India - Spice Trails of Kerala

My first trip of 2010 was an Exodus trip in Feb - to Southern India.  It was a combination of small-group bus tourism, and a 5-day camping trek through the hills to the second highest mountain in Southern India. My highlights from the trip were:

  • The food - which was excellent throughout the trip, and the fact that we went to restaurants and were able to choose what we wanted, rather than having a set menu.  The food prepared by our chef while camping was even better than in the hotels.
  • The spectacular scenery - from the tropical beaches north of Cochin, through the tea and coffee plantations; and up to the more barren mountains of the Western Ghats.
  • The colourful Sri Meenakshi temple at Madurai was a surprise to me with it’s continual under-construction feel, and the vibrancy that comes from hundreds of people selling, praying and meditating.
  • The wildlife - visible from the river boat and walks through Peryiar National Park, and the houseboat ride through the Kerala Backwaters.

I used my Oregon 300 GPS with street maps from openstreetmap.org, and have contributed changes to update the map for the areas we drove through and trekked in. I’ve also colour coded the track logs and placed them on a map (blue/purple indicates driving and yellow/green hiking), which you can see embedded below, full screen here, or you can download my India kmz file for use in Google earth on your desktop. Click on the hiking tracks to see the stats, or the photos. Further down this page you’ll find the altitude profile.

Camera-wise I took the Canon EOS 500D with my Tokina ultra-wide zoom, and a 70-250mm Canon that I bought from a friend just before the trip.  Highlights are available in my India album on this site, and the full 200 or so images are on Picasa.

I’ve embedded the results of my time-lapse experiments below.  At some point I might get time to host some of the panoramic shots on here using krpano, but don’t hold your breath.  I’ve also captured my India kit list on the blog.

 Grab my India kmz file (for Google Earth) / Profile created by GPS Visualizer