Trip Start Jan 21, 2011
23Trip End May 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
We spent our first day exploring Fort Cochin and were accosted by a rather friendly rickshaw driver almost immediately. He gave us a pretty good price to see the sights in a couple of hours so we hopped in and headed off to a Jain temple. The Jain faith has, amongst other things, a huge aversion to killing anything living so they are strict vegetarians and won’t even drink water at night for fear of swallowing a bug
It wasn’t long after our second day that we realised we’d done a bit of a wrong’un in booking 6 days in Kochi! Although it is a nice little town there is not a huge amount to do and we found ourselves getting bored. I think the culture shock of India was also kicking in as we couldn’t help but feel disillusioned at the sheer amount of rubbish that lined the streets. It was a pretty overwhelming sight coming from a country where litter is a mere annoyance, and I got a little bit angry as everywhere we went there was piles and piles of old bottles, crisp packets, foil containers and even old toilets! Our original plan had been to travel up to Goa but when we looked into it the train would have been pretty horrendous as we hadn’t left enough time to book a seat and so we would have spent 16 hours in sleeper class crammed in with 100 other passengers
To while away a couple of hours one day I decided to have an ayurvedic massage as Kerala is the home of ayurveda. I left Tom in a cafe and headed off to the place recommended by our homestay (Heavenly Homestay, we moved on from Beena's). When I arrived I was a little shocked as it looked like a minging old concrete building and not what I expected. I was beckoned into a dark room by a gnarled looking old lady and instructed to get undressed. Being very British I proceeded rather politely despite the fact that the old lady watched the whole thing and nodded enthusiastically every time I removed a piece of clothing. By the time I got to my underwear the nodding had increased with vigour and I realised I was expected to get entirely naked! I obliged rather shyly and was then slightly horrified when the lady started to tie a muslin thong between my legs! It was at this point I thought I should let all my usual expectations go out of the window and just go with it.
There was a flat hard plastic bed shaped a little like a shallow bath with sides that I had to climb into before I had a smelly oil poured all over my body (I should add at this point I was lying face up) and then the old lady started the 'massage'
And so ended our stay in Kochi. We then braved the Indian rail networks and embarked on a 7 hour trip to Varkala. See next blog for details!