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brad’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 03 Jun 2007

Location: Cochin, India

India is a land of contradiction and complexity. It's blessed with natural beauty and stained with unsightly urbanity. The country possesses wealth yet poverty is widespread. It has the second largest concentration of scientists and IT specialists in the world however half the population is illiterate. Some of the worlds most evolved medicinal systems are practiced but disease can be epidemic. Sensory overload can be a daily experience; walking the streets I pass a modern apartment block its boundaries defined by high walls. Glass shards are cemented along its ridge and the buildings shadow cast across a slum of humpies. An ox drawn cart loaded with boxes bearing the Dell logo meanders, itís passed by a Chai walla on bicycle. He weaves amongst the traffic of rickshaws, late model 4WDís and a motorcycle swarm. The inducing aroma of fresh jasmine flowers is overcome by the waft of a salivating curry, in the same moment the shit stench of an open sewer delivers and abrupt slap in the face.

The Journey.......
This journey begins in the south west corner of the sub-continent. In Kerala, a state bound by the Western Ghats and Arabian sea. Itís an area of dense tropical greenery where the land provides generously for its inhabitants, and relative to other states the cities are small and the lifestyle relaxed. Kerala is the perfect introduction to India for the un-initiated, a good place to bring your mum. We have a week to explore this pristine area; visit the old town of Fort Cochin, take a leisurely cruise along the backwaters, head for the hills exploring tea plantations and savor every mouthful of the delicious food. All this before the real objective begins.

Photos shall lead the way from here.