We arrive at the station a few seconds after what must have been the only on time train that day had left. The next train was in 30mins this turned out to be an hour! It was packed with people there was no waiting for the doors to open half the disembarking passengers had already alighted as the train touched the end of the platform! We were 5 western people looking completely confused and this was only the start of the confusion!
We had booked sleeper tickets for the 9am in the morning train and it was all subject to availability, in places there was up to 3 bunks completely over filling and a fan bolted to the ceiling that was waiting for someone’s head to bash with boxers drying on it.
Some slept and some explored the endless train that seemed to go on and on it was around 25 coaches. There were many Hindus on this train all dressed in black clothes. We found out there was a large Hindu festival in the mountains and it is strict rule that they have to bath twice a day before 6am and once after 6pm. I even observed one of the men applying the paint to his forehead in the sink that was outside the toilet between the two open doors. It did not seem to matter that the train swayed from side to side nor did it seem to matter that the sink (after he had applied this paint to his coin necklaces) had orange and red smears all over it! After one long stop we find that the train departs in the opposite direction which we hope is ok, we then are told that the train does not stop at our destination but we have to get off the station before. Once we alight from sitting on the train step we meander to the main road to find a bus. With a bit of help from a Indian sailor we board the packed that is driven like we are in the Atlantic ocean avoiding the most fearful waves until we hit the speed bumps, corners in the lull of the wave feels like we should get the life raft out as we must be about to capsize. At the end of the route we were kicked out and this was where we were to stay. Nothing was booked and luckily we bagged the last 5 beds.
Some spices on sale in Kochi.
One stunning waterfall in Northern Kerala
A small boat goes around some of the amazing maize of backwaters in Kerala
This blog update was written on 05.12.12 on arrival at Kochi
Update 13.03.2014: Kerala Tourism have asked me to promote them on my site and include some of their images, for more information please see their site by clicking here
Below are some images they have asked me to share. It really is a place and aptly names ‘Gods of Country’.