As it wasn’t too far from Palakkad to Thrissur I left the Fort Palace Hotel quite late to allow maximum drying time for my kit. The hotel staff had suggested that I get the jeans, boxers and shirt pressed as this would help dry them a little more. It worked pretty much for the shirt and boxers, but the jeans were definitely still very damp. Jeans are always slow to dry, especially these jeans as they’re lined with kevlar cloth so that they won’t wear through in the event of me coming off the bike (not that I’m planning to of course!). There was nothing for it but to put them on anyway. Although it wasn’t raining when I left Palakkad I decided to put my waterproof on from the start after the previous days experience! Not that it helped much in the end! Continue reading

Wet Wet Wet

I left Satyamamngalam with sadness. I’d met a great person to show me around who was obviously a good friend to Adam, I’d seen where Adam had been and met people who knew him, but it was time to move on. Maybe it was because I was a little upset to be leaving, but I took a wrong turn and headed east instead of south. It was to be a day of navigational errors! Continue reading

A Day to Remember!

After writing the blog last night I called Adam and told him of my plans for today. He said he’d call his friend Gangadhar to see if he could meet me and show me around. Ten minutes later Adam texted me to say that Gangadhar would call to collect me at my lodgings this morning. Two minutes after that text Gangadhar called me direct to confirm that he would be coming to meet me in the morning. Adam’s call to his friend paved the way for the best day of my trip so far. Continue reading

Off the Tourist Trail

As I was checking out of the Fort Palace Hotel I noticed that (a) the stitching attaching the straps to my rucksack were coming adrift and (b) the zip was failing in places. This made me a bit nervous as I’d be travelling i through places where there weren’t many shops to replace it. If it broke whilst I was ‘in the wilds’ I’d be stuck with a bunch of valuable belongings (laptop, tablet, etc) that I’d be unable to to transport safely. With that in mind I set off to head for Tamil Nadu. Continue reading

I’ve Got a Bike

We left Munnar at 9 am for the four hour journey back to Kochi. As we started to get into the suburbs of Kochi Baiju asked if I would like to visit the Dutch palace. This, as the name suggests, is a an old palace that is open to the public and run by the India Archaeological Survey. I was given an individual tour by a guide who showed me the many exquisite exhibits and told me the history of the palace. Continue reading

Elephants and Tea

Baiju was waiting for me at 9 am as promised and we set off for Munnar and some sightseeing. The weather had improved slightly in that the wind had dropped. It was still cold and the rain was still pouring down and it was still misty! The road to Munnar was in pretty poor condition, full of potholes and it seemed to get even worse in Munnar itself. As we entered the town we came across a collapsed bridge and the temporary solution was to build a single carriageway causeway from rocks and let the river flood over it making a sort of ford. To compound the chaos an auto (tuk tuk) had broken down in the middle of it. Continue reading

On The Road

It was an early start this morning – the generator was switched off at 6.20 am and that meant that the air conditioning went off and so it was time to get up and get out in the fresh air. I’d been promised a brief one hour cruise before leaving the boat shortly after 9 am. And at a8 am on the dot we slipped our moorings. It was so peaceful once we got out onto the lake. The engine was so far away at the stern of the boat that it was barely audible. The lake was flat calm and, apart from a fishing canoe I couldn’t see any boats. Unfortunately this peaceful early morning cruise was destined to finish before I expected it to. Continue reading

Final Exam results

I had a text from the Kichu letting me know that I passed the RHCA exam as well, so now I’m an RHCSA and an RHCE. That makes all the effort worthwhile and hopefully justifies the support that has been offered to me by my family and friends. Thank you to one and all.

I can now relax and enjoy myself!


After completing twelve days of study and a full day of exams I was more than ready to chill out and generally relax. I celebrated the end of study and passing one of the exams (I still don’t know the outcome of the other) with a few drinks in the bar, then it was time to do my packing. It was a all a bit complicated as I had to pack for the houseboat trip and leave my bike gear behind in storage. Continue reading

Exams are Over

Yesterday I did both exams, the Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator ( ) in the morning and then the Red Hat Certified Engineer ( ) in the afternoon. I felt that both exams went well. They are both practical exams: you are sat in front of a computer where you have to correct any faults with it and then make a series of requested configuration changes to it. So far I’ve only received the results from the first exam Continue reading