Going down saaaaffff
As we flew into the southern state of Kerala we immediately noticed the extreme change in the landscape. We had flown from the majestic Himalayas into the smog fuelled Delhi and finally landed in the green tropics. There were palm trees as far as the eye could see and the air was damp with the humidity of the wet lands. Our taxi driver was dressed in the traditional lungi, a sarong like skirt worn by Indian men in the south. The people were friendlier and they don't stare so obviously.
Our trip to find our hostel was difficult to say the least. When we finally arrived we couldn't stay mad at the manager for longer than it took him to smile and give us the exaggerated Indian head bobble. He was so friendly, happy and made us feel welcome to Kerala. We were staying in the beach resort of Kovolam, a nice stretch of beach in the shadow of a lighthouse and lots of food joints.
Our first meal was at a restaurant called Santona with the friendliest waiter (everyone here is so nice!) We could finally eat some fresh fish and ordered the catch of the day. It was red snapper and cooked whole with garlic, lemon and of course some chilli. It was real melt in the mouth stuff James and I demolished it! We also had an interesting drink combining our parents favourite beverages-beer and cappuccino! It was called a beer cappuccino as they did not have a license so we had to surreptitiously drink our kingfisher from a mug! The fish was so great we went the next night and had butter fish and king fish cooked tandoori style-YUM!
We spent our time in Kovolam mainly wandering up and down the beach. We got collared by one of the ladies selling fruit and were ripped off big time for a mango and pineapple. But true to the southern form she was so happy, friendly and knew everything about us. We didn't like to barter too much as we are pretty sure she is some kind of witch! James also got conned by an old man called Joseph and the locals said he was always up to no good.
One morning we saw the fisherman hauling in their catch. It was a sight to behold as around 100 men were all working together dragging the huge net onto the shore.
We were forced to spend a few hours each day in our hotel room due to the second monsoon that hits the south during October. This bought the water levels up higher in the swamp lands surrounding out hostel and consequently lots of baby frogs were on the move (Amanda, you would have hated it!). James got annoyed with me as I pointed out every one when we were making our way back through the tiny paths in the dark on our way back from dinner.