I think we really couldn’t wait to get to South India. Our nerves were shot from all the incessant noise and stress and we had heard that it is like a different world here. And dear god is that right!
It is completely different. The tuk tuk drivers occasionally stop and ask if you need one. If you say no, they drive off! That is unheard of in North India. Sometimes people come over to you and ask where you are from, or shake your hand. Again, you get defensive, thinking “what does this guy want”. After a smile and a “good day to you” they walk off. The people here are really nice – maybe it is all the vitamin D. They are genuine and smiley and the kids are really cute, high-fiving you as you walk past.
It is a different world, with space and sunshine and trust. I went from a clenched mess with my hand constantly over my bag and all my zips tied together to waltzing around completely relaxed with my bag unguarded.
We got off the plane and immediately turned into puddles. It is super hot here. 34 degrees ish and we were both in walking pants, fleeces and walking boots!! Luckily we made it to the homestay on an air conditioned bus. But the last walk from the bus stop to the homestay was horrible! I wasn’t aware that the inside of my ears could sweat!
We found the homestay really easily and we were a bit unsure when we saw it was above a motorbike repair shop. But all of our worries were obliterated when we met the hosts, Sunil and Susan. They are the loveliest people ever! Sunil is a Hindu and Susan is christian and they are very open, honest and kind. Their daughter was so sweet too!
The room was lovely and the cleanest we had come across in India and there was a kitchenette shared with another room. Susan brought us coffee and Sunil helped us to book the backwaters tour (which is why we had come to Kerala). They took the time time to drive us round the town so we could orient ourselves better. We had only booked one night, so we could see how we found it first. We tried to extend but the rooms were fully booked now. Sunil called around with no luck. They suggested we could stay with Susan’s sister in a little apartment that her son uses when he comes back home. This was clean and although not as nice as Sunil and Susan’s place, but his family were, again, so lovely and hospitable.
The day after arriving we did the backwaters. This was absolutely amazing and everything I thought it would be.
Complete serenity surrounded by palm trees and nature. We went on a large houseboat and a smaller boat so we could get into the little waterways.
We stopped on an island for traditional Keralan lunch which was served on a banana leaf! It was super tasty.
The next day we explored Kochi and went on the beach. I had high hopes for the Keralan beaches I had seen on the interwebs however this was more of a fishing beach and was a bit dirty. We still sat and watched the waves before we pottered round some of the local shops.
I finally bought a notebook. I had been stressing the past few days – I can’t function without lists. I need the anchor to stop me fraying. So I bought a nice little book and made some lists and now I feel human again!
The next couple of days Andrew and I were poorly. Not sure if it was some dodgy ice cream but we just stayed in and chilled out. Which was ideal as we are mow massively over budget. We had our little kitchen so we survived on noodles and bread for two days. Sunil heard we were ill and got Susan to make us some tummy tea and drove it over on his bike which was super sweet!!
So It is fair to say… I LOVE Kerala!