Stayed at: Good Karma Inn, 3 nights
So, the day had come to drag ourselves away from the beach…as tough as it was, we knew it had to be done. Kochi was a 4 hour train ride North along the coast and it was very pretty, lots of green, palm trees and mangroves. Our guest house was quite centrally located in Fort Kochi, so once we arrived and settled in, we went for a little wonder to try and find some dinner, in the process, I got pooped on by a bird – shame we can’t play the lottery from here!
The next morning at breakfast (out guesthouse provided eggs, toast and tea for 70 rupees each – about 70p…too good to pass up!). James randomly recognised the 2 guys sitting next to us – we’d met them on their first (our last) night in Delhi! Anyway, they were heading off to Alleppey for a few nights, and we were going for an explore of Fort Kochi. We left the guest house with a map that claimed it wasn’t to scale….as we found out, the map didn’t even have roads in the right place! We were aiming to head East and go to the Maritime museum and then walk North up the coast to the Chinese fishing nets. We’d been told that a lot of the beach was used for military purposes, so weren’t surprised to see a big military base along the road we were walking. Eventually there was a little lane that headed to the beach, or so we thought. James scaled the big rock wall at the end of the lane to see if we could get down onto the beach there…a man in a tower in the compound next to us starts shouting – “who are you? Where are you from?”….this is obviously not the way to the museum or the beach. Backtracking, we soon found our way back. The museum was ok, lots of information that neither of us can quite recall at this time. We walked up to the Chinese fishing nets, which were ok, but it was really busy and full of rubbish around there. We didn’t get any of those ‘postcard’ type pictures of them either unfortunately! Found a great little café that served a set thali every day for about 60 rupees….turning into a nice cheap day! After the rain had passed that afternoon, we hunted out a little café that James had found on trip advisor famous for their cakes…they were huge! We could have had one to share, but the piggies that we are, had one each. Probably should have saved it for pudding rather than a pre-meal snack….however, on second thoughts, maybe it was better to have it as a pre-dinner snack. This was by far the worst meal we have had in the whole time we’ve been away (at the Mango Tree – if anyone is planning on going there!). It was fairly empty, which was no bad thing, but the service was terrible, James had to go to kitchen to ask for cutlery once our food arrived! We’d ordered a chicken dish and it tasted awful, the chicken was so tough and just tasted old, like it had been cooked a few days before hand. Even trying to get the bill was pretty trying! Oh well, you win some, you lose some! Thankfully, the meal wasn’t so bad as to make either of us ill though, so small blessings.
Well, Kerala likes a good storm, that’s for sure. We had a storm that went on for about 4 hours, huge massive lightening!
Our next day was spent wandering around the Jewish part of town (everything seemed to be quite accessible on foot which was nice), on the way to the Dutch Palace, an old man started walking with us for a while, we didn’t catch his name, but he was 86 years old (although looked about 70) and used to work for the East India Tea company. Needless to say, he had very good things to say about the British and was very proud to say that he’d even met the King through his work! So after the Dutch Palace (which was not quite how you’d imagine a palace, although they’d worked hard to restore as much as possible), we stopped into the East India Tea company shop for a nice cup of tea on the rooftop…possibly the most expensive tea we’ve had! We located the synagogue just in time for the rain to start, unfortunately it was shut though so we hot footed it in a tuk tuk back to our part of town for lunch. The tuk tuk driver helped mark our arrival with some banging tunes pumping out of the speakers behind us – nothing like making a quiet entrance!!
Later that evening, we went to a little restaurant called Dal Roti for dinner, it had been recommended to us…and it didn’t disappoint – cheap and really nice food – can highly recommend the Kathi wraps (mutton and egg wrapped in a paratha – mmm! Other varieties are available). We initially had to queue for a table with another couple (Ali and his wife – her name escapes me – Opps!) from Morocco and Norway respectively), so we ended up joining forces and grabbing the next table along. A lovely couple, kind of doing the same thing as us – quit work and are just travelling, while trying to work out what country to settle back in – as an engineer and nurse though, they should find it slightly easier than us ‘unskilled’ workers!
We had a nice little group of people staying at the guest house as well; a couple of French guys that didn’t quite look like they were travelling (one older, one younger), spent a lot of time working on pictures on their flashy mac-books – photographers would be my guess! A few Brits/Scots and a very bubbly girl from California who is working in Taipei as a teacher. All sorts.
Anyhow, time to move on again to Goa…the only thing in the way is a 14 hours train journey – easy!