Travelling through Southern India - Alleppey, Kochi, Ooty, Mysore, Bangalore
By the time we got to Alleppey, It was still hot and I was exhausted from all the travelling. The next morning we met up with Anthony, a local man who gave private boat tours of the Kerala backwaters. He first took us to his village for breakfast where we met his wife, saw his house, and heard stories about his children. After breakfast, the three of us put on silly little umbrella hats and hopped into his wooden canoe for a tour of the canals. We crossed the main river from AnthonyĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s side, where his house and village was, over into neighboring villages via the network of canals. On the tour, I saw men and women bathing, washing dishes, cleaning clothes, and throwing pieces of trash into the water. Not to mention, I saw a few dead snakes in the water as well. I couldnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t understand how people could so blatantly disrespect a part of nature they so desperately depended on. After three long hours and a huge circle around the villages, we finally made it back to AnthonyĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s village where we had lunch. After lunch, we took a nearby ferry back to our hotel and packed.
After leaving Alleppey, we arrived in the coastal city of Kochi where we mostly spent the day shopping and exploring the Chinese fishing nets. Here, fisherman had built large wooden claw-like structures along the shore that could be suspended into the water in order to catch fish. We also visited a local restaurant, called the Tea Pot, which had a lot of international food and drew in many tourists. After Kochi, we headed back into the hills to Ooty where the weather was a little nicer.
Ooty was very similar to Kumily in terms of geography and climate. Like Kumily, we stayed in Ooty two nights instead of just one. We arrived to Reflections Guesthouse and immediately met a young woman from northern California who was travelling with her boyfriend. They were also with another girl, Jenny, who they had previously met in Southeast Asia. After settling in, we rented a couple horses, a tour guide, and hit the mountains for a little horseback riding.
After getting back from our ride, we played cards, performed amateur magic tricks, shared travel stories with our newest friends and relaxed by the fire. The next day I did a little sketching and went into town for some shopping with the girls. The rest of our time in Kumily was mostly spent relaxing and enjoying the cool weather. We then left Ooty with Jenny, who wanted to come with us to Mysore.
Jenny, Crystal, Candice, and I arrived to Mysore after a really long bus ride from Ooty. Finally in the state of Karnataka, we were that much closer to our home for the summer- Hubli! Although I was still exhausted from the constant travelling, I was happy we were almost there. The four of us then decided to go into the local market to explore and buy some gifts. There we found a small oil/perfume shop where Crystal, Candice, I bought a few boxes of rare east Indian oils. We then left the market place and headed for the Mysore Palace. On our way out, I was shocked to not only see beggars, but also cross-dressers- grown men with obvious facial hair wearing colorful saris and makeup- asking for money. It was something that completely caught be off gaurd. We managed to make it to the Palace of Mysore after an interesting walk there.. Built in the late 19th century for the Wodeyar royal family, the Palace was in amazing shape and open to visitors. Although we were allowed to go inside, we couldnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t take any pictures so we just observed; it seemed as though each room was crafted to the highest of detail and with the most lavish materials. Gold and marble filled the interior, while a large exterior garden wrapped the property. After our visit to the Palace, we went back to the hotel and got ready for a fancy dinner at a nearby restaurant. The next day we went to Bangalore, ate some real western food (KFC) and got on a plane for HubliĂ˘â‚¬Â¦our south Indian adventure was over!