Fw: Back in Blighty and Christmas greetings

Wed 6 Feb 2008 12:08
Unfortunately, not clear on how to contact you but below this mail is one sent at Christmas just in case googlemail not accessible.
We are now back from a month in India the effect of which is still unclear.  Lots of change in the past 12 years to places we'd been before and some not for the best.  Tried our best to look at places as if they were new and imagine what it would be like for those who'd never been (and to not be a "you should have seen it 10 years ago" bore).
Benaulim in Goa is still close to a little bit of paradise as is Hampi in Karnataka (despite the river now being a bit doubtful to swim in).  Could have spent much more time in both.  Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu has gone from a village of artisans with 3 rough tracks to a busy tourist mecca with proper roads and mostly Kashmiri traders which is a shame (although it is still an interesting place and quite chilled in its own way).  Mysore is still the calmest city in India now with actual traffic lights to deal with the increased business traffic spillover from Bangalore.  We had a proper Raj experience there staying in a beautiful old colonial hotel with fantastic staff who spoiled us (and especially the girls) rotten.  Trichy doesn't seemed changed much and the temple life goes on there albeit with (as everywhere) more people and cars.
All in all a worthwhile trip and will go again some day.  Perhaps the mountains in summer one year.  Met lots of lovely people.  Saw a sail boat anchored off Palolem beach (a development nightmare) in Goa and thought of you.  Don't think there's much in the way of decent marina's about though.
Thought of you and the girls often while away.  Hannah speaks of Kate and Molly frequently and asked about your location when we were away in the sunshine.  I believe we were close to the same latitude at various times. (Benaulim is about 15.25 N as is Hampi, Mysore is 12.18).  Thought we might be having similar weather but I now see you've had a bit of rain although I expect temperatures were similar.  Lots of beautiful sunsets the last couple of weeks. 
Now back to the cold  in London and am back to being jealous of your location although I think I'd still shy away from 3 weeks at sea!
Everything sounds wonderful and nice to know you are all well.
love Steve, Annie, Hannah and Laura
P.S. - let me know if this is the best address.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2007 6:05 PM
Subject: Christmas greetings

No idea if you'll get this but I've no idea of how to post something on your blog so I guess it'll have to wait.  Still season's greetings if not Christmas.  We've been following your progress across the sea with much excitement and curiousity.  It is fantastic to read your entries and think of you out under the stars.
Paul seems to becoming even more a one of life's philosophers under the influence of the moon and stars and I wonder if a few weeks more might have turned you into a complete hippy.  Just as well you are nearly there!  Still I will put forward the sacred sardine for the next costellation to worship.
We are nearly finishing our own preparations for a slightly more tame adventure of a slightly more than a month away in India.  Much trepidation of course with the little ones but this is turning to excitement fast.
Reading your blog also reminds me of Anne-Marie and my own year away and the change to a slower pace that that brings (despite the odd row to break the spell).  Overall, something like that can not but turn your head around.  And just as your trip has the added ingredient of life under sail and the forced agreement with the elements and time that brings, so did our immersion in an Asian culture enforce a living in the moment mentality (the people we were dealing with just couldn't understand why anyone could get worked up about time).  Its one of life's great lessons often spoken of but rarely attained.  I suspect that you are getting there and will be totally immersed by the time of your return leg.
Anyway, all of our love and best wishes and enjoy the season.  We'll be in touch in February on our return.
Anne-Marie, Steve, Hannah and Laura