Blogs from Kollam, Kerala, India, Asia - page 2

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Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam December 23rd 2011

Danke fuer die vielen lieben Glueckwuensche per Telefon, SMS, Email, Facebook zum Geburtstag. Ich war etwas ueberwaeltigt. Wuensche Euch allen ein gesegnetes und besinnliches Weihnachtsfest und einen guten Start ins neue Jahr, mit vielen guten Vorsaetzen, die wir dann auch zum grossen Teil mal einhalten :-) Werde diese dann auch im neuen Jahr kontrollieren, haha. Freue mich Euch wiederzusehen und auf viele interessante Gespracehe. Werde Weihnachten hier in Amma's Ashram verbringen, ist einfach wunderbar hier, die Energie, diese erleuchtete Frau..... Schwer in Worte zu fassen, muss man erleben. Viele Gruesse Euch allen und bis bald im neuen Jahr, dann persoenlich. Euer Thorsten... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam January 27th 2011

Spent a week in Varkala, cliffs, light and black sand beaches, dolphins, fishermen, Europeans, Nepalese, Tibetans, Indians, Aussie's, few Americans. Dreamt seveal nights about swimming with the dolphins. Had amazing fish and tiger prawns. Coffee is mostly instant here, yet managed to find a 1/2 decaf 1/2 reg americano w/soy...was found out as an American:) Being on the beach felt like an extension of my rejuvenation process from the panchkarma at the clinic I had come from, was so relaxing and awakening as well. Had a few marriage proposals...the Indian men are enammoured with foreign women, WOW! Met some of my greatest friends shopping, these children, pre-teen, work all day with thier families selling their goods, but how much can one carry on their back. I stayed in 2 places, the second was back a bit ... read more
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Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam January 18th 2011

When in Rome, understand the Romans. I can’t say it was a purpose that I set out with, but rather a purpose that fell in place somewhere along the course on the backwaters (the waters that we never made it!) trip to Kerala. A friend of mine, Tuija, and me had decided to go on a tour of the backwaters in Kerala, but busy schedules until the day of tour meant that we had little time to do background research. What little blog-reading I did on the day of departure provided me with this: among the various backwaters options, Allepey provided more houseboat options, but was also the more polluted; Kollam had fewer, with less of the accompanying pollution. Based on that, Kollam was the obvious choice for the two of us who were running away ... read more
Rowdy Boys Club at Kollam beach
A lesson in lungi draping from Sumegh!
Varkala beach me

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam February 6th 2010

Grabbed lunch from the supermarket- good old staple of crisp sarnies ;) Walked down to tourist place to get bus that would take us to canoe place. There were 4 other people on our tour; another couple (guy was from Sheffield) and two girls. Sat on bus chatting about where we'd been and where we were going. Just before setting off an Indian girl in her teens started taking pics of the 6 pale English people in a van haha. The canoe was quite big and we sat relaxig on there for a good couple of hours, the guide ferrying us through a series of backwater canals from where we could see the little backwater villages. We got off the canoe a couple of times to see things like canoe boats being made, a fish farm, ... read more
Backwater 1
Backwater 2
Backwater 3

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam February 5th 2010

Got rickshaw to train station, yet another heart in throat experience. Bought ticket to Kollam easy enough and realised we had another hour to wait which turned into 2hrs as the train was delayed? cancelled? who knows. Talked to a couple who had just done pretty much the same trip as us but North to South so it was interesting to see what they thought of places we had yet to come. Train was rammed when it arrived- full people hanging out of doorways scenario in some of the carriages. Managed to get on and grab a seat, it was only about 25mins to Kollam. Kollam immediately looked different to the sleepy, fishing village we were imaging and more like a bustling, traffic infested town. A rickshaw ride later and we were in a huge hotel ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam January 20th 2010

We caught a pretty rough looking bus to Kollam which is the start of the Kerala backwaters. The pace has really slowed down now, although the towns are still dirty, dusty and hectic, with a mix of huge trucks, auto rickshaws and ox and carts. Once it had cooled down we were able to head down to the beach - not a great one for swimming but the sea breeze was cool and we could stroll around picturesque Keralan fishing hamlets. Unfortunately our hotel room was basically on the main highway. The noise, all night long was unbelievable. The backwaters have been described as the emerald jewel in South India’s crown and we would have to agree. Our first canoe-boat trip from Kollam was through the peaceful canals of Munroe Island. We had a local guide ... read more
Kollam Beach
Canoe Ride to Munroe Island in the backwaters
Kettuvallam (Rice Barge) Construction

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam November 19th 2009

Wednesday 18 to Friday 20 November How can I best describe our experience here on Kerala’s backwaters? Umm, well, it’s rather like a cross between a luxury cruise on the Nile and a pleasure boat on the Norfolk Broads. For readers who’ve never done either, perhaps I should explain... On Egypt’s River Nile, large, luxurious, air-conditioned cruise boats glide from temple to tomb while the palms and desert are wound past your window and waiters cater to your every whim. On the Norfolk Broads of East Anglia, you can rent small, self-drive pleasure boats with small cabins and cruise around largely man-made waterways, cooking your own meals in a small kitchen. I exaggerate, of course, but the boat on which I’m writing this while sipping a cold Kingfisher beer and waiting to be served another scrumptious ... read more
Our kettuvallam
Welcome on board
Captain Sajith at the helm

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam May 23rd 2009

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam May 13th 2009

From the description in our guide book we were expecting Kollam to be a tranquil and picturesque little fishing village however this wasn't the case. It was a grubby, noisy town with no asthetic appeal whatsoever. Luckily we weren't here to explore the town but rather to take a trip along the backwaters which snake their way from the sea into the surrounding countryside. We checked into a overpriced sweat-box of a room, booked our backwater trip for the following morning and then headed out to find some food. This turned out to be quite a mission, we couldn't find many restaurants and those that we did stumble across were working mens joints, packed with sweaty men shuvelling down the set meals served from buckets which are nice but we didn't fancy right then. We were ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam January 24th 2009

"This blog is dedicated to Amy, Josh, John and my Nana. The first 3 were taken away in their prime the latter was in her prime for 99 years. Rest in Peace.” We hit Chennai at 11.30pm feeling a little tired and very relieved after one of the bumpiest and scariest flights I’d been on in a while. We passed through 3 different thunderstorms that clearly lit the night sky and the plane!!! The next morning we decided not to cycle into Chennai, but headed south towards Mamallapuram a tourist fishing town overlooking the Bay of Bengal. We put on our armor, sun cream and ear plugs as we set off!! We soon realized that Indian roads are best described in one word... “mayhem”. Truthfully the way out of Chennai was not as bad as we ... read more
Shore temple
Goating around
Not bad for a hand carving




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