Trip to Kerala with All Things India Travel – January 2016
Arriving late at night at Thiruvanthapuram International Airport, after two long plane flights from Auckland, I was looking forward to a long sleep in our peaceful hotel. But when Joji suggested we might like to get up at dawn to join him, with his family, Shani and Shashwath, for a short walk to the nearby beach, I couldn’t resist. As soon as I saw the sun rising over the Arabian Sea, I knew this was a much better choice than sleeping in!
On the beach we watched a team of about ten strong men hauling in enormous fishing nets, more fishers in graceful canoes gliding along close to the shore, people of all ages from the nearby village out on the beach making the most of the cool sea air and calm warm water. Children were running around, somersaulting down the sand-hills and practising their moves for martial arts. We admired the tropical colours – homes among the coconut palms beside the beach were painted in glowing, turquoise, lavender and rose. Our first photos in Kerala were all the better with helpful tips from Shani and Shashwath. An hour later we walked back to our hotel for a lovely breakfast of fresh food – spicy omelettes, Indian breads and curries, raita, melons, pineapple and good coffee.
We could easily walk out to see more of the nearby villages and meet the local people, who seemed to enjoy talking to people from New Zealand about our cricket! When we wanted to explore further, to the high hill country to see tea and cardamom plantations, to watch people working at their weaving, pottery, other small scale local industries or into cities to look at temples, and urban life, we had a roomy air-conditioned bus with low windows and enough seats for us to spread out in comfort while we took in the sights.
Our time with All Things India in Kerala and Tamil Nadu was full of these beautiful experiences, and I’d certainly recommend it to any other New Zealanders.