Heute ging es mit „Prady“ einem Inder den ich im Hostel traf zum Fort Kochi mit der Fähre. Wir aßen typisch indisches Essen für 50cent und schauten uns das Fort an.
Jetzt geht die Planung für morgen weiter wie ich nach munnar komme.
Das lost Hostel ist wirklich lost. Bin gerade angekommen, hab seit 3 Tagen ne Erkältung, die jetzt ihren hochpunkt auslebt aber was will man machen. Munnar gefällt mir jetzt schon ohne wirklich viel gesehen zu haben. Es herrscht eine Regenwald Atmosphäre, man ist umringt von Natur und alles ist schön ruhig. Das perfekte Paradies.Read more
Um 15 Uhr ging es mit dem Jeep über Offroad Gelände zu einem Wasserfall, über eine Hängebrücke bis zu einem See. Danach stoppten wir am Sunset Point und genossen den Sonnenuntergang. Wir sahen „Jackfruits“ (schmeckt wie Hühnchen nur vegetarisch), Kaffeebohnen und „Lemongras“ das wie mein deo riecht😂. Alles in allem ein schöner Trip für 9€.Read more
We piled in the car for one last five hour drive with Laxman Singh from Iora Guest House to the Delhi Airport. Stopped for coffee at a modern shop by the side of the highway. The photo below was taken from our seats in the place. Can't get much more direct cause and effect than that. Open sewer from the Café runs right into the vacant lot next door which is filled with garbage from the same establishment. On the flight over I'd read about the contradiction between holding the Ganges river sacred as the mother of life, yet polluting it to unheard of levels. There are groups trying to make the connection and publicize the worst offenders. All the while we're driving through a thick haze of Delhi air in a diesel powered sedan and about to board a flight to the south of India. Can't get much more direct cause and effect than that...
In the airport the family messed around with the massage chairs in the lounge for a bit while I knocked back a whiskey on ice before the flight. Sanju picked us up at the Kochi Airport and drove us into town. He was pretty proud of his home state of Kerala. Talked about the recent monsoon floods leading to 100,000 displaced people and 500 dead if one includes those still missing. Said the recovery was going well, but tourism was down. A big problem for a state with no manufacturing. He noted that the state was run by the first democratically elected Communist government. Their rule for the past decades has lead to the highest literacy rate in India.
Kochi is a pretty chill town. Intrepid Travel, the company we're traveling with, arranged a tour. The guide, Peter, explained that Kochi's history as a port city on the Malabar coast goes back thousands of years. Jews first arrived following the second burning of the temple in Jerusalem in 79ce. Another wave came through in the time of the Inquisition, but they didn't worship with or intermarry with the first group. Jew Town has the oldest continuing active synagogue in the Commonwealth. In more recent centuries it was colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. Their architecture abounds. Lots of small shops, restaurants, and cafés. Art murals can be found all around the city.
The guide went into a long statement about the effects of the Swiss reformed church in the area. They went to great lengths to deconstruct the caste system that had been introduced to the South from Northern India around 1000ce. They used a land tax system to make it too expensive for large feudal land owners to hold their land and incentivized its transfer to the small farmers who'd been working the land. The Reformed church also introduced schooling for all, including untouchables, which further eroded the caste system. He described the multireligious, multi economic, multi cultural tolerance that the area is known for.
Greater Malabar is even more ancient. Dawn of human civilization stuff. Hunter-gatherers beachcombed from the African Rift Valley along the Indian Ocean coast until they reached a place of such abundance that they stopped. Kerala. It is the source of civilization in India. I learned that Brahmins pass mantras on to their sons when they reach the age of manhood. Linguists have studied these chants and found no connection to any known language. The closest correlation they can find is to birdsong. The assumption is that the mantras have been passed down since before humans took up language.
This afternoon Augie and I took a walk along the waterfront where we met up with several pilgrims who had left their village to do a pilgrimage to the holy sites of South India. Jevesh said that every few years he goes on a pilgrimage with the other men from his village. Usually in December and January. He told us a story about an ailing queen who was tricked into sending her second born son into the wilderness to get tiger's milk to heal her ills. The boy came back riding a tiger. The father then recognized the son's divinity.
This evening we took in a traditional dance exhibition. Tomorrow we're off to the mountains.Read more
We loaded into a van and drove up into the mountains for five hours to Thekkady and the Periyar Tiger Reserve. On the way we stopped by a spice plantation for a tour. It was pretty interesting. Madagascar might as well be synonymous with spice. This place was all organic and the shop at the end of the tour offered tea, chocolates, and ginger candy. Later we checked into our hotel and all took naps for a few hours. Nancy and Sophie finally are on the tail end of their illnesses.
In the evening it was recommended that we go to a local tourist trap to witness a Kalari martial arts demonstration. We were not really interested, but Nancy really wanted to go, so we walked over to the place, put down our 200 rupees apiece and took our seats. It did turn into quite a spectacle. Lots of acrobatics, clashing swords, and jumping through smoky rings of fire. One can see a short demonstration and witness Nancy's obvious delight here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/NzJbezoTETC1zPBK6
Next morning we woke really early for a walk through the tiger reserve. Once again we didn't see any big cats, but did see some interesting trees and a kingfisher.
Tomorrow it is off to Kerala and a night at a homestay in the backwaters.Read more
We drove from the highlands of Thekkady to the west coast of Kerala on the morning of the 23rd. At the first stop I realized that I'd left my camera in the room at the hotel. Arrgh! We drove through coffee, then tea, then rubber plantations as we descended. Mid-morning we arrived at a dock next to the sprawling, slow moving Pampa river. We boarded a water taxi for a ride some 45 minutes downstream to our riverside homestay.
