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Published: August 17th 2018
It was very peaceful on the houseboat in Alleppey and we slept very well in the air conditioned room, in our sleeping bag liners under our mosquito net (the sheets were a little dubious...). Unfortunately there had been more rain overnight and the water level had risen noticeably. We were pleased to be leaving the area today.
Breakfast was amazing. Chef had made us sweet coconut dosa, fresh pineapple, toast and traditional igli. We sailed back to the mainland for a 9am finish.
We were picked up by our tuk tuk driver and taken to Cochi (our original plan had been a bus or train but being a Sunday there weren’t any running at the right time). The advantage of this method of transport was that we went along the coastal road as oppose to the main road and got to stop and look at some interesting sights. These included the basilica de St. Andrews, Marari beach and the Chinese fishing nets at Andhakaranazhi. The disadvantage is that it’s slow and rather wet when it rains!
On arriving in Fort Cochin we were quickly pleased to be leaving in a few hours. The tuk tuk drivers were relentless
Chinese fishing nets
On way from Alleppey to Cochin
in trying to get you to go with them, even following you around. When we did want to go somewhere they tried to charge a ridiculous rate and made you go to some shop that was paying them to bring in customers. We even had people offering to drive us to places we knew were about 500m away!
Despite this we did manage to have a pleasant walk along the sea front and got to see the much larger Chinese fishing nets there. We were pleased to have seen the ones in Andhakaranazhi though as these were much quieter meaning the fishermen were happy to show us how the cantilevered system worked and talk to us.
After a delicious (if rather touristy) lunch at Akashi Art Cafe we looked around St Francis Church (India’s oldest European church), Santa Cruz Basilica (outside only - ironically its closed Sunday afternoons!) & the Dutch Cemetery.
We then merrily walked over to Mattancherry, with our big bags, after being quoted ridiculous prices for a tuk tuk. We managed to look around the Mattancherry palace (built by the Portuguese in the 1500s with beautiful murals) and the Pardesi Synagogue before needing to get
to the train station.
Our first train ride was fortunately from a very quiet station with easy to understand old fashioned whiteboards. We were in air conditioned class 2 and found our berths easily. The carriage is rather crampt and the toilets less than ideal but there were clean sheets and people were friendly & helpful. Fortunately we were seated with a gentleman with very good English who explained that there wasn’t a food cart on the train and managed to organise us some food to be delivered from another station. He also, kindly, gave us a packet of biscuits.
After a rather spicy dinner of dosa & curry in a plastic bag (the nice man also managed to get us some spoons!) we decided it was sleep time.
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