Chapter 2: Kochi

Layovers are never glamorous.

The idea of using all of your 30min of free-airport-WiFi only to realize you still have hours of staring at flight screens is enough to sap the energy out of you, and definitely makes you rethink those old idioms about the destination being second to the journey itself.

So when Lex and I found ourselves with 16 hours to kill in Kuala Lumpur, we knew we had to get out and make the most of it (while managing to get back in time for our next flight, despite whatever Kuala’s traffic could throw at us!)

We flew through customs, and managed to find a taxi driver who was keen to undertake the hour and a half mission to Batu Caves (mostly because he lived out that way and wanted to go home for a sleep.)

Here we were greeted by a 140 foot golden statue of Lord Murugan! This is the second tallest Hindu statue in the world, but Lex’s “artistic” photo showcases the relationship between the statue and the local pigeons more than the enormity of the statue itself, so we have included a cheeky link for those wanting to see more!

The caves were well worth the trip, the complex and the temple within them were beautiful, and they boasted a great view of Kuala Lumpur!

We spent the rest of our time in Kuala Lumpur in the city centre; glimpsing the twin towers, seeing the museum and eating as many Malaysian meals as we possibly could! The trains taking us everywhere were super modern and only cost about 50 cents from Batu to the city centre!

The trains were so good in fact, that we somehow managed to get back in time stupidly early for our flight, and since we were flying Air Asia, our layover got extended into 20 hours (classic.)

So we were pretty stoked to finally arrive in Kochi! Here we got our first glimpse of Indian driving by our taxi driver… we are definitely in for a treat driving Tuk Tuks on these roads!

By the time we arrived at our hostel it was 3am, and everything was locked! Lex and I were very aware of the wild dogs hanging around us as we left our taxi, so we were pretty happy when another hotel owner opened his door and told us we could stay there.

Since then we have just been chilling in and around this city, and meeting the other teams. The city is pretty relaxed (by Indian standards,) and so we have been cycling around and trying heaps of the local dishes. Kerala is a “dry state” which basically means you can still buy alcohol, but it comes with extreme judgement. ¬†You walk into odd, cramped little backrooms and everyone scurries away with their purcahses afterwards. It sometimes feels like you are buying Class A drugs as opposed to a delicious Kingfisher. It has also been pretty dry weather wise here despite it being monsoon season! Which has been great for letting us explore the city.

We finally got to see our Tuk Tuk yesterday! And are going to have our first training day today, and as much as Lex wants to take photos of everything apart from the Tuk Tuk, he has promised me he will get some more standard ones to chuck up here and show everyone.

The excitement is really building in town now with all of the teams rolling in, with all the classic preamble of annoying Indian instruments being purchased for the road and teams swapping stories of early Delhi Belly!

We will try to keep you all as updated as possible on the road, much love! – Lex & Bryn

Fort Cochin

Kula Lumpur

Batu Caves:

Cochin to Jaisalmer Rickshaw Runmap: