Having never visited India, I went with an open mind and now I’m back I am already planning my next trip. I was overwhelmed by their hospitality and friendliness and the sheer beauty of Kerala. A colleague asked me what the highlight of my trip was and I said I couldn’t choose one as I thoroughly enjoyed every day.

I spent one day in hot sweaty New Delhi, taking in the sights of India Gate, the parliament buildings and Qutub Minar. The high temperature was soon forgotten as I become engrossed in the history of Qutub Minar and the detail. I stayed in a homestay outside of Delhi and enjoyed a swim in their pool in the evening.

The rest of my time was spent in Kerala, so very different to the hustle and bustle of Delhi. Our first night was spent in Fort Cochin and home to the famous Chinese fishing nets. We then spent two nights in the mountains of Munnar. Our homestay was in a perfect location with incredible views and wonderful hosts. We spent a day travelling higher up into the mountains with a visit to the highest tea factory in the world. My photo gives you an idea of the lush, rolling green hills of the plantations – it was lovely to have a cup of tea too!

Thekkady was our next destination and another beautiful spot. I hoped to see a tiger but maybe next time, however I really enjoyed my trek in the Periyar National Park. Another highlight was visiting a school next to our homestay. We were greeted with huge smiles and welcomed into their classrooms.

I was excited to reach Alleppey and go night fishing. Vembanad Lake was on the homestays doorstep and the fisherman was waiting for us. We enjoyed fresh lobster that evening in a typical Keralan home. The next day we went out on the lake again but in one of the famous houseboats. They are fantastic and we all relaxed whilst taking in the scenery. I couldn’t have asked for a better final evening, locals came to our homestay and played live music for us.