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Published: August 9th 2017
Geo: 9.96667, 76.2333
Besides Mumbai, we finally made it to the coast. After a short ferry ride that only cost 5c we arrived in Fort Cochin which is the main area for westerners who visit Kochi. We settled in at the Santa Cruz hotel where the rooms were very small and the bathrooms were tiny, but they did the job and it wasn't too expensive. After enjoying the cooler climate and shooting back down to strong and humid heat we had a quick shower and the four of us, Myself, Carole, Kim and Gloria went and got a bite to eat and a few beers.
Nothing was really planned for the following day as we didn't leave the small area that we were staying in till 2pm. We grabbed some breakfast, did the Internet thing and went to the travel agent to look at tours and prices, so by 2pm we got a rickshaw to Jew town, that's right, Jew town. It sounds so Racist, but all it is is a whole bunch of shops along two parallel streets. The shops sell all sorts of things from clothes to artifacts and Christmas decorations. I should point out that every shop owner sits out
the front of their store and tries to get you to have a look. Just up the road from Jew town was a small museum which showed all kinds of pictures, artifacts and readings of the Maharaja's and royal families of India's past. The amazing thing is that it only cost 2Rs which is like 5 cents and you could spend an hour looking and reading everything inside where as the Tippus palace in Bangalore cost us 100Rs and there was only a building and nothing to read and do.
By the time we finished looking at the museum we headed back to Fort Cochin but we went to see the Chinese fishing nets, they weren't using them at the time but they are a pretty big contraption where it takes four men to use one. So we sat and had a cool drink.
That night we had another few beers and dinner with Kim and Gloria, but this time there was also their friend who had come up from Varkala named Mel and a South African/German (such a weird combination, accent wise too) guy called Harry who the three had met before.
The next morning we all met for breakfast and I
went to Cherai beach with Kim, Gloria and Mel.
We caught a ferry across to Vypean Island where we took a local bus to the beach. Stupidly i did not take any swimwear so i just sat on the sand, but it was so hot and there was no shade. The beach itself is really nice and quite long and the water was so warm. I took a walk along the beach for about an hour and by the time i got back the others were ready to leave, so Kim and myself headed back to Fort Cochin and Gloria and Mel headed into Ernakulam to do some shopping.
We had all arranged to meet at 6 to go see the traditional Kathakali Performance. A Kathakali performance is based on Hindu themes which includes drummers and singers and actors dressed up in some amazing costumes. The performance lasted an hour. The first part explained the different eye movements and gestures and was then followed up by the performance which resulted in the lady having her breast cut off. Very Interesting stuff.
We then all went across the road for some dinner.
Once again, Myself, Carole and the three girls all met early in the
morning for our Backwaters cruise, it was also Kim's birthday. A bus picked us and other people up and headed south, but the driver got lost and we spent another hour getting to the right place, by then other groups had already set off but we did manage to catchup to them. the first part of the cruise involved a small boat along the small backwaters. I sat next to this guy from California *called Jake , he had been traveling for SIX YEARS....Oh My God...i couldn't believe it, he had been everywhere except the middle east, which he was headed, including Pakistan. He was a nice guy but had some odd mannerisms, not sure how old he is but he looked depleted and skinny, i guess from the lack of consistent food intake. He reminded me so much of the guy from Into the Wild.
Anyway....back to the backwaters. Along the small backwaters we stopped of at a few places along the way, we stopped off at a small house where they made rope from coconut hair, which is quite interesting because they have to soak the hair for 6 months for the rope to become strong.
The next place was
a small property which grew all kinds of spices and fruits including massive grapefruits, Peppers and Cinnamon. We then went up the river a bit more and headed back where we caught the bus up the road a few kilometers and caught the bigger house boat. We just drifted across the river where we had a group lunch and then hopped back on where we cruised the bigger waterways, and all the while being pushed along gondala style.
Towards the end it did feel as though it had dragged on a bit, but it was still nice none the less, then it was back to Fort Cochin for aome drinks and dinner to celebrate Kim's birthday.
Kim was due to fly back to England the following day, so we said our goodbyes at breakfast and then proceeded to to bus station where we were headed to Wayanad where we were going to do a couple of nights at a homestay.
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