Blogs from Kollam, Kerala, India, Asia - page 8

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Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam April 4th 2006

Well after another beautiful beach we booked a grueling 12 hour night train to Kerela just to remind ourselves that we are actually backpacking and not just on vacation. Kerela is famous for the backwaters where you can hire your own personal house boat and cruise around the canals and lakes for a day. So after sharing the lovely 2nd class train with no air conditioning with quite a few locals and of course a few cockroaches as well we decided to treat ourselves and stay at a pretty posh hotel - this is definitely not the backpacking I remember... Well after a quick dip in the pool and another beautiful sunset at the beach while amusing the locals as I try and play catch with the local kids, we pack our overnight bags for a ... read more
Suzanne looking for lunch
Swimming with the fishes
Sunset on day two

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam March 10th 2006

Just adding photos, and realised that I seem to have totally left out the most surprising event of all in Kerala... After having decided to ditch the elephant festival in favour of a trip to Ernakulam and buying our train tickets, we sorted ourselves out a couple of excusions - one to the famous Keralan backwaters, and one to the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary that I've already written about. Trip to the backwaters was extremely relaxing, if a little odd. Drove past a massive festival on the way there (with evidence of the elusive elephants) and, more to the point, the sort of fireworks that would have gone down well in the trenches at the Somme. No pretty explosions - not really worth the effort at ten in the morning - so they could just concentrate on ... read more
Curry on the boat
Coconut hunting
Elephants!

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam March 8th 2006

An overnight train journey from the energy of Madurai saw me enter the much anticipated destination of Kerala. However, my visit commenced in a rather unfortunate fashion. Asking the train staff when would we arrive at Alappuzha (my destination), they replied confidently "the next one". Twenty minutes later we pulled into a typical Indian station, and I was the only person to stride onto the platform in the most silent passage of the night. It wasn't until the train has slowly chugged away that I discovered my disembarkation was in Ambalappuzha instead. Those first three extra letters may not seem like much of a change - but to a weary traveller at 3am they made a very significant difference indeed. The platform was deserted and the thought of sleeping on a bench was not too appealing. ... read more
How is one person supposed to eat all this?!
An idyllic home in the backwaters
Chinese fishing nets - Cochin

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam February 18th 2006

I'm going to make this entry a short one. It is so freakin' hot here. There is no wind and it's like 35 which is mid-90's. I sweated nonstop for 3 days while here. I don't know how people can live here. The travel agents (this goes from Kumily also) are useless. One agent refused to sell us airline tickets because we were not Indian. As for our schedule...we were initially planning and had purchased a ticket to Kathmandu, Nepal for February 16 which, after new developments (curfews, military checkposts, protests) in that country, we cancelled. Based on some internet news and discussions with some travellers who had been in Nepal, we thought it would be prudent to postpone our Nepal leg. (We are not giving up on Nepal completely and hoping that things get better ... read more
Us and the Boat
Rest Stop for Lunch near the Rice Paddies
Cruising Down the Backwaters

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam February 17th 2006

Apologies in advance for all the ridiculous typos that will follow - I think my keyboard has curry in it or something and a virus message keeps appearing... We are now in Kerela, having made our way down from Ooty to Fort Cochin by sleeper train. This was uneventful, apart from the fact we were both sound asleep when we arrived and had to be woken up by the train attendant. We made our way over to Fort Cochin, with a combination of sunrise and moonlight lighting up the water - not a bad way to wake up in the morning. We were there by about 6.30am - not a good time to arrive in Fort Cochin as NOTHING was open, including all the guesthouses and hotels. When they say it's sleepy there they are not ... read more
Kathakali Dancer, Fort Cochin

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam February 6th 2006

We arrived in Alleppy or Allephuza today - a two hour local bus ride from Kochi or Fort Cochin. Very hot - 35C during the day and down to 25 at night. Kerala is cleaner, greener and more friendly than any place we've visited so far. The general 'look' of this southern province on India's west coast is steep, red-tiled hip rooves over plastered walls under 60 foot-tall palm trees. This province has been a trading and sea-faring area for thousands of years. There are Mosques, Hindu shrines & temples and churches. The people speak malayalan which seems to have a whole lot of extra syllables thrown in just for fun. The mouth doesn't move much but the tongue rolls rapid-fire through the consonants. We find that everyone is very proud of their state and their ... read more
Fishing boat, Goa
Hot stuff in Margao market
Sunset in Goa

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam January 23rd 2006

Last night Vernon sent you the first part of his description of our time in paradise, time that will go down in our personal history as an all time best. The images of our journey through the backwater are now be added and will now provide visuals of the peace, tranquility and beauty we experienced. The trip had us both spellbound. And now over to Vernon for the continuation of his description of the backwaters of Kerela. Penny THROUGH AND OUT OF THE BACKWATERS OF KERELA Our team of three devoted their every waking hour ensuring that we truly enjoyed what was unfolding around us. Meals were genuine Kerela fare. It is distinguished in its use of spices and herbs of the area for preparing sauces that accompany each dish. The sauces were so delightful, I ... read more
Houseboat -  backwater vista
Houseboat - rice paddies
Houseboat - first meal

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam January 22nd 2006

We got up late today and arranged our journey from Travendrum to Goa by train. Alleppey rezervation office at the railway station gives service even on Sundays but only cash is accepted. In hurry we caught the boat to Kottayam which would be our first backwater practice. The Boat Jetty is close to the hotels area and the boats departs in time. We paid 10 InR for one way each for more than 30 km. on the lake. It takes around 2.5 hrs. going and 3 hrs. back.we did not have enough time to make Kumarakom from Kottayam. Kumarakom , said to be worth seeing. We spent the night at the hotel eating and mailing on internet. ... read more
our hotel in Alleppey
houseboat
internet cafe

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam January 21st 2006

Arrived at Cochin airport in the morning . We took a taxi to Fort Cochin.We paid 585 Indian Rupies for 45 km.we watched the fisherman at Chineese nets catching fish.Having a nice lunch of fresh fish we took the super fast bus to Allapey.The bus driver really rallied rather than driving.We stayed at Tharayil Tourist Home paying 700 Ind.Rupies for a night for non AC (no need for AC at this season) double room.We are quiet tired and sleepy we may continue later.... read more
chineese fishing nets
water way

Asia » India » Kerala » Kollam January 18th 2006

We have just come back from 2 days in Paradise. Jo & Prit have left us now, winding their way to Chennai for their flight home. We decided to stay a little longer in Kerala and see a bit more of the Backwaters. We managed to find a great 2 night package with a local travel agent in Cochin ( Indo World Tours & Travels, Princess Street - this is a recommendation for anyone reading this who might be travelling to Cochin). We set off on a mini houseboat, not motorised, a bit like a punting. We had a 4 hour magical ride through the rivers, narrow canals and ending up at Vembanad Lake and the Vaikom Lake Resort where we had lunch and would spend the next 2 days. When we first saw the resort ... read more
The Backwater canals
The Backwater canals (2)
Villages making Coir




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