Our next stop was Fort Cochin in Kerala. A few days earlier we had emailed a homestay we had found online called Beena’s. We later found out how lucky we were to get a room here as this place was a Traveller’s Choice Winner on TripAdvisor the last 3 years. It didn’t take us long to find out why!
The room was immaculate, some of the best Wifi, and the best food yet! Heaven!
We quickly made this place our home. Beena and her husband Sudie took us under their wing and looked after us perfectly. We didn’t want to leave so decided to ask to extend our stay. Although all the guest rooms were fully booked, Benna offered us her daughters room. Just like the rest of the house this was immaculate- not surprising as Benna is a public health inspector.
Fort Cochin is quite the mix. The main town was built by the Portuguese, destroyed and rebuilt by the Dutch before being “acquired” by the British. Not to mention the Chinese Fishing Nets from the Court of Kublai Khan and the Jews and their town in Mattancherry. Oh and not to forget the Indians.
Days were spent here strolling the streets and beachside ducking into coffee shops and museums to avoid the harsh sun.
Evenings were spent attempting to converse in French with our new friends from Canada, Eve and Claire, who gave us great tips and advice. We also met two lovely mutual-grannies, Rhian and Monika, who kept us entertained with their stories including their stay with their adopted Indian family. These girls were adventurous from elephant rides to pilgrims they had done it all.
On the advice of Johnny Docherty we took in some shows at the Kathikalli Center just up the road. 400 year old traditional shows are a must to-do in Kerala. The key is to arrive early to see the actors adorn their face paints.
In the middle of our trip we ventured out of the safe haven of Fort Kochi to Vypeen Island and it’s beach.
First up was the 3 pence Ferry Ride. After our famous incident in Dubai, Karen was more wary and deposited John in the Men Only section before skipping to join the other girls at the front of the boat. Not 5 minutes in her new ‘Friend’ Jessie had got all the background information out of her.
Next up was the local bus to the beach, well 3km from the beach. Rammed is not the word for these buses. Karen foolishly refused the window seat and then spent the next 50 minutes getting battered by a series of handbags.
In mid 30 degree heat we trudged to the beach with John promising that it would be only over the next bridge!
On our way the backwaters jumped out at us!
The beach was quieter than Marcel Marsou. It was obviously a weekend place! Undeterred the dynamic duo walked along the sand and took some photos. The searing heat meant we only lasted an hour and a half before we headed back to the ferry station. Jumping on another local bus John made the mistake of sitting in the front rows of seats which are unofficially reserved for Women. The local schoolboys pointed and laughed while the women tutted. Like Rosa Parks, John sat firmly in place!
Back in a Fort Cochin our chill out spot was Loafers Corner (on Bastion and Princess Street) where we people watched and caught up on our travel journals while sipping a lime soda.
Next up on our trip is the Munnar Hills but we will be returning to Fort Cochin next week before our flight to Kathmandu. Our Last Supper will be in Beena’s.