We’ve begin starting on our journey in Kerala with my child (3 years): fished, played under the Indian children, saw waterfalls and plenty of animals … Here are the first steps of his exciting journey, told by Vuong’s mom.
Then, he said, after 3 flights and a fair amount of travel hours … we arrived in Kerala! And now, what?
Study tour took us a little time, because the region is very large, the roads well away from our concept of motorway / highway, the information online on routes to do with Scarsini children. For the rest all right, ha ha ha.
But with my patience, thanks to Google and the providential of a fellow Indian, in the end we managed to organize an itinerary that – with hindsight – it was really well planned, stuff to be given pats on the back by themselves. Only one stage we cannata great, but I’ll reveal later.
I know this thing of the map on Google Maps looks like a crazy stuff, but there was super useful (as indeed the Excel file for the budget, something for which my husband aka the Free Thinker is famous all over Europe).
Here, starting from this beautiful mappetta, we tracked down villages and small villages, measured distances, tried shortcuts in forests and eliminated steps that seemed brilliant to read them on the guides but were later proved unfeasible in the harsh reality of Google.
During the preparation of the trip, the rule for us was always one and only one: find activities and places that could be special for Memi, which would allow him to see animals, landscapes, people far away from the European model. And at the same time show our son what it really means to travel, different concept from simply being on holiday.
Since we landed in Cochin at 8 am, our first stop was this course. From there we then went up north, and we followed a kind of circular path that has brought us to the east, south and finally back to Cochin.
But here is our itinerary, day by day.
To read the name one says “Oh ok, so if you call must be the city near Cochin airport”. Eh eh eh, welcome to India, where nothing is what it seems, the less distances.
Fort Cochin is located about an hour and a half drive from the airport, theoretically this is an area of the same city, in practice it’s like landing at Malpensa airport and having to get to Brescia.
The area is known for its Chinese Fishing Nets, the particular fishing nets that you can see on much of the waterfront without difficulty. Giving a small sum to the fishermen, you can roll up your sleeves and you also try to pull all the ropes and to raise the nets.
The town is very small, you visit easily on foot or by tuktuk (which has become one of the must Memi, which forced us to take a dozen for the entire duration of the holiday).
Near the beach there is also a large playground busy busy children.
Another typical activity to do is to admire a show of Kathakali, which unfortunately we could not do because of the long journey and the time zone on the first night we were basically cooked by fatigue.
Fatigue exclusively the preserve of travelers over one meter in height, because that below was so load that has even thrown fully clothed into ocean waves and ended up running around in their underwear for the whole beach in front of hundreds of people who were photographing !
Beyond the show of Memi, the most interesting experience was definitely the fact that he had been staying at a local family (homestay): People cute, super friendly, who played with Memi for hours as they had always known. I would not recommend staying in private homes for the duration of the trip, after a few days of full immersion Indian trust that at least the evening you’ll need a little bit of Western comfort. But it is definitely an experience to do, because the kindness of these people has no equal.
Our accommodation in Fort Cochin: Maison Casero. Very low price, central location, warm family, absolutely to be recommended.
The Athirapally waterfalls are really worth a visit. Abstract: once you get there to see there are waterfalls or cascades or, guess what? The waterfalls!
So the options are two: either pay arrive and then after a couple of hours you leave to the next destination, or do like us and looking for a nice hotel facing the falls to spend the night.
The falls are easily reached on foot, by paying a few rupees a ticket. For a change, here too Memi saw the water and started to strip naked … eventually bathe in the river.
Here, not really clear, fresh and sweet water, but the bed of the river is low and the current is not very strong, so two jumps in the water to them to him children can also make do.
Thrissur and Arattupuzha
Thrissur is just the typical Indian city: the chaos, noise, horn, food scent that mixes with the spice … that mingles with the smell of smog … that blends back to that food. In short, the ideal destination if you like to lose yourself in the river of life. We we adored, with its decadent charm, the fruit stalls, the fabric stores and that feeling of being really the opposite of the globe.
Memes Thrissur loved basically 3 things.
At number one, gold medal granted, the hundreds of tuktuk whizzing through the streets: we climbed and descended from these contraptions throughout the day, with Memi into raptures for sporty driving this kind of taxi drivers (it is there better to ask the driver to wait somewhere because “scooters” are much more agile in city traffic).
In second place ranks the visit to the zoo: Let’s face it, we speak of a model zoo specimen 70s, much older but that is precisely why his being out of fashion has its own reason. Few animals, many children: Memi contentone and we are delighted to have found a bit of shade on a hot day.
Third place ranking “things to do in Thrissur” of our young explorer: go for a stroll with the backpack for their facts, possibly moving away from Mom and Dad, possibly shaking hands and releasing selfies with local, possibly putting the legs of dusty each piece of silk available in sari shops. Memi Not that he needed to find independence, but we say that here it is felt particularly inspired.
So, what to do in Thrissur? Everything and nothing, go away for a walk aimlessly, revenue in the shops, do yourself a sari tailored and enjoy the Indian way of life.
The next day it was the turn of Arattupuzha, 1h drive from Thrissur, where we basically went with a single mission: to participate in the Pooram, a religious festival held once a year. I strongly suggest you take a peek on Google to understand the folly (in a good way) of this event.
Well, you say, it was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen: kids, elephants, elders, musicians, boys, incense, music blasting in illegal believe volumes in the rest of the world, incense, even elephants, in short, a super cool.
Obviously, we were the only non-Indians, and were greeted foreign delegation model in diplomatic visit: smiles, handshakes, a billion photos that Memi in her arms to anyone. I repeat, super cool.
Our journey to discover India continues to Parambikulam and other stages … one of which we were not impressed, and the other … it was the dream of Memi for months!