While most of my friends went north, I chose to stay in the south and spent my six days exploring Kerala. Kerala is the region on the south-west of India’s coast and is one of the most well-developed in India. The first day was spent with my travel writing class on a houseboat touring the Alleppey backwaters.
It was the most relaxing class I have ever been in. We spent our time writing about our surroundings, taking in everything and enjoying cumin fried bananas. The waters were an extremely clean white- almost identical to the color of the sky.
After the field program, I immediately hopped on a bus and headed to Kumily. There I visited the Periyar Tiger Preserve, where former poachers are now employed by the government to track wild game with travelers.
While I didn’t see any tigers or elephants myself, I enjoyed the scenery.
In each of the three cities, I took part in homestays. The most memorable was Aroma Homestay in Kochi. Joseph and Elizabeth helped me have an amazing time – doing everything from helping plan my daily itinerary to getting me front row tickets to the Kathakali show. If you’re in the city, staying here is a must.
With the help of Joseph, Elizabeth, and Grandma Rosie, I took part in three Kerala style cooking lessons. Below was the meal I enjoyed after buying two pale spotted fish in the market.
While I was going around town, I visited a ginger spice shop. My lungs could barely function inside of the rooms due to the absurd amount of ginger in the air.
My favorite attraction in Kochi was the Chinese fishing nets.These massive nets are over thirty feet tall and have to be operated by a team of at least six fishermen. They use massive rocks to keep the lines weighted and balanced.
After the net has been pulled, three men hold it up while one scoops the catch before the waiting birds have a chance for dinner.