I'll offer some highlights of this trip as I have time, starting with the following:
Our talented and well-educated guide is Anuja Skaria, who was born & raised in the south of India. She wears traditional Indian 3-piece Punjab outfits, has an excellent command of English and is a delight in all ways. She seems dedicated to enhancing our understanding and appreciation of the fascinating culture of southern India by treating us to the main sights, but especially offering us poignant experiences that aren’t on most tourist itineraries.
Our calm driver who pilots us skillfully past all hair-raising and fast-moving road obstacles (cows, tuk-tuks, other buses, motorcycles, pedestrians, dogs, and more) is Paneer. His kind and ever-smiling assistant is Selvan, who serves us cold bottled water, snacks, and squirts of hand sanitizer. Both men will guard our bus nonstop for the duration of our trip, even sleeping inside on the floorboards during the night.