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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Jan 20, 2016 - Fun bits we have not yet mentioned

Mo's camera works. The guys in the camera shop knew their stuff. We had our palms read by the best professional astrologer in Udaipur. He told both of us, sadly, that our love lines are weakening. The reason: no children in our future. Heck, we could have told him that. The astrologer did predict we'll live into our 80s or early 90s. Mo works hard, he said, and therefore has less luck. Jim came from good parents. We were given days on which to fast, lucky days, color of clothing to donate annually, and lucky stones among other advice. Mo...

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Jan 19, 2016 - Contnued pleasures and minor annoyances

Editor's notes. 1. We're not in Trivandum. The web map feature does not recognize the names of our villages and towns in this region. For the record, we are in Kochi, because we simply show up when and where instructed by our group leader. 2. Jim tried patiently to add a fun video for your viewing pleasure in this post. It did not work. He won't apologize for his failure, as he has already suffered mightily for your reading pleasure. Now back to our story. In Varkala we visited the Janardhana Temple, sacred to Hindus. We of course removed...

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Jan 16, 2016 - Same country, different worlds

After the usual horn-blaring near-miss traffic jam of a ride to the Delhi airport, we managed to find our way to Air India for our flight to Trivandum in the south. At the terminal, only passengers are allowed in. We had to produce proof of tickets and our passports. We got into the domestic flight line to check in, only to be redirected to the international line to check in for our domestic flight. Once boarding, we had to produce our boarding passes for two different armed security guards before we got to the end of the boarding ramp....

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Nov 8, 2011 - Ayurveda Care

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science which comprises of two words, Ayu and Veda. Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge or science. So the literal meaning of the word Ayurveda is the science of life. Ayurveda is a science dealing not only with treatment of some diseases but is a complete way of life. Ayurveda is an Ancient Holistic medicine practiced 5000 years ago in India. "Ayurveda treats not just the ailment but the whole person and emphasizes prevention of disease to avoid the need for cure." Ayurvedic Medicine has become an...

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Feb 24, 2011 - Kovalam - last day in India

Kovalam was reported to be a touristy sea side resort - there is some truth in this but it is not touristy in the way parts of Spain are for example. It is very quiet here as is most of Kerala and Rajasthan despite being tourist season. We have walked up and down the small beach several times. There is an interesting mix of western tourists lying on sun beds getting a tan (or going red in most cases) and Indians who do not sunbathe but promenade up and down the beach, fully clothed and paddling in the water. That is much more our style too....

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Where's Jolly?

Feb 22, 2011 - Sad to Leave Ashram

We left the Ashram today with mixed emotions. It would be easy to stay with the routine, the simplicity of the monastic lifestyle and the lovely people we have met but the thirst for new experiences in us both means we are ready to move on to the next part of our amazing journey and return to the strange habit of eating with cutlery. We donate our yoga mats to some friends and get our exit pass. The taxi journey to our next destination: Lighthouse Beach Kovalam is a repeat of many we have described earlier and we check into Hotel California...

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Where's Jolly?

Feb 21, 2011 - Monsoon Rain and Power Cuts

The days start to blend into one another with the routine taking over as we make friends and chat between chanting, yoga, meditation and lectures. Today we tried gentle yoga which turned out to be slightly different but not that gentle. A full on storm with monsoon rains arrived and before long there is a power cut that lasts through the night.

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Where's Jolly?

Feb 19, 2011 - Beware the animals

After a few days at Sivananda Ashram, we are now getting into the routine of things here and the routine of getting up at 5.20 for 6am chanting and meditation for 1.5 hours is a little less difficult. Tea at 7.30am is always welcome but after sitting cross legged John has a back pain and now has to go into a 2 hour yoga session. We make the mistake of emptying health hut bins (very heavy) as part of our Karma Yoga before going to a talk by a lovely if possibly slightly mad Russion woman on Vastra Architecture. At 12.30 we go to the health...

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Where's Jolly?

Feb 18, 2011 - Visit to Lion Safari Park

Although we still had to get up at 5.30am for Satsung, Friday is the one day that we can escape from the Ashram as it is Free Day. Our plan was to visit the Lion Safari Park. We can see the sign for the Lion Safari Park from the Ashram and can even hear the lions roar when we do our yoga by the lake. Only the huge lake sits between us and the lion park. Amazingly though, no-one in the Ashram seemed to know how to get there. We asked around 10 different members of staff including those on the Information Desk but each one gave totally...

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Where's Jolly?

Feb 17, 2011 - No cutlery

This was a busy day for us: up at 5.20am, chanting meditation and prayers at 6.00am and the same routine as described yesterday. 7.30 tea break. 8am two hours of yoga. 10am meal in silence cross legged eaten with right hand, distressingly sloppy. 11am Karma Yoga (i.e. doing work around the centre) we are allocated bin emptying. We empty bins into a shallow pit then local Indian staff put this into bags. 1.30 tea break, 2pm lecture. 3.30pm 2 hours of Yoga. 6pm Sloppy meal in silence with added problem it burns fingers as it is hot. 8pm...

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Where's Jolly?

Feb 16, 2011 - Ashram - Neyer Dam

After several relaxing days in Varkala,today we woke up early and packed to go to the Ashram and then had a lovely lazy breakfast. Imagine the best breakfast you ever had: the smell, the taste, the feeling of contentment and that everything is right with the world. We then lay on a hammock outside of our room watching the sea, with the warm sun on our faces and a gentle sea breeze rocking the palm trees in front of us, listening to the waves crashing on the beach. Our driver arrived early and clearly had no idea where we were going, a bit...

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Where's Jolly?

Jan 2, 2011 - Coimbatore/Fort Cochin/Varkala

Overnighted at Coimbatore, a rather dusty industrial-type town to enable us to get the train to Ernakulam then a ferry ride to Fort Cochin. Took Ali and Joe to the shop we (kinda) accidentally bought our carpet from last year - guess what - they bought one too!! Stayed for 3 days thank God, we'd just done 5 days of moving and felt a bit ragged. Nice little Portuguese influenced town, fairly clean and not too many touts. Next night was our big treat - a rice barge/house boat - had a fantastic time just cruising the Kerala backwaters, gazing...

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