Last weekend this time I was at my friend’s house in Kochi (Cochin). Yes, that very same friend I told you about in my last post. We met when we were all of 13 and became friends when we were 15! Ha, now that was a long time ago!
Oh, and I met this rambunctious fella who goes by several names, let’s make do with Max – the dog who thinks he’s still a puppy. Oh yeah, he climbed onto my lap and sat there like a puppy would, except he didn’t fit. At all. Hahaha!
I’ve never lived regularly in Kerala since the age of 8 and getting around in my home state has been a bit of an issue so far. But inspired and filled with a sense of freedom, I struck out on what is essentially a short journey. Just four hours overall. But it was a maiden journey and one that reinforced my love of travelling alone, or even getting from point A to point B alone in this case.
I got there on Friday and in the evening we went to Cherai beach to see the sunset. But…..since monsoon is apparently here, there was no sun, just a bunch of clouds and seaweed.
Then on our way back to her place, we stopped to see the Chinese fishing nets (cheena vala) being raised in the Chemmen Kettu waters. Chemmen Kettu, is essentially man-made backwater lagoons that are used for prawn farming.
Here’s a bit of trivia for you: The Chinese fishing nets, popularly believed to have been introduced to the area by the Chinese explorer Zheng He (hence the name) are iconic tourist attractions in this district. They were in fact actually introduced here by the Portuguese Casado settlers from Macau.
I did a hasty bit of internet research before I went and gleaned some information off old school friends on Facebook for places to eat at. Fort Kochi was on top of everyone’s must see list so that’s where we went first.
On Saturday, we set off bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for Fort Kochi and had our dreams of getting there nice and early dashed by the tedious line for the ferry crossing there. Apparently one of the ferries had pleaded fatigue and retired for the day so just there was just the one to get people, bikes, cars and even buses across. 15 minutes each way and only three cars per trip. Phew, it was a wait alright! Thank Willis Carrier for air conditioning and never-ending chatter with my friend! Finally, after a loooong time, we got on the ferry.
And after we got to the other side, Lady Luck then proceeded to abandon us all together! My friend wanted to try this place called Waffle Express at Napier Street for *surprise, surprise* waffles. It was meh. They didn’t have any cool drinks to serve on a hot day. Tell me, who is going to want to sip a hot cappuccino in the afternoon while the sun blazes down more merrily than necessary? Their menu wasn’t diverse enough either. I got a banana & walnut waffle with maple syrup and my friend got a peanut butter one. They weren’t fluffy but kinda stretchy/chewy and we couldn’t finish them! My friend’s quest for the perfect waffle continues………
After this, we decided to stroll down Napier Street in quest of open shops, museums etc. but I wasn’t kidding when I said Lady Luck had left the building. No shops were open and we ended up walking, getting increasingly hot and bothered down to the Chinese fishing nets (yup, they’re pretty much everywhere!).
We then sipped on some coconut water, gave up on Fort Kochi and drove to Lulu Mall (the biggest mall in Kerala, apparently) and its air conditioned expanse. But not before I took these pictures around Napier Street.
And that symmetrically placed deodar tree wraps up this post on Kochi. Next time, I’ll make sure I go when Fort Kochi is open, because peeps, wandering around a mall just ain’t my idea of fun anymore!
As always, stay safe my travel bugs!