India, Kerala – Days 16 – 21

Kerala was amazing! Our last week in India was full to the brim of incredible sights and experiences, and we loved every minute of our time in the country’s most southern state.

The hot and dry sunshine state of Rajasthan contrasted totally with ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala. Coming in to land in Kochi, the only colour you can see is green. Everywhere you look there are palm trees, banana trees, eucalyptus trees, tea plantations, cardamon plantations…to name a few! The scenery is absolutely incredible, and on the drive from Kochi to Munnar we stopped off at some waterfalls, and I even spotted a (possibly) wild elephant in the trees, chomping away on some leaves.

Munnar is the home of tea plantations, so the masala chai was endless, it was heaven! Most of the time you are able to stop at a plantation and walk amongst the tea plants that cover the huge hills, and you can see women collecting the fresh tea leaves, ready to be cut and dried. I was definitely in my happy place, completely surrounded by tea. We stayed in a guesthouse in the middle of nowhere, bordered by spice plantations, and it was so peaceful. It genuinely felt like we had flown to a different country rather than to a different state.

After the beautiful sights of Munnar we travelled to Thekkady. Here we went to the Periyar National Park (no tiger sightings unfortunately), and had our first experience of an ayurvedic massage (basically a normal massage but using a huuuuge amount of oil), supposed to be very good for the skin. It was…an experience! We only found out about 10 minutes before that these massages are normally done totally nude! Still being Britishly modest we insisted on at least keeping the essentials on, but once you got over the initial shock, it was pretty good!

Our day in Alleppey was another amazing one, where we spent the day on a canoe, paddling down the backwaters and canals. We had breakfast and lunch at our guide’s house, with delicious authentic south India food. We finally had the chance to meet a few other backpackers, and rounded the day off with some beers on the beach with a great group of people we met on the boat.

We had a very chilled last two days in Kochi (mainly cus we’d run out of rupees…) and spent them wandering around the Chinese fishing nets in Fort Cochin, and getting a tan/burn on the beach. We also met a guy called Dean who had an amazing affinity for languages. He taught us how to say a few essential words in many of the languages we will be coming across over the next few months, in exchange for practising his English with us.

We’ve had a wonderful start to our trip and only scratched the surface of India, definitely planning another trip back in the future.

A & K

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