A Travellerspoint blog

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Verkala

Beautiful beaches, minty mojitos and yowza yoga!

sunny 33 °C

So Verkala is gorgeous. We rocked up after our overnight train and headed off to shower the krap off us, then met for dinner at a hill top restaurant with a stunning view of the Indian Ocean. It was fantastic. We all had breakfast and Charles told us that we had no activities plannned for the two days that we were here. We could hit the beach, have a massage, go to yoga, have a look around the shops, use the internet, go for a cocktail at sunset or whatever we wanted. And that's what I did - all in the one day. :D

After breakfast myself and Kay went with Charles to meet he blind lady who assesses you and tells you what massage to get. Unfortunately she could not see us at the time (arf) and we spoke with the doctor instead. I said I'd like a spine treatment for my back and Kay went with an 'oil-dripping-on-your-head' massage. So off we went to our separate rooms, whereupon this teeny tiny skinny gorgeous little girl with a lovely head wobble, comes in to me and tells me to take off my clothes. .. ''Even my pants''.. says I?? ''Yes'' says she. So there I was starkers in front of this little angelic looking young one, (who doesn't look like she'll have the strength to do a massage) and she hands me these amazing paper pants. lol. The massage was lovely though. I'm used to deep tissue massages, so this was'nt quite as pummelly or as kneady as I would have liked, but it was still very enjoyable and very relaxing. I nearly fell asleep in the middle of it.

After, I was outside waiting for Kay yapping to the male masseuse, this tall skinny fella who was absolutely hilarious. He kept laughing and covering his mouth in a cartoony ''hee hee' kind of motion and I was laughing my head off, whilest making up this imaginary boyfrisend that I have back home. He probably doesn't miss me and is probably watching football or drinking beer (lol) and maybe (in response to his questionn) we might come back to India next year with a baby. (bwahahahahhaah) .
So anyways he was massuesing here for 6 months and as the seasonn here is nearly over, he'll head off to Chennai to work in a hospital there. It's his ambition to be a masseuse in Maritius and he is everyday checking the job section for jobs there. :D

After the massage we headed down to the beach for a swim. The rip current here is mega strong! and the waves were CRASHING into us. It was whopper. The water was warm and there were no fish heads in sight. Although a crab feckin bit my ankle, the jerk. Sheesh. I knew they were after me. I was nipped out of the water so I was. Had a bit of a sunbathe in my factor 50 (lol) and then went for the second shower of the day.

Met the girls then and off we went to what was the best yoga class of my life. It was so good. I didn't think I'd be able to do it in such heat, but the room was really cool and had lots of fans. It was very relaxing. the yoga teacher puit us in Savasnah for about 15 mins or so, then started the class with the usual hands up, over, leg back, into upward dog, downward dog and repeat. After that he went into some other cool moves between savasnahs and even put us all into the CRAB. I haven't done the crab in ages. Didn't think I was going to do it as I had said to him I had some lower back pain, but he came round and put us all into it one by one! Wowzers. It was amazing. So ace.

After yoga we had some well earned mojito's as the sun set and then a dinner of momos (dumplings) and hummus and naan. The lads had a big seafood platter with big prawns, barracuda, and squid. The sauce tasted delicious, but I wasn't really in the humour of taking the heads off prawns (my favourite activity after dodging live crabs).

Day 2 of paradise - spent the morning faffing around and spent the afternoon on the beach. It was glorious. Saw a guy paragliding right next to some power lines. SAFETY DANCE. Had mucho cocktails in the evening and hit the sack.

Verkala pics

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Posted by squeakylee 00:34 Archived in India Tagged me beach cocktail verkala Comments (0)

Backwaters of Kerala

it's a lazy dog-danglin' afternoon

sunny

We had numerous forms of transport to get to the backwaters of Kerala. Started out in a car, moved to a rickshaw, then to a boat and finally to the Kerala Homestay. We spent 2 hours put-putting down the beautiful backwaters to our homestay. We saw amazing houseboats, people out washing their clothes, the mud fella, scraping the mud off the bottom of the river bed and piling it up on the side of the river for extra protection for the houses during the monsoon season, and beautiful rice fields and other lush scenery. All the while the sun bounced off the palm trees and placid river waters. it was amazing. The diesel smell made me feel a bit ill for a while though so I sat on the roof which actually was a helluva lot better.

Well our gaf was awesome. We were expecting a little tent on the side of the river, but we arrived to a wonderfully fancy house run by a friendly little man called Gopa and his wife (who loved Indian Soap operas). The gaf was great and both our hosts were super smiley and super chatty. After a refreshing lemonade, we dumped our stuff and hastily retreated to our respective hammocks for the afternoon. I had a very busy day watching a family of ducks in the river nearby. It was absolutely fabulous. I did at one point look up to see a whole bunch of coconuts over my head and contemplated moving, but Gopa assured me the coconut tree wouldn't 'cheat' me. (Basically no one has been killed by a falling coconut.. yet....).

