The flight to Cochin was estimated at a little over two hours. It started off brilliantly with an aerial view of the Bandra-Worli sea link. It however, refused to end. The merry-go-round over the Indian peninsula was in its third hour. Finally, we landed, in Calicut. We waited as the overpriced airplane cookies sold out. Four cookies down, we got the green for Cochin and another 26 minutes later, we had arrived.
It was a bit ironic. Last July we had dropped the idea of visiting Kerala as the monsoon rains were to be dreaded. And here we were in the middle of summer under a rainy thunderstorm. C’est la vie :)
Bandra Worli Sea Link - Aerial View from the clouds
On arrival we were greeted by our cab driver who had obediently waited at the airport the whole time. That brought a smile on our face, and surprisingly his too! I suppose the fellow cab drivers had a pleasant time, chitchatting as the rains healed the burns.
The delay left us with little time that day, all we now wished for was a traditional sea food meal. Le Meridien, Cochin being far far away from the city left us stranded for choices. We settled for the in-house Lagoon restaurant, which was a pleasant surprise! Not only was the food delicious, but it also did not have 5 star prices slapped all over it. I loved the Karimeen Pollichathu served in a babana leaf. Yum.
Grilled Karimeen Pollichathu in a banana leaf
Nothing to rave about. A quick visit to the city followed by a ferry ride to Fort Cochin to see the famous Chinese Fishing nets. The ferry cost us 2 rupees 50 paise. I couldn’t believe it.
Le Meridien, Cochin
When in Cochin, I had no clue, how interesting the nets were and missed them in action ;( Shame on me. I just checked a few YouTube videos and its really quite amazing. The whole structure drops into the shore and when they roll it back up the fishes are in the net. I’m sure it was quite ingenious back in the 12th century when they were set up by Zheng He. A man of lazy disposition, isn’t he ;-)
Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Cochin
We spent the day visiting Munnar, which I must admit turned out more hectic than I had expected. Every time I decide to go easy on my travel plans, “tourism” gets the better of me. On the bright side, we were blessed with lovely weather and I also got to shop for a lot of tea.
Periyar River, Kerala
Tea garden, Munnar, Kerala
The Munnar trip left us a bit confused. Should we relax and soak in the sun (more squeeze out the sun if you are in India ;-) or should we allow our friends to mock us for having skipped the backwaters of Kerala! I think you know who won.
Paddy fields behind the coconut trees
Backwaters at Alleppey
The backwater ride at Alleppey was very scenic. Though initially, the driver, a cheeky little bugger refused to take us to the pretty narrow backwater villages unless we tipped him upfront! He tried to trick us, and then we tricked him, and ultimately no one felt too good about it. Oh well!
We tipped off the day with a dip in the pool. I ain’t no swimmer, but the surplus fat in my body helped me float easily allowing me to learn the backstroke! Yay!
Three level pool @ Le Meridien, Cochin
The last day was spent relaxing (finally ;-) and getting an ayurvedic massage. I took one which felt like a rice bath :D It wasn’t particularly relaxing, but it was an interesting experience :)
Aurvedic Kerala Spa
All pics have been uploaded on Picasa. Nothing beats travelling! :)