Kochi

I have no plan for today. That is very unusual for me! And the first day of this trip that has no plan!

I had considered going on a long bike ride into the countryside, but kind of glad I didn’t book that now! I woke up earlier than I would have liked to at 8am and couldn’t sleep anymore. It was so hot. My room had a fan, but if it was on, it felt like the room was going to take off.

I’m staying at a homestay, a local family have a few rooms just off their house. I was hoping for an amazing breakfast, but it was just watermelon, pineapple and white bread. Why no curry?! Oh well.

At 10am I left to move to a new hotel. I’m joining a trip for just 1 week and it starts from just up the road. It was only a 5 minute walk away, but it was so hot. I was so pleased that the man offered to drive my bag for me on the motorbike – I’m not sure I would have made it!!

The room here is not quite so nice as the one that cost me £8 last night, but oh well. After leaving my bags, I went out for a walk.

The roads are quiet, it’s so tropical – plants everywhere and the only hassle is from tuk tuks. Normal people don’t stare, they don’t follow you, they just leave you alone. Wow! This is totally different to the north! What a pleasant surprise.

This is not the dirty, dusty, loud, busy, chaotic India that I remember! It’s like a completely different country.

There were young boys playing football and cricket in a large field. Some just on the side of the road. Older men sat eating by small food stalls. Women out walking in pairs, with umbrellas, shading from the sun. And goats running around eating flowers.

I wandered up to the Chinese fishing nets. These are left over from traders from AD 1400. Large nets on the ends of wooden poles are lowered into the sea via a lever style system, weighed down by rocks tied to a string of ropes. Several men work together to lower and raise these nets. They were hard at work this morning with many nets going up and down. But each time they came up, none of them had fish in them….!

Someone must have caught some fish though, as there were stalls lining the shore selling prawns, crabs and an array of different fish. There were small restaurant stalls which would cook the fish there for you too. There were lots of stalls selling various bits – elephant trousers, puppets, sugar cane juice an fresh coconuts.

I bought a coconut, 30p, after drinking the juice, the man cuts out all the flesh for you too. And there was a lot of it! These are a bit different to the young, green Indonesian coconuts which have a jelly-type flesh. These indian coconuts must have been left a bit longer as the flesh was thick and no longer jelly-like. It was really nice though! I carried along, down random streets. I bumped into a spice shop and bought a whole load of different thins, vegetable spice mix, lemon salt, biriyani spice mix, tamarind, keralan chilli, mustard seeds and a few others…looking forward to cooking when I get home!! The slices were cheaper than at home, but I was probably overcharged a bit.

The hassle from all the tuk tuks is a bit annoying. They follow you down the street, driving as you are walking, bartering themselves down to 50Rps (50p) for a 2 hour tour. Which sounds a bit too cheap to be true. It was irritating. And I was quite happy to walk.

Dotted around the town are many churches, they are old, dating back to around 1500 and very ornate. So I’ve seen churches and a mosque, no Hindu temples yet!

For lunch, I had a restaurant in mind, that I had found in my book. But when I got there, it was closed for the week! Oh well. So I wandered back to one I had seen earlier. Since coming away I’ve been looking forward to a masala dosa – and finally!! At 80p, it was nice and cheap – a savoury pancake, filled with potato curry, served with a vegetable curry and coconut chutney. So delicious!! I love them.

I made my way back to the hotel and just as I was thinking how easy it had been to navigate around, I ended up a bit lost. I had missed the turning! I got back about 2pm, sorted all my stuff out, repacked to leave a bag here for the week and did nothing. And I continued to do nothing for the rest of the day! I was just too tired. Couldn’t even face eating, so I just went to bed.

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