That’s it. our travels are over, or at least this part, and we’re now back to where we started.
The final days were very relaxed, not a bad way to finish. We had two days remaining in India, before heading to Dubai for a week.
We were still in Kerala for our last two days in India. Our house boat delivered us to the jetty of our hotel in Kumarakom and, although we had a driver available to show us around, a quick look at the hotel’s scenery and pool persuaded us to stay in the hotel for a lazy day.
Our last day in India was back in Kochi, to visit some of the sights we’d missed on our earlier visit, and perhaps visit a park and a beach. We did none of these. Partly because it was a holiday and the attractions were closed, and partly because there either aren’t parks and beaches, or the language barrier with our driver meant we didn’t find out about them.
Instead, we spent a day at the mall. Literally all day! It wasn’t so bad, as we caught up with some life admin chores, drank coffee, had haircuts, and Sally bought some winter boots…from hot India! While drinking our coffee, we enjoyed watching the cafe staff preparing a decoration for Diwali. I really enjoy seeing these small things.
Having previously lived for 13 years in Dubai, arriving back as a visitor felt a little weird. A good thing about going back was that we had plenty of offers of accommodation - thanks to Bob and Angela for putting us up. We spent time catching up with friends, and I even managed to run a couple of times, which mostly told me how much fitness I’ve lost.
My daughter and I visited the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Abu Dhabi Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi with our friend Angela. The mosque only takes an hour or a little longer to visit, but it’s well worth it, especially if you take the free guided tour. The Louvre was less of our thing – I want to be cultured, but just don’t seem to be very good at it.
Brunch with friends one day, and lunch another at beachside restaurants in Dubai were great, but maybe a mistake just before heading back to winter in Europe. We’re going to miss both the friends and the warm weather.
On Wednesday, 14 November, we boarded our flight back to London, after 122 days of travelling. That’s not a long trip compared to some, but very long measured against the one or two week vacation of most.
It’s been a great experience. Mostly it’s gone right, but there have been some things that we would have done differently. I’ll do a final post to reflect on the trip as a whole, the highlights, the would do differently list, and the overall costs.
But for now, it’s on to our next adventure, relocating to our new apartment in the French Alps. I can tell you, this early retirement thing sure isn’t boring!
Daily diary and costs
I'm including a list of what we did during our week and the approximate costs - I'm using this part of my blog as a mini diary for myself, but feel free to read if you're interested.
Week 17/18 - what we've done:
Monday – Kumarakom, India. Lazy day at a lovely hotel.
Tuesday – Kochi, India. It was a holiday, so most things were closed. Lat evening flight to Dubai.
Wednesday – Dubai, UAE with friends.
Thursday – Dubai, UAE. Day trip to Abu Dhabi to visit the Grand Mosque and the Louvre Museum.
Friday – Dubai, UAE. Running with my old club. Brunch with friends - it lasts all day.
Saturday – Dubai, UAE. Lazy day to recover from the previous day's brunch!
Sunday – Dubai, UAE. Rebecca left to return to Switzerland. Met up with friends from my old job. Running.
Monday – Dubai, UAE. Relaxing day. Dinner with friends in the evening.
Tuesday – Dubai, UAE. Lunch at La Mer with Angela and Jack.
Wednesday – Flight to London. Our 4 months of travelling comes to an end.
Week 17/18 - we spent a total of £1,212 / $1,708 for 2 people on:
Accommodation £97 / $137
Meals/Coffee/Snacks £712 / $1,004 The less said about how this came to be so high, the better🍷🍸🍺
Transport £204 / $287 Taxi/Careen (like Uber) in Dubai. It's surprising how it mounts up.
Attractions/Fees £22 / $31 Entry to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Haircuts & spa £71 / $98
Laundry £9 / $13
Toiletries £37 / $53
Medical £60 / $85 Rabies injection after dog bite. This injection was in the UK and is 15 times the price paid in India.