Mumbai, Kochi and Varkala

Trip Start Apr 16, 2013
1
2
18
Trip End Dec 20, 2013


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Flag of India  , Kerala,
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

After sayng our goodbyes to family and friends, where tears were shed and party times were had, we headed off for India.  

Day 1
We arrived in Mumbai for our stop over night and got to our hotel through the mental traffic of India. Had the first of many curries - Veg Jalfrezzi and Aloo Ghobi - v tasty. Hotel was fine, but felt a bit odd as we were jetlagged and didn't have much to do so we were looking forward to our morning flight to Kochi. Managed to lock our passports/money/all important items in an electronic safe which it took 3 people and 5 hours to get out - good start!

Kerala - Gods Own Country
"Beautiful today, Perfect tomorrow"
:-)

Day 2

Morning flight to Kochi was fine, we had curry for breakfast on the plane - Jim managed his spicy omelette, Laura didn't. We'd pre-booked our accommodation at Walton's Homestay and had organised an aiport pick up to make things easier, he didn't show up for 45mins - our first India challenge! We did get talking to a lovely pastor called Thomas though who told us all about his family, offered to marry us and gave us a little prayer before he left. In general, the Indian people have been so lovely - often coming to talk to you just to practice their English. Anyway, our lift finally arrived - Walton's was great, Mr Walton was very helpful and his wife Peeka made awesome breakfasts. We spent our first day having a wander around trying to find our bearings and get used to the heat! Had a lovely lunch at Kashmi Art Cafe and awesome seafood curry dinner at OceanOS (recommended by Mr Walton). Fort Kochin is a funny place, lots of gorgeous heritage style buildings and history but the beach is strewn with rubbish which is a real shame. 

Day 3

Decided to have a lazy day today so chilled out after breakfast at Om's cafe using the free wifi. Had lime-sodas for approx 15p. Spent the afternoon in a posh hotel pool which was a lovely relief from the 36degree heat! Found our favourite Fort Kochin cafe - Teapot and had some awesome cake and tea. Then went for more food - dinner at Kerala Cafe a little street restaurant for another curry (veggie again!) not as good as some of the others but cost us about 4pounds in total. Awesome. Jim got a mosquito bite on his head :(

Day 4

Took a tuk-tuk (Jim's first tuk-tuk experience) to Mattancherry and Jew Town to have a wander round. Really cool marked with lots of antique shops and the regular clothes, spices etc. There were coach loads of Germans from the cruise ships which was quite funny - they all crocodiled around the market with matching orange caps on - the locals could see the money flowing in with every ship load. Bought some MC Hammer pants from a lovely Indian lady who said Laura looked like Anne Hathaway - hmmm I think she just wanted our money! That evening we went to see a Kathkali show (translates to story-play). It is basically mental Indian theatre with elaborate costumes, dance, drumming and singing. Each element takes 6 years training to master. The costumes were incredible though and we both found it pretty mesmerising.

Day 5

Last day in Fort Kochi today, we headed back to Jew Town to see Mattancherry Palace and the Synagogue (each cost us a whole 6p to get in). Palace was lovely - didn't look much like a palace from outside but there was a lot about the history of the area and some amazingly ornate hindu murals. Went to watch the sunset over the Chinese fishing nets and then had an amazing meal at the end of a jetty watching the ferry boats come in. Jim braved some chicken - first Indian meat experience - suspiciously big chunks but he seems ok. Got back to Walton's and found LOADS of ants in Jim's bag - cue lots of gassing of ants with deet. Not fun times. This is a good example of how things can change from awesome to horrendous very quickly in India!

Day 6-7

Today we'd booked an eco-houseboat for 24 hours using the very kind money that had been collected for us at the Careers Centre - cheers guys! Whilst waiting for houseboat to be ready we chatted to the local kids, their English was phenomenal and they were so cute! Houseboat was an amazing experience, it was punted which meant that we could get down the narrow canals as well as the large ones. We had our own chef and ate amazing food (more curry) and fresh fish. Stopped off at a beach that seemed to go on forever and had a swim. The whole experience was very relaxing and showed the beauty of Kerala. Sleeping on the boat was ridiculously hot but it was fun spending the night moored out on the backwaters.

Day 8-9

Headed down to Varkala which gave us our first experience of Indian trains. Our first one was 50minutes late and we'd been dropped off at the station over an hour early but was fine once we got on - we accidentally got on a ladies only carriage but Jim's Indian lady impression didn't seem to go down too well so we had to move at the next station. The trains are basic but the breeze through the windows was amazing. Our second train wasn't quite so peaceful - was absolutely rammed but we managed to squeeze on a seat. It was so so hot and we were getting a little tired and hungry by the time we arrived in Varkala especially as when went to get changed Laura found 15 mosquito bites on her legs - a mosquito must have got inside her MC Hammer trousers!

Varkala's beauty makes up for it though, red cliffs with a huge golden beach, we arrived just in time to watch the sunset and have a paddle before getting some dinner. All the restaurants are perched on the cliff top and look out over the sea - so peaceful and there are loads of eagles flying around! There are no Seagulls here only SeaEagles and at night time the huge shapes in the sky aren't the eages but massive Fruitbats! 

Today we have had a beach day which was lovely but we're trying to be careful in the sun so didn't stay out for too long. We are both suffering from prickly heat - I don't think our bodies appreciated such a dramatic change in temperature! We have one more day here before heading up to Munnar, we'll be sure to keep you posted.

Missing you all, we can't believe we've only been gone a week but are having a fabulous time!

Lots of Love

Laura and Jim xx

 

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Comments

Mum on

Looks fantastic! Liking the pants :) Food seems to be featuring v highly - no change there then! Keep em coming! Missing you - enjoy yourselves Mum xxxx

johnbird
johnbird on

Thanks both for news of Kerala experience. So much came flooding back. Enjoyed your observation that things can change "from awesome to horrendous very quickly in India". The secret is to work it the other way, and i know that you both are well able to achieve that.

Sam D. on

Wow, nice one! Glad you guys are having such a great time. However, the big question, were is the photo of Jim with the mosquito bite on his head?! :-)
S.

Chris Bird on

Glad all is well and you are enjoying your madventure (typo but it probably is!)
Look after each other. Love mum

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