27 Jun 2013

Catching Up: A Keralan Adventure Part 1 (Fort Kochin and the Cricket)

On our recent unexpected trip to England, we found out from some of you that you would prefer to see all our adventures right here on the blog, so over the coming weeks, we will updating this blog to bring you the adventures that were previously sent out by email only...

Without further ado, here's Part 1 of A Keralan Adventure from January 2013...

We recently spent two weeks in Kerala and as we write this, we are sitting in a nicely air conditioned train carriage, a few hours into our 18 hour train journey back to Goa and our beloved Arambol. It's as cold as a fridge in here, and as hot as an oven outside. What to do? Simon’s decided to keep his feet warm by going to where no one should ever go….

Socks with sandals!
 Mind you, would you trust a man with this hairdo?!

So what's been happening?

Well since leaving Goa, we bumped into our boat friends K and A on the train and together spent a few days in a very hot Kochin (38 degrees!) They were having kittens as they were booked into sleeper class whilst, true to form, we were again in 3AC (colder but cleaner, less cockroaches, more appropriate to princess-like behaviour) A was particularly perturbed as he wanted to know why there was a toddler in a turban sleeping on his bunk. So they upgraded to 3AC with us.

Kochin is a group of islands, accessed by ferry, and so you have the main city of Ernakulam: say that after a few pints. Ernakulam is in fact a suburb of Kochin, but has overtaken its founder to become a sprawling metropolis of over 1.5 million. Although not the official capital of the state of Kerala, which is Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram as it is known to the locals, Kochin sees itself as the Shoreditch of Kerala, all skinny jeans and the like. Meanwhile Trivandrum simply sits by and makes state law, a la wise old man. Kochin is a bit of a mish-mash, colonised by the Portuguese in the 1500's, nabbed by the Dutch in the 1600's and handed over to the Brits in some Dutch-British treaty in the 1800's. There is also a French influence in the city, but where this came from we aren't sure. Paris j'suppose?

An island called Willington Island was created by the Brits in the 1940's, in the middle of the harbour. They drained the area and an island appeared, where it is now home to a couple of five star hotels, where incidentally that sorry excuse for an English cricket team stayed before their comedy show of a cricket performance. Paddy thinks they were pampered into defeat.

We stayed on Fort Kochi and where at sunset you can walk down and check out the Chinese fishing nets, as well as provide dinner for the local mosquito population. It's also a romantic spot for honeymooning Ernakulamites to saunter along, with a lovely view of the setting sun over the giant sized hydraulic sea freight cranes that line the opposite shore. 

However we were there for the cricket (ED: tickets courtesy of our dear friend Bribaba, but gifted to us by Maddy's cousins Jen and Gordon!) so it was with excitement and trepidation that we headed over to Ernakulam to the stadium along with 55,000 cricket crazy Indians to watch England play India in their second One Day International game. As England had won the first game, we clung to the submarine of hope that England could conjure up a repeat performance. Check out the glee/hope...


Against the handful of bemused British fans wondering how it was possible to play so badly yet get paid for it, the screaming 54,990 Indian fans were too much with cymbal clanging, water bottle beating, chair stomping, chanting at deafening levels and acting in a jolly unsporting manner what, what! 

A rare moment of calm...
So we left early and headed off for a curry, with our heads between our tails, scrubbing off our face paints in a disgruntled manner, if that is at all possible.

That's all for now folks!

Coming up in part 2, elephants and going to see modern art at India's first Biennale!


  1. "However we were there for the cricket (tickets courtesy of Maddy's cousins Jen and Gordon!)"


    1. Ha! Hopefully now edited to your satisfaction ;)

  2. That match so nearly ended by career as a cricket supporter. The performance of the English team was so inept, it bore a startling resemblance to the movie farce " carry on up the Kyber", or curry on up the Kyber. However, 2 months of IPL 6 managed to drag my love for the game back from the brink, though even the camera replays were inconclusive as to whether or not I touched the ropes. English cricket, on this occasion, gets the benefit of the doubt!