A Travellerspoint blog

Kerala - Gods Own Country

The Land of Coconuts

sunny 33 °C
View Backpacking on rachelk27's travel map.

We needed a good rest after the long train journey from Goa. We arrived in Cochin and got an auto-rickshaw to our guesthouse. We just about managed to squeeze into the rickshaw with our backpacks! The driver didnt have any English but thankfully he found our guesthouse. In Cochin we stayed with another Indian family that were so good to us. Here 3 generations lived under the roof. Its an Indian tradition when the oldest boy gets married his wife moves in with him and his family!
The father Anish was very hospitable. He travelled around Cochin with Ben and I and showed us around. We got the ferry across from Ernakulum to the old city of Fort Cochin which was really relaxing and checked out the local sites. We met some fishermen and they showed us how do use the ancient Chinese fishing nets whcih was really good fun!Our catch wasnt too good but it was worth a try!
We spent 3 nights with Anish and his family in Cochin. The mother Aneylamma was very good to us and cooked us delicious breakfasts. We had masala dosas (thin rice pankcakes with spicy veg) and coconut chutney for breakfast not a cornflake in sight! They had the most beautiful Indian boy Coylan only 2 1/2yrs. I would have taken him with me if I could! I managed to get a photo of him on his father's Enfield motorbike so that will have to do me as a souvenir.
From Cochin we went on a fab boat trip on the famous Keralan backwaters. It was lovely to get away from the crazy city traffic and get out into the countryside. There were 10 of us altogether so it was cool to meet some other travellers.
We were on the water for the day and they gave us the most beautiful lunch cooked fresh in front of us.
After Cochin we travelled south again 4 hrs by train to Varkala. A beautiful seaside town set high among rocky cliffs (kinda like the old head of Kinsale with beaches below!)
In Varkala we stayed for 6 nights in a beach hut. This beach hut was much better than the one in Goa and we had no wildlife this time around so it was safe to go for a p in peace!
In Varkala, the Arabian sea meets the Indian ocean and the sea was really dangerous. Under current rips and really powerful waves so nearly got the bikini ripped off me on a few occasions.
We took it easy in Varkala just chilled out and watched the sunsets every night (along with a few Kingfisher beers!).
I got an ayruvedic Keralan massage (they use extracts from plants mixed with coconut oils for medicinal purposes) which was unreal! This was an extra special deep tissue one! I had a woman holding me down and a guy using his full strenght to work on all my knots and scar tissue for around 1 1/2 hrs! No pain no gain! To put a smile on my face after all that screaming they finished me off with a relaxing Indian head massage!
After 6 days in Varkala it was time to move on so instead of travelling to Delhi by train which would take 4-5 days we treated ourselves to a flight!

Posted by rachelk27 22:23 Archived in India Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Goa

Former Portuguese colony

sunny 30 °C
View Backpacking on rachelk27's travel map.

Goa was a great introduction for us both to India. We really enjoyed our first week here chilling out by the coast.
Hired a motorbike and Ben drove us to the Northern beaches.
Stayed in Anjuna for the first 3 nights in a local guesthouse with a lovely family where 4 generations of Indians lived under the one roof. This made our stay but we were nt mad about the location. Anjuna is an overhyped freak show full of long stay hippy travellers that dont want to go home.
Went south to Palolem beach which was pretty close to paradise. Stayed in a beach hut for 4nights. We had one mouse, 2 frogs and a lizard staying with us too!Plenty of swimming and sea kayaking!
Pity about the number of dogs around but its kinda funny seeing cows on the beach getting a tan!
After a week in Goa we decided to catch an overnight train to Cochin in Kerala. This exciting 16hr train journey was our first intrduction to the train system in India. At around 23.00 we went to the local staion in Palolem. We were a little nervous of the journey that lay ahead. Ben had images of people being strapped to the roof of the train and people hanging out of the doors&windows!
Our second class sleeper was fine and we mananged to get some rest until about 7 in the morning when we woke to the sound of chai & dosa sellers.
By the midday heat we could not wait to get off the train. It just got too hot & sticky......

Posted by rachelk27 13:59 Archived in India Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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