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The Traveller


The Traveller brochure 2014-2015 View the 2014-2015 brochure

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Steppes Travel Steppes Discovery

A Sketchbook Journey to Southern India

Fruitseller, painting by Maxine ReltonMaxine Relton - Ganesh Painting - Sketchbook tour to South IndiaMaxine Relton - Woroomba Market - Sketchbook holidays to South IndiaMaxine Relton - Elephant Painting - Sketchbook tour to South IndiaMaxine Relton - Arcade - Sketchbook holidays to South IndiaMaxine Relton - Bullock cart - Sketchbook holidays to South IndiaMaxine Relton - Trike - Sketchbook holidays to South IndiaMaxine Relton - River Washing - Sketchbook holidays to South India

Tour Factbox

15 days
1 – 15 Feb 2015
Price pp
£3,095 excl. flight
Single supp.
Flight time
14 hours
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  • Visit the traditional rural heartland of India
  • Amble through spice plantations on elephant-back
  • Spend time in local villages, visiting SCAD projects

This journey has been designed for those who wish to experience a richly diverse culture combined with a chance to learn the art of quick, vivid sketching, even if you have little or no experience of drawing and painting. Equally welcome are those who simply enjoy sitting back and absorbing the endlessly fascinating sights and sounds.

Your trip will make an important contribution to the charitable organisation SCAD (Social Change and Development), an NGO which supports and educates the underprivileged of the district.


Day 1  London/ Dubai/ Trivandrum – Fly overnight to Trivandrum via Dubai.

Day 2  Trivandrum, Kovalam – Transfer to nearby Kovalam with the rest of the day at leisure to acclimatise.

Day 3  Kovalam, Thirunelveli – Travel to Thirunelveli along the eastern flank of the Ghats mountains stopping en route for a picnic lunch and to sketch and photograph
a rarely visited ancient temple. Arrive at SCAD. 

Day 4  Thirunelveli – Take a guided walk around the campus and visit various SCAD projects. This afternoon a trip to Thirunelveli town offers a chance to visit Pothi’s impressive sari emporium to buy silks or cotton for any clothes to be made up for you.

Day 5  Thirunelveli – Visit a lively local school, followed by an afternoon at leisure or sketching in the lush green shade of the campus.

Day 6  Thirunelveli – Explore the tiny 7th century ruined Hindu temple and enjoy views across the paddy fields and banana plantations, with a quick stop in Cheranmahadevi to visit the small bustling town.

Day 7  Thirunelveli – Meet local women helped by SCAD and learn about the process of sari weaving. In the afternoon relax or participate in a sketching session with Maxine.

Day 8  Thirunelveli, Madurai – Drive to Madurai where you will have some quiet relaxation time before visiting the Great Temple thronged with pilgrims, wedding parties, stalls and shrines.

Day 9  Madurai, Thekkady – Drive from Madurai to Thekkady where you cross from Tamil Nadu into the state of Kerala, you then have the remainder of the
afternoon at leisure.

Day 10  Thekkady – Enjoy a gentle guided amble through the fragrant spice plantations by elephant. In the evening attend a performance of the ancient
martial arts of Kerala.

Day 11  Thekkady - A full day at leisure to explore the area at your own pace.

Day 12  Thekkady, Backwaters of Alleppey – An early start in order to reach your houseboat by lunchtime, where you will spend the next few days.

Day 13  Backwaters of Alleppey – Spend the day leisurely cruising along the backwaters, stopping off at places of interest en route to experience daily life on the river banks.

Day 14  Backwaters of Alleppey, Cochin – Disembark the houseboat and drive to Cochin. Afternoon exploring the historic quarters of Cochin, with a sunset view of the famed Chinese fishing nets.

Day 15  Cochin/ London – Return flight to London via Dubai.

Maxine Relton RWA

Maxine Relton RWA

Maxine is a full-time, independent artist and has been running this trip annually since 2009. She lives and works in Gloucestershire, teaches and lectures at home and abroad and exhibits widely. Her paintings, prints, drawings and travel journals can be viewed at her studio gallery any time by arrangement. She is an elected Academician at the Royal West of England Academy. 

Other tours led by this lecturer:

''This for me marked the difference between travelling and tasting the real spirit of the country. It was packed full of new experiences, emotional challenges and visual riches. It is impossible to choose a highlight - there were so many.''
Kate May, February 2012

''I can't recommend Maxine's trip highly enough. She was skilled as an artist, teacher, leader and communicator.''
Pamela Corney, February 2012

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If you like this tour but our specific tour dates don't suit you we can arrange the same itinerary or similar on a tailor-made basis, please contact us to discuss.

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