After a while we were called for a hefty yet delicious lunch of never-ending servings of home made jackfruit curry, mango pickle, paddy rice, popadoms and other bits and bobs. Gopa and his assistant hovered over us for the meal and as soon as we finished one thing, we were offered more. This was quite awesome for us as there was 8 of us at our table. John and Alison found it slightly unnerving in their gaf as they were the only two in their house and their host insisted on standing over them and doing the Indian starey thing til they were finished. (bwahaha)

After lunch I had another busy 2 hours hanging around on the hammock again until tea and biscuits.

Later Gopa brought us on a walk around the village. He showed us coconut trees (edible and commercial), paddy rice, the pestle and mortar yoke, Corey played a big piece of pipe like a didgereedoo and showed us how to do a bit of wood choppin. Gopa showed us some pineapple plants, mango trees, starfruit (tastes like a very sour apple), cardamom seeds, touch me not flower (a flower that retreats when you touch it), cashew nut fruit and loads more bits and bobs, before a relaxing jaunt back in the boat to the gaf.

As I type this, some Swedish dude is on the Skype beside me yakking on about weed and how stoned he is getting every day from it all. LOL. \i feel quite lame being in bed by 10 most nights. :D

Anyway after another delicious dinner, it lashed rain. it was nice and cool outside but feckin roastin inside. Gopa was telling us about his family and how is son is working in Phoenix, Arizona. His wife was watching terrible soap operas with plenty of audible inner monologue from the lads and face pulling, oodles of men in moustaches and tons of weary women pleading aloud! Add to that the dramatic music and it's definitely a ratings winner. Gopa insisted I do a good review of his place on trip advisor and kept coming back to check on me and make sure i was getting the job done.

ps: now the Swedish dude is saying he wishes he had some pictures of when him and the person on the phone, made love. bwahahahhahahahaha

Would have liked a few more days here in this joint to relax a bit more in the hammock. A few of us have decided to do the Tea plantations tomorrow so looking forward to a bit of a jaunt into the countryside.

So off we went to the tea plantation and tea factory the next day. Only a few of us went as some of the lads weren't interested. It was a 4 hour journey up into the mountains in a jeep. It was a hoot. The gang we have are a great laugh. Yer man John is so funny, even when he's in a grump. Kay is so nice and all the girls are just top notch birds. So the trip was a lolfest, what with John throwing banana skins out the wrong windows and what not. When we got there, the outside of the tea factory said "Connemara Tea Factory". ha! Apparently some Irish dude designed the factory. It was a long trip for such a short trip around the tea factory - it was about 20 mins or so! after 4 hours of travelling.

now the dude is talking about how the person he bonked recently was pregnant and how his flat mate has been feeling up his thigh..
i'm going to have to finish this another time as this dude talking about sex and drugs is making me write what he is saying. lol.
later dudes. Kerala pics

Posted by squeakylee 01:38 Archived in India Comments (0)

Kerala part 2 - Tea Plantation

Anyone for tea.?

sunny 35 °C

So after a four hour journey up the mountain, the tea factory tour was only 20 mins long. hahahaha - and we couldn't take pictures inside the factory. Benni, our guide, was supposed to be a right character (according to our group leader). Well he was'n't He seemed dour and serious. I was quite impressed with the process though. The leaves go in, get squished, turn brown, get ground up, then get ground up even finer, then go around in a big barrel for a day (oxidisation) and then come out and are graded by the size of the grains into different bags. The big grains roll down to the bottom bag, while the smaller grains fall through the sieve earlier into different bags. It was all quite clever!

We saw some amazing scenery on the way back down the mountain, lovely big mountains nestled in the clouds and oodles of tea plantations everywhere. We stopped off for a few pics and continued on our 5 hour journey back into Kochi.
We were rushing back to see this ''Dance '' at 6pm so skipped lunch and our mental driver called 'baby' put the foot down. IT started to lash rain and I swear I thought the back of a coach was going to slam into the back of us at one stage. We bumped off a tuk tuk but our driver kept going. Whatev's! We also saw an elephant ridin' high on the back of a truck. I smelt like a hobo by the end of the day. jesus. I don't think I've ever smelt as bad! :D The heat here down south is unbearably humid. Have a shower, go outside, clothes are soakin and drips are running down your back and legs. It is extremely uncomfortable!

I am having terrible trouble trying to upload photos. THe computer here is obviously about to explode as it is whirring it's head off and doing anything on the computer takes yonkers.

Here's some Kerala pics - forgot to mention we stopped off to look at rubber trees along the way to the tea plantation.

kerala pics

Posted by squeakylee 23:25 Archived in India Tagged tea plantation connemara Comments (0)

Kochi Kochi Koo

Worst 'dance' ever! Best 'bicycle' ride so far.

sunny 32 °C

So we legged it back to see this Kacathali dance or whatever it's called. Now we feckin rushed back to see this, skipping lunch and with our driver going 90 miles an hour in the pissing rain. He dropped us straight to the 'dance'. We didn't even drop our bags off or have a wet wipe shower, this after 9 hours of driving. So in we pop to see this dance, expecting it to be lots of pretty girls in fancy dresses doing some lovely traditional dancing. Inside, on the stage, was some dude in yellow make up and two dudes playing drums and smashing a cymbol, while another half naked dude sang / chanted / ayayayayayyaayhhh'd in to the microphone.

