Ethihad flight via Abu Dhabi, very good service and flight.
On arrival in Cochin, I stayed at the Orion Homestay in Cochin for 2 nights, although basic the rooms had everything you needed, and the food was good, the family looked after us well. Felt that this particular Homestay suited the younger market/backpackers.
I also visited the Noah's Ark Homestay, where the hosts were very friendly, and again supplied really good food, a real Indian Food experience.
In Cochin, I visited the Santa Crus Basilica, St Francis Church (Vasco Da Gamas Burial Place), and some Chinese Fishing Nets, I also experienced a folklore show called Kathakali, showing how the makeup is put on whilst telling a story using mime and music.
I then travelled to Munnar the tea and spice region for 2 nights, staying at Ambadi, which is a little more up-market, rooms were very well equipped and a good size, would suit clients of all ages. I also visited the Royal Mist, which was a little more basic, but the family more than made up for this as they were very friendly, and had two delightful children, who loved a game of cards!
This area is where the tea plantations are situated, I visited the Kolukku Malai Tea Plantation the highest in India, a very long journey by jeep to get there, but very interesting to learn how the tea is produced, and eventually gets to our teacup.
Munnar town is bustling during the evenings with lots of market stalls selling tea and spices.
I then travelled to Thekkady and stayed at Pepper County, which was situated on a spice plantation, the owners of the property showed me through the spice planation and explained the processes that pepper etc is harvested.
Pepper County was very comfortable, spotlessly clean, with really comfortable beds and the softest towels I have ever used. Again the food was superb, and the hosts very attentive.
I visited Koshys Homestay too, which was very basic accommodation, again suited more for the backpackers market. Again a very warm welcome.
Whilst in Thekkady I went to Periyar Tiger Reserve, which was an eventful day, as I broke my ankle whilst trekking. Thank goodness I didn't see any Tigers! The hospital looked after me well, even though a little antiquated.
I then travelled by houseboat from Kumarakom to Allepey a lovely relaxing experience and stayed 2 nights at Vembanad House an old farmhouse on the river banks, very beautiful and tranquil setting, would suit those who want relaxation and ayurvedic treatments, and again fantastic hosts and food served on palm leaves.
Whilst here I had a full massage at the Ayurvedic Clinic which left my skin feeling fantastic.
All in all, a wonderful experience in a very beautiful part of India, most definitely will return.