Kochi/Cochin - Kerala Region

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
Trip End Sep 05, 2007

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Friday, March 17, 2006

How many people do you know whose backpack has had a nest of cockroaches in it???...Read on and we shall tell ya more!!!

So, we eventually moved our butts out of Palolem, it was difficult...!! It was superb, so cheap for us, accommodation was good, meals were great, the sea was as warm as a bath!! Why would we want to move to be honest?!

But eventually we had to get back into the real world...the Goan beaches are beautiful, but its not the "Real" India...everything there is for tourists, and the minute we drove out of Palolem to Canacona train station the change was incredible..!! There were in usual Indian style tons of people all on the rural streets...people were actually dressed instead of in skimpy clothes!!

We took a taxi the distance from Palolem to Canacona train station, it was only 3kms but it was 10pm and it was dark...our train was due just after 11pm, so we waited on the small stations platform. Our train landed up being delayed and so it diddnt come in until about half past midnight, we boarded the train and found our sleepers. This train seemed much cleaner that the one which we travelled down from Mumbai on, and we both slept for about 6 hours or so through the night.

Our train eventually pulled into Ernakalum Junction station in Kochi at about 3.40pm the next afternoon...15 hours on a hot sweaty train...we couldnt wait to get off!! As we got our bags and things together, we noticed a cockroach on Matts bag...soon to discover that there were tons of them..all skittling around in each and every seam of his bag that was there! Oh they were just disgusting...we thought that we had got rid of all of them, and so jumped off the train and started walking along the platform...bags on backs and fronts...the usual overloaded backpacker scene!
Then before we had even got from the train station my (Ali) flipflop broke, just fell apart there in the middle of the station! Bags off and different shoes on...Thanks Mum for telling me to take the white ones with me as well! I threw the pink flippers on the side of the platform....some poor soul will stick them back together and get uses out of them.

As soon as we left the station we were accosted by all the usual touts...taxis...rickshaws..which have the new name of Ferrari you know!
We have got quite good as saying a polite but stern no...and we battled through them, and followed our guidebooks map through the city towards a hostel we had picked out.
Its really nice where we are staying, granite floors, our own clean bathroom and a ceiling fan...its nice and clean, we can hear the muezzin singing from the nearby mosque which is always nice...this is a big Muslim area, its so nice to see all different religions living happily side by side.

Once in our room, Matt discovered more and more cockroaches nested in the crevices of his bag...we had to take the bag into the hall and splat them...well...poor Matt did...splatted and down the loo...we hope that we dont find anymore! We must have put the bag on a nest on the train or something...it was just so gross!
After we found our hotel, we had to dash to the Sri Lankan Airlines office...to pick up our airline tickets which we had booked on the internet. After we had done that we were just exhausted, so crashed in our room, under the fan...after our pizza was delivered of course!!

Today, we were up and had breakfast in the attatched coffee shop, the took a ferry the 3.5km to Fort Kochi - the island.
The island is very European in style, a lot of the buildings were built by the Dutch, or by the Portugeuse.
We first walked down to the Jewtown area, and visited the Mantanchery Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace, then we walked further and saw the Synagogue and looked around a few of the shops.We continued walking the narrow streets to the Santa Cruz Basillica..which is a huge Catholic Cathedral, then onto St.Francis Church - Indias oldest church, from there we went up to the Vasco De Gama Square and watched the local fishermen pulling in the huge Chinese fishing nets. The nets are very famous, built out of bamboo...they caught lots of fish, it was great to watch! You can buy the seafood from the fishermen and there are places in the square who will cook it for you...pretty cool huh?!

So, tommorow morning we are flying to Colombo in Sri Lanka, theres no ferry, so its the only way to get there unfortunatly! Once at the airport our plan is to get into Colombo, and get a train or bus down the coast a couple of hours to Hikkaduwa...we have a guidebook, but this was a Tsunami affected area, so we are unsure of what we shall find upon arrival..anyhow, there will always be somewhere to rest our heads, and after the Tsunami, Sri Lanka are crying out for tourists again, whilst we are only an hours flight away we thought that we shall go over there for a bit.
The plan is Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks, back up to Delhi, with time to see the north of India before we head to China, so long as they let us in on a one way ticket they are our plans..!

Really hot and humid the further south we go.....having a fab fun time and will continue to do so....as long as the roaches keep there distance!

Hugs....and Kisses

Ali and Matt
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