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Mar 1, 2005 - India - Kerala - Kochi (Cochin)

Namaste!!! So we finally took a train to Kochi the following morning and got to Kochi by midday. We had to take two rickshaws and one ferry to actually get to Fort Cochin, where we wanted to stay, because the train left us at Ernakulam Junction. Anyway, it was worth the hussle, because Fort Cochin is gorgeous. We love this place!!! That same evening we went to see the Chinese Fishing Nets at sunset and I couldn't stop taking pictures. It was so beautiful... One of those places difficult to describe, you just have to come and see it with...

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RTW 2005

Feb 25, 2005 - Kerala: Beautiful Backwaters

We have spent the last 24 hours on a converted Rice Barge traveling the backwaters around central Kerala. It is difficult to describe how beautiful the experience was. We were punted by two guys - one at each end of the boat, around rivers, brackish backwaters, and man-made canals. These were all lined with palms and were really an amazing sight. With the punted boat, rather than the motor version which was also offered, it was so peaceful too. We shared the boat with a French tourist for the morning, and got to see Coconut Toddy (alcohol)...

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Feb 21, 2005 - Kerala, Belur, Halebid: Rainforest, Temples & Chilled Streets

Just arrived in Cochin in Kerala yesterday - a lovely chilled place compared to the towns we've seen over he last week or so. For a few days last week we were staying in a Rainforest Retreat in the Coorg area of India. It was a bit of a busman's holiday for me - learning about organic farming, etc. We saw the largest spider ever there - fortunately it was hanging on the cottage we weren't staying in! Loads more wildlife there too, including tiny tree frogs, that seemed to come from tadpoles 10 times their size (I may have got hat wrong...

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Feb 14, 2005 - Another side of India

Hello Everyone! There is so so much to tell, so I will have to give you an abridged version of the last week. We are in Allepey, India. We started out by splurging on a houseboat to cruise the backwaters of Kerala. There are hundreds of kilometres of canals and rice paddies known as backwaters, and the people live on islands, or strips of land only 2 metres across. We got a beautiful houseboat for really cheap. The tsunami, unfortunately, has really killed what used to be a a huge tourist industry, so everything is cheap and the hotels are...

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Feb 8, 2005 - Kollam, India (again!)

The recurring theme of my trip is: Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans! I was supposed to be on the 3:00pm train today to Chennai, in order to catch the midnight train to Bangkok on Wednesday. But... With train ticket and plane ticket in-hand, I checked e-mail and realized that my indian friend Siva was only 30km away. I met Siva in Agra (known for the Taj Mahal) back in early November when he saved from a mis-adventure with a 'bad indian'. We ended up being tourists in northern india together for the day. We kept in touch via...

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The Journey

Feb 6, 2005 - Life in India

So much has happened in such a little amount of time!! Well, so the second day of our visit in Mumbai, a man came around to our hotel and asked us if we wanted to be in a Bollywood movie (Indian knock off of Hollywood, but so cheesy!!), with the pay of 500 rupies pp. Of course we agreed because who can say that they were in a Bollywood movie and plus 1000 rupies is like two days of money, so yea!!! It started at 8 that evening. 20 "westerners" were all driven to this high class shopping mall, got our meal, and just hung around. one...

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Feb 3, 2005 - Jews and Fish in Cochin

We caught another train over to the city of Cochin in Kerala (the southwest state bordering Tamil Nadu), and arrived here at 4:30 am. After a short ferry ride and finding a hotel, we spent the day walking around Fort Cochin, which definately caters to tourists. We stopped at the oldest church in India, where Vasco de Gama died and was briefly intered before being shipped to Lisbon. We watched fishermen working in boats, as well as using gigantic Chinese fishing nets lined up along the beach, which are pulled up by 5 to 8 men using a series...

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India 2005

Jan 29, 2005 - Varkala, India

January 31st - heading to the yoga ashram. Don't expect another update for a week or two... ------------------------ People rarely imagine beautiful beaches when they think of India. But there are many. Right now I'm in Varkala, and it easily rivals the beaches of the carribean. The town caters to travellers so there are plenty of open-air restaurants, tibetan shops, yoga classes, and massage studios nearby. The restaurants and shops are at the top of a cliff, along a narrow dirt pathway, and among a forest of coconut palm trees. The sandy...

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The Journey

Jan 27, 2005 - Lou's Diary Entry - India Dreaming

Kerala is God's country. And apparently Cochi is his permanent address! A very belated happy new year everyone!! Kirst and I are now in a place called Fort Cochin in Kerala - it's absolutely stinking hot and as we've found a speedy internet connection at last, we now have the chance to do admin and write a novel ;-)) India has been amazing. A country full of contrasts, smells, sights, sounds (all the time there's noise!) and colours. It still feels surreal to realise we're actually here... Without going into too much detail, the first 6...

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Jan 23, 2005 - The backwaters of Kerala, India

Along the coast of southwest India and sandwiched between the sea and the hills is a vast network of lagoons, lakes, rivers and canals lined with dense tropical greenery. Views change from narrow shaded canals to dense vegetation to open vistas over the water to rice fields, to farms, churches, mosques, temples, and small homes on narrow spits of land only a few meters wide and barely big enough to fit a small house and tiny yard. All surrounded by water. School buses are replaced with school boats; rickshaws are replaced with canoes; and...

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The Journey

Jan 16, 2005 - Kochi and The Tipping Point...

Right now I'm in Kochi after spending a nice day trekking in the beautiful hills of Ooty. Ooty was everything I imagined it would be and reminded me of my prior tours of tea plantations (Malaysia and Sri Lanka) and the long days of walking in Nepal. The sky was cystal clear, and the eucalyptus trees gave us a nice shade for most of the walk. The highlight was at the very end of the trek when we ended up looking out over the rest of india - far below. It's hot and humid here in Kochi but it's a cute town with a handful of tourist places to...

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The Journey

Jan 6, 2005 - Trivandrum, Kerala

Naa har jeg tilbrakt tre netter i Keralas hovedstad og gjoer meg klar for aa fly videre til Chennai. Trivandrum har ingen store attraksjoner, kanskje med unntak av dyreparken, og er ikke verdens mest spennende by men er i Indias maalestokk en relativt behagelig by aa vaere i. Forurensing er et begynnende problem men ikke utholdelig ennaa. Disse tre dagene har gaatt til aa utforske det som denne byen kan tilby samt vente paa flyet til Chennai. Har vaert i dyreparken. Dyrenes tilstand er i enkelte tilfeller svaert daarlige. En bjoern jeg saa...

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arcuda travel 04/05

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