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Patti's Passages’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 14 Sep 2006

Location: Fort Cochin, Kochi, Kerala, India

MapIt's Wednesday and I'm leaving Saturday night! My whirlwind trip to the South of India is coming to an end. TIme has flown, but at the same time, it seems longer ago than just one week ago when we left Delhi. Since then we've spent two nights in Chennai, two nights in Pondicherry, one night in Madurai, and one night on a train traveling to Kerala. We took another train up to Kochi yesterday morning. This'll be our second night in Fort Cochin, and then we're flying out early Friday Thursday morning for Bangalore. Saturday afternoon I fly back to Delhi. I'm only 4 flights away from home. Strange concept.

Kerala is lush and beautifully green. It's also during the monsoon season. Divya says the Malabar coast, west coast of South India has their monsoon season sooner than the Tamil Nadu east coast does. The rain is a blessing not a curse for me. It cools down the days and diminishes the mosquitos. In Madurai the mosquitos loved me. I tried to out smart them by wearing long pants, sleeves, and shoes (not sandals.) They still found a few bare patches of skin to bite. Worst was waiting at the Madurai train station for our 11 pm train. I didn't put on Deet bug repellant because I didn't want to wear it for 16+ hours- until we'd make it to a hotel to shower and change.

We only had time to take an autorickshaw to Kipathin Inn and grab a quick bite to eat before the Kathakali performance started at 6:30 pm. Kathakali means story play. It's a traditional art form/dance that reenacts famous stories to music and singing. Last night's performance was geared towards foreign travellers- and indeed everyone in the audience was a tourist. They explained in English different eye, facial and hand movements. I wasn't able to remember them all, but I was impressed by the actors "bodily" control.

We got caught in a downpour after the performance. I had tried to find my umbrella, but when I couldn't, I realized I must have left it in some taxi back in Tamil Nadu. We got soaked trying to find a place that had ice cream or some other dessert. We finally ended up back next to the Kerala Kathakali Centre at one of the restaurants that tried to entice us to enter when we left the theatre. They didn't have ice cream, but we had the yummy hot coconut pancakes instead after fish moliee. Divya tells me that Kerala is known for their fish and that they usually have fish several times a day. We had fish in mango sauce just before the performance started. Divya commented that we've fallen into a strange eating habit. We won't eat for hours, then we eat way too much and don't want to eat again. In Delhi, we usually ate only 2 meals a day- maybe a small snack, but not a meal.

I should head back, since Divya is mostly likey back at the inn, finished with her Auyervedic massage. She's been waiting for one for a long time. But it just has't worked out yet timing wise. Next we should walk around and see some of the sights that Fort Cochin has to offer as a former Portuguese, Dutch, and British port. There's dutch cementary, Portuguese churches, and even a Jewish Synagogue to visit. We heard Spanish singer Enrique Iglesia's music playing from the Portuguese Santa Cruz Basilica last night on the way home. Divya was surprised! Photos!