Kerala. This word means ‘Coconuts land’. And if you visit this area, you can easily understand why.
This was not my first trip to India, so I didn’t think that this Country could surprise me anymore. But India is like a million pieces puzzle, and everytime you find something you didn’t know.
As you know, my trip started from Mumbai (read my previous post) where I spent a whole day. Then I flew to Trivandrum. My plan was to reach the deep south of India (Tamil Nadu), then come to North all along the coast, go inside to see tea plantations, and at the end have a rest and ayurvedic treatments in Varkala.
After some hours by bus we reached Cape Comorin or Kanyakumari, the southest Indian town. On the way to Cape Comorine, you can’t miss Sichundram Temple.
It’s a lovely place where continent and Ocean meet, it is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in India!
I experienced the trip by boat to reach the Vivekanda Rock Memorial, with hundreds of Indians, queuing to visit this sacred monument. There were just few foreigners, and the atmosphere was so joyful!
But the real new experience was … the hotel! In the hall, there were so many people coming and going. But no foreigners at all. It seemed to be in a marketplace … I had a room at third floor; stark but clean. The surprise was when I went down: the first floor was like a railway station at night. Women, men, children laid down or seated on the floor, eating, shouting, smiling… or … just living. I immediately associated that image at a social class representation: for each floor there were different standards of life.
At the beginning, I felt a little bit uncomfortable in that situation, unprotected. Then I realized I was living a unique Indian experience … so far from European standards, and my mental schemas!
From Cape Comorin to Kovalam.
Small towns, green countryside, sea, coconuts tree, tuk-tuk, crazy drivers: there are all the things you can meet along the way to Kovalam.
Kovalam is a nice, quiet beach, very famous for yoga classes and ayurvedic treatments. A place to relax after the crowded Cape Comorin!
At sunset, you can spend some time on the beach, looking at fishermen with their boats and all the families waiting for them.
In the evening I enjoyed my dinner in one of the small restaurants: they all show their fishes and you can choose the one you prefer! Delicious flavours of fish and curry cooked in tandoori oven…