Sunday, November 06, 2005

Vacation in Kerala

Wistfully back from vacation.

We left on Sunday for Calicut, on the west coast of Kerala. We had planned on taking the noon bus - ended up squeezing onto a wooden bench on the 2pm bus with much hustling of our friend Anil. Buses were all full as it is holiday season and the locals are also on vacation - guess we should have thought of that. The bus was a little crowded and rustic but we were happy to be off on an adventure. About 2 hours in, we heard a huge bang. The back tire of the bus blew - usually they are double-tired but the second one was already flat. So off of the bus we go. We are now waiting by the side of the road in a gorgeous hilly region, cool moist air, clumps of tall bamboo all around. After twenty minutes we were now on another random bus with help from our fellow passangers - Not totally sure where it is going but it's okay. Then the bus stops, and we are shuffled onto yet another bus. Then to the most crazy bus ride of my life - pitch black, racing down the side of a mountain, sitting beside the huge opening (otherwise known as the backdoor with no door), sliding all over the place. It got to be funny after a while, like a ride at Universal Studios. We crashed that night at Calicut, a fishing village, and took the overnight train the following night to Varkala.

Varkala was gorgeous. Covered in palm trees, with a sea breeze blowing, big crashing waves in warm water. We spent three days there lazing about - swimming in the waves, eating tons of seafood and drinking beer out of teapots. There are very strong restrictions on serving alcohol in Kerala so most places just serve beer in teapots - I don't think the cops are fooled but makes for funny surroundings. Its 10pm at night and everyone has teapots and mugs on their tables, beaded with moisture. Must be cold tea :). Also got an ayurvedic massage which was quite an experience - lots of slapping and punching with a big dose of oil.

Our final time was spent in Kochi, attending a Kathakali show (ritualized dance - I found it kinda funny, like some modern art is kinda funny) and the next morning we went on a relaxing tour of the backwaters. Lots of little canals abound with vegetation, a few kingfishes flying in the air, hybiscus trees in bloom, being pushed in a long boat by a man with a piece of bamboo. Then off that night at 7:30pm on an all-night bus back to Mysore. We arrived back early this morning flithy, tired, but satisfied with our adventure.

Now back to work :). Tomorrow we start up in a new village.


At 3:21 p.m., Blogger vicki said...

Hi Leah,
I always felt that the more exhausting the vacation, the better. There was a BC meetup today and I told Tracey and Jen about this wonderful blog so you may hear from them. Keep up the good work. We stuck-at-homes are depending on you. vicki

At 3:16 p.m., Blogger Lesley said...

A lot of slapping and punching? Doesn't sound very relaxing. And I don't know how your survived that bus trip. I would have fainted from stress and panic. The teapot beer thing is funny though. :)

At 7:29 p.m., Blogger Amy said...

wonderful stories, and good post. You are going to enjoy looking back at this blog and remembering all of this when you are home again (which i imagine is wierd to think about, and seems to be millions of miles away). Keep em coming! :)


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