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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Kerala, India

Nov 25, 2015 - "Fort Kochi isn't really India..."

What a world of difference between north and south India! Or more specifically, at least between the majority of places we visited in northern India (e.g., Varanasi, Agra, Khajaraho, Delhi and Amritsar) and Kerala. We found the locals so much more friendly and laid back, the verdant, hilly views of tea plantations much more picturesque and cleaner, and the food even more delicious for us seafood lovers. In fact, one traveler told us that someone said that Fort Kochi wasn't really India! I beg to differ. The buses still refuse to maintain...

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Oct 25, 2015 - A sad day......Vale Frederick George Robinson

We alight from our houseboat at our hotel Kumarakom, located on the Vembanad Lake. The waters from this lake flow to the Arabian Sea. The afternoon brings the sad news that Mark's father Fred has passed away. Fred had been hospitalised prior to our departure, as a result of a fall several weeks earlier. He was adament that we continue with our vacation plans. We had been in constant communication with family since we arrived in Sri Lanka. His memorial service will be held Monday 9th November. He was 91 years old.

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Oct 24, 2015 - Off to the hills

We are heading to the hills, Thekkedy, in fact. It is around 1337M above sea level. This 5.5 hour journey up a very windy mountain road heads west in the state of Kerala. Our Kerala driver Shivan is a good driver. Fortunately, the speed limit is 30kph, which is suitable to react when a tuktuk does a uturn in front of you without a signal, or a car stops in the middle of a potholed road for no reason, or a roadkill bus takes a greedy swing around a blind corner. Where would Indian drivers be without their car horns. They toot before turning...

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Oct 23, 2015 - Jew Street

We wake early to a cacophany of sounds, cargo ship horns, the call to prayer, mangy dogs barking mixed with crows, carhorns, motorbike toots as they approach any corner in the network of little streets, a rogue Harley Davidson, tuktuks, and other bird calls. So much better with daylight, when you arrive in a new city. Our hotel in located near the Kochi Naval Base. The Eighth Bastion hotel is a dutch colonial hotel in the ancient Dutch quarter of Fort Kochi. Original Delft tiles adorn the walls, along with framed antique maps of...

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Oct 22, 2015 - Hello India

I had a dream...........we were in an old riad building, Peter Kuruvita was cooking us lunch, and we were there with friendly people that we had never met before. It seems that our Sri Lankan trip was surreal. A seed of Sri Lanka has been sown in our hearts. What an amazing experience we have had...... A last taste of a coconut rich tasting green soup, kola kenda, for breakfast. Followed by an egg hopper and curry sauce. Now the test will be to make our own hoppers. And that is possible as Jeremy gave us a hopper pot and special metal...

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Feb 21, 2015 - Kerala

Visited kerala with Heena tours 1CochinArrive Cochin Station / Airport and reach our hotel directly ,after check - in the day is free for rest / shopping.Night halt at Cochin. 2Cochin - MunnarAfter breakfast visit Dutch Palace,St.Francis Church and Chinese Fishing Nets.After lunch proceed to Munnar (5-6 hrs.),en route visit the famous water falls and continue towards Munnar,The region in and around Munnar varies in height from 4,760 ft to 8,842 ft above mean sea level.Arrive Munnar and after check - in at hotel enjoy your dinner.Night halt...

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Jan 8, 2014 - First glance at India

Kelsey and I landed in Kochi, India and instantly take a 6 hour bus south. The city around is scarce compared to the U.S. Roads are merely sprinkled with huge billboards that only have about 3 different advertisements. Most immediately I notice the piles of trash strewn around and the scattered cows that roam. Trash just piles around here and then people burn it to get rid of it or the free roaming cows come by and have their fill on it. As I'm sure most of you know, cows are a worshiped God here in India and therefor not eaten or harmed...

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Nov 6, 2013 - the modern part of town

Charles had us up early again, this time to meet with his Cochin motorcycle posse. These fine young men all had jobs to go to, but they agreed to meet us at 6:45am and take us on a ride through the city. The temperature was still reasonable and there was little traffic, so the ride was not as exciting as the ones we had in Madurai, but much more comfortable. The men all spoke English well and told us a bit about themselves and the scenery we rode past. we stopped at a temple that is so strictly run, non Hindus are not allowed past the front...

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Nov 5, 2013 - touring Cochin

The first learning and discovery lesson started at 6:30am before we had even eaten breakfast. Charles paid a total of $.60 for all of us to take a ferry and then $2 for all of us to take a bus to the fish market. This was a much bigger operation than we saw in Sri Lanka. Some of the fishermen stay at sea for weeks at a time and there was a frenzy of unloading the catch and bidding on it. I was glad to see lots of ice as some fish was loaded on trucks for trips as far away as Delhi and Bombay. We waded through the melting ice water mixed...

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Nov 4, 2013 - Kerala

Charles is always careful to warn us about the long drive ahead - 120 miles today. But we are never bored for a minute. As we drove out of the mountains we passed tea plantations and stopped to photograph the tea pluckers as he called them. The process is just the same as we learned in Sri Lanka, but the plants were in clusters rather than rows. Men were fertilizing and spreading pesticide. We came to rubber plantations at lower elevations. The trees are milked every day. A special knife is used to slice just beneath the bark and the sap...

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Nov 3, 2013 - Periyar Wildlife Refuge

We will never forget the jungle hike we took in Taman Nagara National Park in Malaysia. Although we wore shoes, socks and long pants, when we took our shoes off, our white socks were red with blood. Tiny leeches had crawled over the shoe tops and into the lace holes and had dinner on us. As we prepared to hike today in Periyar National Wildlife Refuge, we were given special booties to wear over our socks that went up to our calves. But this didn't prevent some of us from getting leeches around our waists, even with shirts tucked in. These...

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Nov 2, 2013 - a new state

Our ever resourceful tour guide Charles knew that after the shopping and fireworks extravaganza that was Diwali, his usual go to activities would not be available today. He made arrangements with a local man that he met at the temple to have us stop by his home to see how people celebrate Diwali morning. This man lives in a very modest home with his wife, three sons, and mother and they entertained all fifteen of us in their tiny living room. Mom prepared snacks, cookies, fried rice, and fruit out of a kitchen smaller than the one I have in...

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