 11.30pm for a taxi to the airport with the flight leaving at 3.25am Monday morning. Zzzzz.
Immigration was another experience, with poor Chris being grilled about what she did for a living & when we’d been in India before. This time we checked our bags through to Heathrow and made sure the labels said LHR. Outside of that the flights (on Qatar airways) were uneventful. We changed planes in Dohar, managing to nap a little arriving back in the UK around 12.30pm local time, 14 ½ hours after taking off.
Car was delivered to the carpark just after we got there, drove home, went shopping, ate, eventually went to bed after a very long day. Just 1 week before Christmas!
We will go back, but probably not 2020.