Chuck Hillig's Travel Blog

Well, I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next 6-7 months so I thought that I'd better re-activate my travel blog. The last time I posted anything here was way back in 2006 when I was traveling through SE Asia. Feel free to read my entries back then about my earlier adventures through India,Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Hong Kong. This time (at least for the next six weeks), I'll be traveling through Greece and Turkey.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Going south...

My publisher, Mohan Nair, his wife, Giriji, and I left New Delhi Sunday morning and flew on Kingfisher Airlines to Cochin with a quick stopover in Bangalore. I wanted to mention the name of the airlines because the last time that I was in India (1988), I had to fly Indian Airlines. I don't know how they are now, but they were pretty bare-bones back then. Kingfisher, however, is definitely a quality airline, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone flying to different cities around India. They're only about 10 months old and are doing quite well.
For the last few weeks, Mohan and Giriji have been escorting some of their authors around India on book-promotion tours and, in fact, had just finished up with author Steven Harrison (from Boulder) the day before they had picked me up in New Delhi. We were supposed to have all gotten together in New Delhi on the 15th (I had met Steven before in Ojai), but, unfortunately, my plane from L.A. had been delayed by 24 hours so I didn't actually land in Delhi until Thursday, March 16th (my own birthday).
Right now, I'm writing this from my publisher's office in the town (city?) of Cochin which is on the west coast of the country a few hours or so north of the southern tip of India. Cochin is the home of Editions India, the folks who will be publishing my books. As it stands now, they'll be distributing them throughout most of the countries in south Asia as well as in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. I'm staying in Mohan's Guest house which is a few blocks away from his own house. Last night, Mohan and Giriji learned that the wife of a close friend had unexpectedly died shortly after childbirth, and so it looks like we're going to be traveling to Pondicherry to pay our respects (about 13.5 hours directly east by car) sometime in the next few days. Road trip??
Since I'm planning to stay in India until around June 1st, there's no real pressure to begin the tour until all of my books are fully available from the printer. Meanwhile, I'm helping them out by writing some copy for their new catalog. They've contracted with some amazing writers in this area.
The food that Mohan's cook prepares for us every day is very typical of this region and quite good. They have their driver, a personal manager and a cook all living at the Guest house.
Although my own cell phone has international capability, Mohan's doesn't so. although I can call him (if I want to spend $2.29 a minute), he can't call me. He solved that problem by buying another cell phone for me to use while I'm in India. He and his wife have both been incredibly supportive. Stay tuned to find out what happens next...


Blogger Chimene said...

Hope you had a nice birthday, Dad! I'm sorry to hear about the sudden death of your publisher's friend's wife. That's really sad. I'm sure if you do the road trip thing you'll have even more adventures to report, though.
Has your body adjusted to Indian time yet? Hard to believe it's been almost a week already.

7:35 PM  

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