"We travel not to escape our life, but to stop life from escaping us"
Our taxi drive waves to the man in uniform standing at a big metal gate and he swings it open to let us pass. We step out and are greeted immediate by Sharon who takes us to the main building for a glass of fresh lemonade as our bags are taken to our room. On the way we meet Vikrum who is carrying on his fathers dream of turning a once baron piece of land into a beautiful yet natural place to stay. Looking at what it is now, the dream is alive and healthy, because it feels like we're in an oasis and we're definitely going to make the most of it.
The jungle hut is one of the oldest accommodations in the area and already from the customer service and the beautiful surrounding I can see why it's kept going from strength to strength. We pass the kids area with tree house and trampoline and up for our lemonade. A tour of the main area let's us see the games cupboard (which both my girls loved) and the swimming pool (also a huge hit) and then we sat down for a delicious lunch.
Post lunch it's time to check out the room. Down to hut 5, a small building with a wrap around veranda. Opening the door the cool AC is a welcome break from the dry heat outside and we lay our bags down as the girls jump on the bed and check out the bathroom. The room is simple but has everything we need and we love it!
Over the course of the next two days we take tours (temples and tigers) and enjoy the included meals at breakfast lunch and dinner. Each meal is tastier than the last. A mix of cuisines from traditional Indian to lasagna. Malay chats with us in the dinning room and gives advice on flavor combinations to try. Relaxing while the girls make the most of the games cupboard, Sharon sits down with us and talks about the area and how they source all organic and pesticide free veg for their cooking. Her love for the area and the jungle hut family are apparent in the the way she talks about it lovingly.
By the morning of our last day we've climbed into the tree house, taken a dip in the pool and eaten more delicious meals than I can describe. The girls say goodbye as do we and we hop in our taxi to Mysore almost sad to be leaving such a friendly beautiful place. I think the jungle hut is a pretty special place and the people there are amazing, if you come to southern India and miss the it, you're missing out, in a big way!
We step off the plans and almost instantly break into a swear. It's 35 degrees C as we stroll across the Tarmac to the arrival building after a 3 hour flight from Delhi. Lucy and Tilley are both asleep still as we pass through the arrivals building. Inside there are groups of people waiting around the baggage Carousel and a few booths offering pre-paid Taxi's and sight seeing tours. We meander out into the street hop on a local bus to Fort Cochin.
When planning our itinerary I looked into lots of modes of transport between different places we wanted to see in India (plane,train,bus, boat, tuk tuk, taxi). The problem for us was time. We wanted to see a lot and had a couple week to squeeze it in. We were able to use the train system but for time saving a couple of internal flights really helped us out. India has a few airline that provide internal flights to hubs inside the country. After check the main ones we landed on using Vistara. They seemed to offer the times that worked best for us with tickets under $60 each were a bargain for the time we saved getting between places.
Our flight was Delhi to Cochin. The night before we left Vistara handily messaged me, updating me on my flight time, check in area and time, which was a great perk as thats something i'm always rushing to do before a run out the door before a flight anyway. The next day as we board the plane, Lucy and Tilley are out for the count and we are given blankets and pillow to make them, and us more comfortable by the cabin attendants. It's refreshing to have cabin attendants that seem to really want to help you. Unfortunately I think that been lost over the last few years so I definitely like to make a point of writing about it when the service is way above the norm. After take off we are served us followed by our meals. When we booked we were given a huge choice of complimentary meals but settled on Hindi and Asian vegetarian. These translated into curry with bread, and noodles with stir fried veg, both accompanied by and chocolate sponge and a yoga granola bar, yum!
Our flight was around 3 hours. A few captain updates, a short nap and a cup of tea later and we arrived almost exactly on time. The cabin crew helped us out and waved us on our way with a smile. So don't be fooled by the cheap prices that Vistara offer, these short internal flight give you bang for your buck and if you're short on time definitely think about checking them. I will be using them again for sure.