For my first trip to India I was rostered a layover in Cochin, Kerala. It’s a short flight from Dubai at around 3 hours, but due to the departure time in the middle of the night we were lucky enough to get a layover.

We arrived in the hotel early morning, and a few of us who’d never explored Cochin before decided to hire a driver to take us to the Kerala Backwaters for a boat ride.

The network of backwaters includes 5 large lakes, which are connected by canals, rivers and inlets, and make up more than 900km of waterways.

It was around a 2 hour drive from our hotel near the airport, and despite the crazy drivers and near-death experiences on the Indian roads, all of us soon fell asleep in the car, having been awake all night!

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