It. was. Awful. it was not what we expected at all. It was SO LOUD. The drums and cymbol just kept going on and on and on and on and on, while the guy in the make up showed us the 50 faces of Kerathail (can't remember what the name of the dance even was). Anyway, after 20 mins, I looked at my watch and thought ''oh god - another hour of this'. So rummaged in my bag and found my earplugs. GODSEND! After the yellow fella, out came another guy - he looked like Papa Lazarus in a dress and had fake wooden boobs (that he kept feeling). I thought - oh this might be better! - eh no. This fella proceeded to stick his tongue out and screech every five minutes. It was without a doubt the worst thing I have ever been to. I was chuckling me head off laughing, and simultaneously thinking 'get me outta here'.
Clara looked at me and said - 'you wanna go?' and I was like ''oh god yes please''. So we legged it. The others, poor them, were trapped in by other people and had to stay. Even lovely Emily had her fingers in her ears as we snuck out!

We legged it and checked into Tom's Old Mansion. We had a fabulously large room which was awesome. Grand auld place, even though the lads at the door were a bit weird. After this day of driving for hours, sweating our heads off, and seeing a shite kerathali yoke, all we wanted to do was have a shower and get a beer. Much to our guide's annoyance, we decided to go for a beer before the booked dinner. We had great craic at the bar and were generally having a bit of a release after being cooped up all day. But alas we had to leave after 20 mins and go to dinner - no one really wanted to go, especially as the restaurant didn't serve beer! (Cue Bill effing and blinding for a good 20 mins) But we went anyway. We really shouldn't have bothered. The rest of the gang seemed peeved at having us tumble in the door, late and loud! It was a tense atmosphere for a bit! And my aubergine curry was way too aubergineee. ;) Anywho, we escaped soon and went back to the bar, but at this stage I decided to opt out. That Kingfisher beer can do weird things to some peoples' moods!

Forgot to mention, early on in the day, we saw a truck that had driven halfway over the side of one of the mountains! and also a fire in a paddy field.

Kochi pics

Posted by squeakylee 03:51 Archived in India Tagged theatre kochi awful Comments (0)

Kochi part 2

sunny 36 °C

So the others basically stayed up all night singing and dancing in CHarle's room and apparently were very loud. I didn't hear them at all, but seemingly the hotel dude came down a few times to tell them to be quiet and turn down the tunes. This morning at breakfast, Corey was still langered and let out a big WAHOOOO at about 7.30 am in the courtyard. It was fairly loud. Out comes the hotel dude in his towel, (John maintains he was in washing his cohones and was irked at being disturbed midwash), and gives Corey a right good earful - telling him to 'shat ap' and get out. poor auld Corey could just about manage to squeeze the word 'miscommunication' in, in a laidback LEbowski styleee. Then asked yer man if he could have his breakfast. lol. But yer man was having none of it. It became clear to us, that this fella would probably not be up for serving us food, so we legged it across the road for some toast and jam.

note:Kochi is quite touristy and toast and jam are available in abundance.

Poor auld hungover Charles emerged after getting a bollocking from yer man, and we all got bicycles and headed off for another whopper bike ride around the town. This is my favourite way to see stuff in India. There's a little breeze, you see loads of stuff, and you can get off and have a chai whenever you feel like it. We saw some awesomely large Portuguese doors,a bustling market (I'm getting alright at haggling now - I just say ''100 rupees - best price! '' at everything that's above 100 rupees). :D Bill likes to wind people up and if they say 250 rupees, he'll say ''i'll give you 500!'' and they're left going 'eh ok!' while he walks off. :D
We saw goats on wheelbarrows, chinese fishing nets in action, a Murder She Wrote book for sale (but it was 189 rupees and that's extortionate for a bit of Jessica!), colourful fishing boats, the lads doing the laundry in the dobi, the dutch palace which had lots of cool old artefacts in it, an awesome Jewish synagogue (Wouldn't let us take pictures there though), I had a go on the swings in the playground and we saw lots of humerous Indian movie posters.

Had the best omelette of my life in a funky little cafe with art on the walls, ipads in the lounge etc - fierce fancy - reminded me of Ibiza, did a bit of shopping and then headed off for a 21 hour journey by jeep, train, bus, big bus, autorickshaw to Mysore. It was another overnigh train but this one wasn't too bad at all. We had a great laugh before bedtime with the usual suspects, John, Clara, Kay, Emily and I managed to get about 5 hours kip on this one in the middle bunk. Not too shabby.

Kochi pics

Posted by squeakylee 04:31 Archived in India Comments (0)

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