The ride was pleasant, but a bit noisy. It felt something like the African Queen as the diesel engine kachunked along. We passed some riverside homes. The tree house in the photo below really stood out. I'm sure that home did well during the torrential rains and flooding of the last monsoon.
We passed many houseboats along the way. Our guide Veejay said that "there are two places to go in India, the Taj and the Kerala Backwaters." Tourism is down, so many were lying idle. The boats that we saw working were mostly engaged by Indian families. They are built on traditional hulls with thatched roofs and hobbit like windows. Many look like something out of a Miyazaki movie, except for the aircon units hanging off of the back.
By mid-afternoon we'd reached Ayana's Pampatheeram Homestay. Very pleasant place built along a dike and right on the river backing up to rice fields. The owner took us on a long walk explaining the history of the place and pointing out native plants along the way. Coconut played a big part in the discussion. At one point he showed us how to weave some rope from the frayed husk of a coconut. He gave Sophie a homework assignment to practice spinning the husk. A video can be seen here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/wnXt5FyYTRnVZL1U6
After a short walk upstream we were met by a traditional canoe. We clambered aboard and set off downstream back to our digs. Very quiet and very pleasant time with the helmsman poling his way along the shore.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. We'll be in Kochi through Christmas before catching our flight to Mumbai for the great wedding event.Read more
Last night we went out for a final meal with our Intrepid Southern India tour mates. It was bittersweet as they'd made such great travel companions. Ina with her quirky, open for anything way of traveling. Anatole with his ready quips and learned input. Suzanne with her food passion and joie de vivre. And Scott with his glass always half full.
We woke earlier than wanted, needed, or expected this Christmas morning. Long instilled force-of-habit when we are near our children? Who knows? It might also have been due to the 6am temple recitations or call to prayer being sent out in surround sound over loudspeakers to the north and east of us respectively.
Breakfast was the usual fried egg and toast. This one came with a special surprise. It seems my lost camera had been brought in from Thekkady in the middle of the night. Nice Christmas present!
After breakfast we called Sophie and Augie's grandparents. Grace was down with a bad cold and feeling down from the self quarantine. Alma was still healing from her nose surgery and missing her kids. Ed was enjoying his evening and still seeking a publisher for his next book. All were as excited to hear from us as we were to check in with them. Most likely we'll be in Pacific Grove for Christmas next year.
At 11am we checked out and walked the half mile to our next hotel pulling our rollers (except Augie) and accompanied by our guide from the previous two weeks Veejay. We dropped our bags and went out for coffee together. Cappuccinos and chocolate and lemon cake all around. Second breakfast!
This year we'd all agreed to 'no gifts'. Being together in India was enough. Still, I couldn't help myself so I gave each family member a free latte per week*.
*recipient must submit photo of same to collect reimbursement.
It will be nice knowing where everyone is and checking in once a week. A 'Dad Thing' I guess.
We enjoyed a special Christmas dinner at the fancy Fort Kochi hotel and checked back into our more modest accommodations across the street for the duration.
I did hear about a special local custom that I am sad to miss. It seems that the people of Kochi gather on the beach at midnight on New Year's Eve to burn Santa Claus. Man, what I would give to be here for that! Instead we'll be off tomorrow to Mumbai for the big wedding. But who knows? Maybe we'll start a beach bonfire tradition like this in Santa Cruz for next year.Read more
Wir haben uns abends noch die Lightshow am Palast angesehen und sind danach in einen Open-air Restaurant mit einer drehenden Restaurantplattform gegangen. Die Aussicht auf die ansonsten uninteressante Stadt „Mysore“ war bescheiden. Ein Indisches Büffet kostete nur ca. 4 Euro. Das war billig, wie fast alles in Indien.
18th Jan 2019
Today we travel up into the cool highlands and head to the hill-station of Kalpetta, a small settlement surrounded by tea and coffee plantations. Enroute we will have the opportunity to visit the Eddakkal caves. A steep hike up allows breathtaking views over the local area and an insight into the carvings thought to date back over 3,000 years. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. We will have a free day in Wayanad where we have many options available. From hiking up Chembra Peak, visiting local waterfalls and tea plantations, or the chance to visit the nearby Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. Whilst in Wayanad we stay as guests of local families at a guesthouse where they have set up rooms for visitors in their homes.
Gehen 09:00 sind wir relaxed losgefahren. Die allgegenwärtige Smokewolke begleitet uns weiter nach Süden.
Wir passieren das Gate zum “Bandipur Tiger Reserve”auf 910 müN und sehen promt den ersten wilden Elefanten.
Wir besichtigen die “Eddakkal caves” (1.100 müN). Erst mussten wir gut 200 Höhenmeter überwinden.
Gegen 17:00 sind wir dann in unserem home-stay (760 müN) angekommen. Es liegt außerhalb des Städtchens “Kalpetta”.
Editiert am ....
Text von Wolfgang
You might also know this place by the following names:
State of Kerala, Kerala, كيرلا, كيرالا, Керала, केरल, কেরল, ཀེ་ར་ལཱ།, কেরালা, Kérala, ކެރެލާ, Κεράλα, Keralao, کرالا, Cearala, કેરળ, קרלה, Կերալա, ケーララ州, კერალა, ಕೇರಳ, 케랄라 주, Malabaria, കേരളം, केरळ, केरला, କେରଳ, ਕੇਰਲਾ, کیرالہ, केरळराज्यम्, கேரளம், కేరళ, รัฐเกรละ, کیرلا, קעראלא, 喀拉拉邦