To maximise our 30 day e-Visa we needed to start the G Adventures‘ Best of Southern India tour the day our Essential India tour finished. Due to our flights between Delhi and Kochi we did not arrive at our staring hotel until almost midnight, but luckily it is quite common for people to arrive late for the start of this tour and the usual evening welcome meeting had already been rescheduled for after breakfast the next day.
What was immediately apparent was the change in pace of life. We had come from the crazy northern states with congested cities, animals in the roads and the non-stop honking of car horns to a much more relaxed vibe, not a cow in sight and lots of palm trees and coconuts.
The Best of Southern India tour matches the pace of life in the south and there seemed to be more time to relax and do your own thing. This was both good and bad; A couple of days into the tour and we were still waiting to see a must see attraction. This tour is more rural in nature and there are lots of chances to explore villages and plantations and explore some interesting temples but it does lack any of your typical bucket list attractions.
That being said we had one of our best travel experiences of all time on this tour, purely by luck, as one of our local guides heard that a Theyyam dance performance was taking place at a nearby village and we changed our scheduled plans to go see it. This was amazing, we were the only westerners at the mesmerising performance and it was a real treat to be welcomed and involved. I must stress this was not part of this tours schedule, we were very lucky to be in the right place at the right time to see this rare event.
Accommodation was good throughout the tour, transportation was comfortable and everything ran smoothly.
Once we had adjusted to the slower pace we really started to enjoy ourselves and finishing up at a home stay on the Kerala Backwaters was just excellent.