Is there such a thing as too much seafood?

Trip Start Mar 06, 2006
Trip End Dec 22, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Friday, December 8, 2006

Yet another homestay, this time with possibly the most friendly and generous hosts in Kerala! We stayed at the Kadathanad home stay which is a 5 bedroom place in Fort Cochin, and right from the word go we were properly looked after, and all for a very small price (do I sound like I'm on commission, here?!!). They even cooked for us on 2 of the evenings because they wanted to show us what home cooked Keralan food is like - it's delicious, and you even get used to sardine curry for breakfast!
Fort Cochin is a terrific place to wnader around. It's virtually an island so there's much less traffic and the pace of life is slow. On one stretch of the coast there're huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, that get lowered and raised every 10 mins to bring in the catch. These contraptions are amazing pieces of engineering and look like something out of scrapheap challenge crossed with a medieaval catapult! It's great to see them in action.
So, with so much fishing, there was a lot of seafood to try. One of the key attractions were the fish stalls next to the nets which sold everything from hammerhead shark (these didn't look that fresh to be honest) to crabs. You buy whatever takes your fancy, then go to one of the restaurants next door and they cook it how you want it for about 50p. One lunch we had a big plate of king prawns in garlic butter, and one evening we got some tiger prawns and a couple of big blue scampi. Now this didn't look like any scampi we've seen before, and the restaurant wasn't keen on breading and deep frying it, but it was well tasty. Although, it was one of those that it took a good hour or so to eat as there are lots of legs and things that hold delicious flesh, it was well worth it.  This is not a bad way to live.
Other than the fish, there where some great cafes that served lovely coffee and great choccy cake so we've truly stuffed oursleves. To counteract the bad but tasty, we sampled the local practice of Ayuverdic Massage which uses natural oils to do all kinds of wonderful things. Apparently. So, being a bit of a massage sceptic, it was with a bit of trepidation that I stepped into the room. Things went downhill from here. I was greated by two rather large chaps, a floor covered with rubber mats and a big pot of grease. Something was telling me to run away, quickly. "Take your clothes off...all of them". What followed can only be described as a very thorough basting. I had to keep my eyes shut throughout as sitting there with 2 silverbacks rubbing oil into you takes a certain frame of mind! After what seemed like 3 weeks and multiple new positions, it was over. I was told to shower and leave (this only added to a feeling of being used). Then came the act of trying to get this stuff out of your skin. It's difficult, and virtually impossible with only cold water - the water just beads off you like a freshly waxed tent - so it was with a few grumbles that I rejoined the ouitside world looking like a greasy teenager. Straight into the cafe next door for more cake.
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