Sunday, 24 February 2013

India: Fort Kochi and the Backwaters

After 24 hours of travelling, being kicked out of Dixons in Heathrow twice and stuffing our faces with English junk one last time, we finally landed in Kochi. We had our first taste of Indian driving, which basically consists of beeping your horn and three cars overtaking each other at the same time, while mopeds duck in and out and a bus is coming in the other direction. Imy pooed her pants, adding to the smells of India.

The sun setting as we crossed on the ferry to Fort Kochi

On arrival in Fort Kochi, it transpired that "India" was on strike (not strictly true, it was actually only the area we were in) for two days. In a panic, we bought some supplies. For some reason we thought these items were sufficient for two day's survival:

4 bottles of water
2 packets of cookies
4 packets of crisps (2 ready salted, 2 American style cheese and onion)
A small loaf of bread
4 pot noodles
1 packet of cigarettes

What were we thinking?

So there was no activities, no transport, no shops open and only crisp sandwiches for the first couple of days, which gave us plenty of time to explore the area by foot. Fort Kochi is known for it's use of the traditional Chinese fishing nets.

Kat was busy flirting with a fisherman, while Imy was being dragged aboard the fishing machine for a tour of how it all works. 6 men heave the massive net out of the water by a pully system that uses massive stones as a counterbalance. Unfortunately for these guys, their main catch of the day was a load of rubbish and one small silver fish. Apparently it isn't the right season for catching fish.

The nets in action
After paying a ransom to get off the fishing machine, we left the fisherman and his mates for a three-hour ramble around Jew Town. Kat accidentally took us through the slum area, where we saw a crow eating a pigeon and a whole lot of rubbish.

The next night we went to a Kathkali performance. It's an Indian play that is a mixture of music, miming and quite a few high-pitched shrieks. We arrived an hour early so we could watch them putting on the face paint, which is made from different coloured rocks being mixed with coconut oil. 


The devil in disguise, luring in the warrior
The arrival of Friday meant the strike was finally over and we could do the tour of the backwaters. You could stay overnight on the house boats but we're too cheap, so just did a quickie one-day tour.

The only picture of us together so far 
House boat

We're now in Goa, so we'll leave you with this image of Imy's minging mozzie bite. Will update soon. Love Imy and Kat xx

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