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Craig’s Travel Diary

Friday, 05 Jan 2007

Location: Cochin, India

MapNamaste (hello) everyone! Well I have arrived safely and have had my first couple of days here now. As soon as I walked out the airport it blew my mind the heat, the noise, the people! Hundreds of noisy Indians packed at the gate, lots of which wanted to take me somewhere. Luckily I'd been advised to get a prepaid taxi which made it less hassle and less likely Id be getting conned! On the taxi ride to my hotel (I say ride as its the scariest ride I've ever had) the driver decided to pick up a couple of his mates who just seemed to keep smiling at me with a crazed expression on their faces whilst the driver weaved on which ever side of the road took his fancy! Got to the hotel after a nail biting 45 minute journey and slept for about 16 hours - heaven!

The city which I'm staying in (Cochin) is very very busy so I consulted the travel bible and headed over to a nearby island by ferry which was far more chilled out. I hired a tuk tuk for an hour and the driver took me to see the sights. Went to a Dutch Catholic church, some Hindu temples where I watched people perform their ritual of prayer which is extraordinary, a ginger, soap and candle making factory as well as the drivers cousins carpet place where I spent half an hour trying to convince them that I couldn't fit a rug in my backpack! He did offer to UPS it to me so if anyone out there wants a rug I know an Indian del boy who is happy to help! He also took me to see an elephant that was tied up which looked very cruel, he new the guy keeping it so he let me in the enclosure and I tell you, I felt so sorry for the poor thing!

Later that day I got collared by a guy who was telling me about his family back in Shrewsbury and that he was a doctor of religious Psychology and insisted on giving me a half an hour lecture on the principles of Hinduism which I wouldn't of minded but we where stood in the baking sun and I lost him after about 30 seconds! He then invited me to a festival later that day as his 'guest' but I kind of made some excuse and left as I still need to get my head around people here. On the whole I'd say Indians are really nice people, always happy to help and OMG, do they like to talk - no-one can seem to understand that I don't have a wife or children and why I'm here on my own!

Anyway, I'm meeting up for the organised tour today so be nice to meet some fellow westerners hopefully! I'll be on this for just over two weeks traveling round the south so will keep you updated when I can.

Hope everyone is well back home and would be nice to hear from you!

See ya!