Honestly. When in your life do you have the problem of a few extra days with no obligations other than "get from resort town A to resort town B and keep yourself relatively entertained in the meantime"?
I'm going to Jaipur tomorrow night, arriving on the morning of December 13. On Dec 24 I meet Ram and Nicole in Cochin. Here is a map of how far that is. In a car, it's 2385 km; that's 1482 miles. Googling tells me that that is the same as the distance between Phoenix and Missouri, or between Kansas City and Calexico, California.
(ponder for a moment the weirdness of googling "2385 km" and getting "the distance between Kansas City, MO and Calexico, CA." It's like Jeopardy.)
Ages ago, I booked a ticket on the Jaipur-Bangalore express train on Dec 14. This still seems to be approximately the best route, and trains get booked far in advance (especially now with every single tourist going to Kerala), so this still seems to be my best chance to actually get south.
But of course I don't have to take it all the way to Bangalore, and indeed, I think I won't. See, if I get off 7 hours before Bangalore, in Guntakal, I can catch a bus for a few hours to Hampi. Hampi looks like a magical city of ruins that I had ignored because I didn't think I'd be bumming around in Karnataka state. I'll be there about Dec. 16-18.
And then I'll head on down to Bangalore for Dec 19-23, to experience big city life in India one more time. I'm excited about this too, after pretty good times in Kolkata. Big cities in India can be awful, but they also can offer opportunities to meet up with Couchsurfers and other actual people who aren't trying to sell you stuff. Plus, Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India, the "pub city" of India, and I guess they grow coffee nearby, so it's basically the Seattle of India, right? Right.
So. Time filled. Let's see some ruins and stuff.