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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Kerala, India

Nov 30, 2004 - Kerala, India - Kochi to Kollam

We had an uneventful night train ride from Mangalore to Kochi, Kerala and arrived in the morning a bit weary but still in one piece. Kochi is an area of central Kerala that is pretty much just one large town that covers 3 islands that are located off the mainland and reached via bridges and ferries. We took a tuk-tuk (autorickshaw) to Fort Cochin (1 of the 3 islands) and spent the morning recuperating from the train trip. After a nap we hopped on the ferry to Vypeen Island in the afternoon to check out Cherrai beach. I have to say that the...

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Nov 29, 2004 - Cochin

After two nights in Calicut, we take a (reatively) pleasant 5 hour train ride south to Cochin. We're staying at Biju's Tourist Home ( www.bijustouristhome.com ). Tomorrow we're planning to take a seven hour Backwater tour. Hopefully, we'll have some more photos up soon.

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Nov 28, 2004 - Cochin

Well I finally made it - I knew I was in for four flights but I hadn't bargained on another two stop-overs. The first flight went from Sydney to Bangkok via Melbourne and Phuket - am not sure if the pilots had trouble reading the map or were simply trying to find the most indirect route possible! After that I stopped in Chennai, Calicut and finally Cochin some 30 hours after I started. My first impressions of India are not at all what I expected - everything I had heard and read prepared me to be overwhelmed. Cochin is a very tranquil,...

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Nov 27, 2004 - Bus ride from hell.

We changed our itenerary when we discovered that there is no train from Mysore to the west coast of India. Bus is the only way, so we decided to shoot for further south than originally planned. After a 90 minute wait at the bus station, having gotten wrong information from our hotel, and after asking numerous folks there, we finally board the right bus in a rush of hopeful riders. We, of course, aren't aggresive enough and end up standing for the first hour and a half of a five hour trip. What was a routine trip for this part of India was...

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Nov 22, 2004 - Cochin and the amazing Kathakali show

English puis francais Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. Kathakali, literally meaning `story-play', is a dance-drama originated in the 17th century and it originated in the area of southwestern India now known as the state of Kerala. Kathakali is a group presentation, in which dancers take various roles in performances traditionally based on themes from Hindu mythology, especially the two epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. One of the most interesting aspects of Kathakali is its elaborate make-up code....

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Nov 5, 2004 - Fort Cochin

Fort Cochin Hey Yall... Here I am in Fort Cochin (Kochi) where Portugal began their trades with India in 1503. As you can imagine the town is truly Portuguese with its signature architecture of first floor verandas, high ceilings and red tiled rooftops. It has European feel as it brought me a lot of flashbacks of what I had seen in Lisbon in 1987. Dutch as well as English also influenced Fort Cochin as they subsequently took control from Portuguese in early seventeenth century. Wandering around this tree-laden town was a great respite...

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Nov 1, 2004 - Backwaters of Kerala.

Hey Yall! Oh boy...cruising around the backwaters in Alappuzha was something I truly cannot put into words as I felt as if I were transported into another realm! But let me get back to the beginning before I lost myself in the rapture of nature once again! After spending the night at an overpriced hotel in Kollam I was able to purchase a cruise ticket from Kollam to Alappuzha (8 hours trip) and secure a rental of kettuvallam (houseboat) for the following day/night after arriving at Alappuzha. The first day cruise was a bit too long but...

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Oct 28, 2004 - Train to Cochin

Sarita and I have spent the last few days at an Indian health resort recommended to us by friends. I've had two body massages, a steam bath and de-stressing oil treatment (has to do with my head so don't get any weird ideas). I must admit, that the first treatment was a little 'different' for me, getting butt naked in front of my two male therapists and then doning a small loin cloth and then lying down on a wooden palette and being covered in scented oil. It was fine though and was quite nice. We also had consultations with an ayurvedic...

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Oct 28, 2004 - Varkala

Hey Yall... It was hard to leave Kovalam, as it was truly a paradise and a perfect place to just do nothing and get a great tan! But there are other places on my list to see so off I go! Took a bus from Kovalam to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and did not like this place one bit so went straight to the train station and bought a ticket for Varkala, a further north by the coast. Oh my...another heavenly place but a lot smaller than Kovalam me thinks! Sunset viewed from the cliff top here was unforgettable! Hotels, restaurants, bars and...

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Oct 23, 2004 - Our Anniversary!!

Today was a great day! We took an early taxi this morning to the train station, bought a ticket and then went to the platform. It took us some time to figure out where to sit (our ticket was second class sleeper, which most foreigners use), finally Sarita asked someone who was selling coffee who told us we could sit most anywhere. We got a spot near a window and I bought a coffee from the fellow (only $0.15), and stowed our packs. The train trip to Kollam (Quilon) was about an hour, it was great to see rural India; there is a lot of water...

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Oct 23, 2004 - Kovalam - The Hidden Paradise!

Hey Yall... I am in Heaven once again! A small fishing village with excellent beach backed by a proliferation of coconut palms and rice paddies. Warm tropic air from the Ladshadweep Sea cooling the hot golden sand from the eternally blistering sun in an intimate cove. A cute little lighthouse painted with big red and white stripes proudly stood on the southern side of the cove. That such place is called Kovalam. It's a small fishing village in Kerala, which, unfortunately, has given away to beachfront developments and irritating souvenir...

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Oct 20, 2004 - Last Train Ride

10-20-04 8:00 a.m. Train to Trivandrum Second Class I awoke this morning at dawn and already the train was active with busy Indians. Commerce was afoot. Our coach was surprisingly civil, and the air temperature was nearly perfect. All of the windows were open and the passengers sat in places where they could catch the breeze as well as the pretty morning light. I repudiated myself for not having a usable camera--mine were without charge or film. The people below Anneka and I had compressed the middle bunk and were sitting comfortably and...

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