After researching the local area, I discovered that there is an amusement park called ‘Wonder La’ in Kerala. I hadn’t seen much in the way of swimming pools or beaches so far on the trip, and thought it would be nice to check out some of the water-rides, and then spend the afternoon relaxing pool side.
The drive was long and hot, but fortunately after 20 minutes or so, the driver put on the stereo, and we listened to ‘Radio Mango‘ for about an hour, listening to some lively Hindi tunes.
I was in two minds whether to buy the normal ticket, or a Fastrack entry, which was double the price at 1160 Rupees (£12). When we arrived, the place was already heaving with coach loads of school children, so we decided on the Fastrack option.
At first, it seemed that we were the oldest people there, and we were for the most part, but eventually some older guests arrived, and of course parents were also in tow.
It wasn’t like the sort of water-park you’d get back in Europe. There was no area for sunbeds, and everyone was wearing clothes to go into the water, and the children were going into the pools wearing their school uniforms.
We headed for some of the water-slides. It was still quite early and the queues weren’t too long. Over the course of the day we had a go on around 10 rides in total. We had lunch at one of the food courts, but not a cup of coffee, or a freshly cooked donut in sight – something I always enjoy at water-parks in Europe.
The Fastrack ticket in the end was a godsend. Very few people had them, and we jumped straight to the front of the queue, which in some places was a 30 minute wait. I felt a little guilty, jumping straight to the front, and the huge crowds of people waiting for their turn would cheer and taunt us every step of the way, as we waited to get down the chute. I had a go on the rubber rings, and right at the start I toppled over, much to the amusement of onlookers. As I went over I heard the crowd roar, and then I got stuck at the top of the slide – which was a little embarrassing.
So without an opportunity to sit and dry out in the sun, and nowhere really to relax, all that was left to do was head for the wave pool. By now the place was pretty busy, and looked a little intimidating with approximately 400 people in the water, I’m guessing. Throughout the whole day people would approach us and say hello and shake our hands, and the wave pool was no exception. It was men only and the woman had their own wave pool across the way.
Once we’d managed our way through the crowds of people, splashing and having a thoroughly good time, we made it to the deep end, which was still pretty full of people. Once the waves started coming, everyone went crazy, shouting and hollering, it was total carnage – I imagined, this is what it’s like Sunday morning on the Ganges.
Throughout the day we only briefly saw another couple of European’s, the rest of the time, it was just the two of us. I suppose it’s about as close to celebrity I’ll ever get, with people wanting to say hello and shake hands.
It was a fun and tiring day, and probably the most exciting experience I’ll ever have with my clothes on.