Trip Start Jan 24, 2007
Trip End Mar 12, 2007

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Flag of India  ,
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I had a fantastic time relaxing with Kimmy and Jo in Goa, but it was time to strap the backpack on and hit the trail again. I headed farther south to Fort Cochin. The first day there I did a walking tour of the city. I saw Santa Cruz Basilica and St Francis Church. Several churches in southern India claim to be the oldest, but according to Lonely Planet the oldest is St Francis. If LP says then it must be so!

There is a large Portuguese influence here. Also a lot of fishing with interesting looking Chinese fishing nets.

That evening I saw traditional Kathakali dancing. I arrived early so I got to some of them putting on their makeup.

In the performance the dancers act out a story with emphasis on hand movements and facial gestures.

The next day I did a very relaxing backwater tour. There are about 26 islands in this region with small villages on each one.

Fishermen collect clams off the riverbed floor. The clams are eaten and the shells are ground and used mostly in cement. They use all parts of the coconut as well--there is no waste here.

We spent the day cruising between the islands on natural and man made canals and taking in the local culture. It was a very relaxing day, the highlight being when on of the boat guides climbed a palm tree to get us some fresh coconuts!
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