Friday, January 16, 2009

ahhh Kochi

Had a most amazing day today!!! Bigs and I arranged a backwaters tour through our hotel- Maple Regency (which rocks by the way...) so we jaunted off to the boat jetty at 8am. As we were waiting met this really sweet German girl called Antonia who was also going on the tour. We got onto a houseboat by 10 and we were off...the weather was super hot, the sky a blistering shade of blue, and the islands lush and colured emerald green. The tour was so serene, just meandering around the narrow rivers and checking out the small islands and its inhabitants. Listened to the repetitive chanting of aa Hindu temple beckoning people to come worship, watched fishermen reel in their nets, long skinny canoes punting their way down the river, the odd silver finned back of a flying fish break the stillness. Everyone on the boat lapsed into a collective appreciative silence as we sipped our masala chai and watched the scenery unfold. GOt off the boat on one island and had a tour around an Aryuvedic garden, learned how calcium carbonate (for medicinal purposes) was made here, watched a toddy man shimmy up a tree and collect foamy sap from severed coconut flowers- which we then later drank (before it becam alcoholic...although after 6 hours from collection it becomes alcohol...quite curious to go home and see if mine fermented!!). Ate a goreous feast of steamed clams wrapped in banana leaves and cooked with cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, and curry. We then boarded the boat again and slowly made it make to our starting off point where we enjoyed an amazing Kerala thali- rice with squash, potato, eggplant, carrot, onion subji; ginger raita; tomato cooked with fresh black pepper and onions; cabbage with grated fresh coconut; carrot salad with fresh coconut; sliced green beans again with coconut, fresh papad and to top it off a delicious rice dessert topped with fresh cashews. Everyone on the boat wolfed their meal down with sigh of deep appreciation...definitely one of the best meals I've had in India. After lunch we got into small Indian canoes and were punted down the narrow crevices off the riverways. We sailed past naked children playing in the mud, women doing their washing and making coconut thread, men chilling in the sun, and many kingfisher birds singing overhead to us. It was very dreamy and...HOT as hell. Luckily it was mostly in the shade so that was a major relief. Stopped off at a field and had fresh coconut water and meat. Yummmm. Biggie and I went for a lovely pedicure after we got from our 7 hr trip...our feet were disgusting and in dire need of TLC and we sure got it! My feet are literally shining and singing with every step. I can't believe that they are my feet!!
Just finished a delicious masala dosa with Antonia and her friends (who are all staying in this incredible mansion on top of one of the biggest buildings in even comes with a pool AND its' free as they are Couch Surfing it!!..we're going there tomorrow) and I am getting ready for my Aryuvedic treatment tomorrow. Biggie's friend Aggy is coming tomorrow from London so there will be 3 of us for the next few days. We are leaving Cochi on Sunday on another tour through our hotel that will take us up into Munnar which is tea land! We'll visit plantations, check out the rolling green hills, visit an elephant rehab centre, and sleep in a tree house. Should be quite the trip. Then I am off to Periyyar Wildlife Sanctuary for a few days before heading down to Trivandrum for my ashram stay...which is looking a bit tricky at this time. Amma isn't actually in Amritapuri at the moment, so that leaves a major hole in the ashram. Sivanada Yoga centre hasn't returned my I'm not sure what is happening! BUt I do have my ticket to Varanasi (yes yes yes!) for Feb 1 so at least I have that. Hope to hear from Martin soon about meeting up in Varanasi as I could really use some familiar company and he knows Benares like the back of his hand. So hopefully that will manifest.
Off to bed...will post pics later. These computers here are terrible! xoxoxox


Sundara said...

Big adventures Ashley!! Why are you and Biggie splitting up?

Sundara said...

Go to the Ashram anyways. It will be an experience. xoxo