India – First Real Tourist Trip

10May 2019 – First Real Tourist Trip

We finally had a real tourist outing. In one of our many trips to the dentist, the doctor or the mall – we came across Varghese, who drives for Uber. Varghese spent nearly 20 years working for the Catholic Church in Dubai. As a result of that experience, Varghese speaks very good English, at least English that we can understand. He also takes people out on private tours, and turns off his Uber-meter. Together with Peter and Donna on SV KOKOMO, we took a day trip to the Athirappilly and Vazhachal Water Falls, managed by the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department – and finished at the Hill Palace just on the outskirts of Kochi. The total driving distance was just under 200 km, but it took us out of the city and into the back areas, where there was lots of unspoilt jungle with monkeys and other wild animals.

At the Athirappilly Water Falls, the ground was uneven and challenging for me to walk on, but I trudged along, determined to get some mileage in and see some of the Indian wilderness.

I promised Varghese that I would immortalize his image on my blog, so here he is together with Peter.

Much to my surprise, up there in the hills I found this police station just for tourists.

Our next visit was to the Hill Palace at Tripunithura (just outside of Kochi). It was the imperial administrative office and official residence of the Cochin Maharaja. Built in 1865, the palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style, spreading across 54 acres – although I have to admit, I only covered a fraction of this territory.

The complex has an archaeological museum, a heritage museum, a deer park, a pre-historic park and even a children’s park – although I didn’t see it, and nobody could take photos of it anyway because they confiscate your camera and cell phone at the entrance.

Presently, the palace has been converted into a museum by The Kerala State Archaeology Department and is open to the public for a small admission fee. My impression of the Hill Palace is that it a little worn and tired looking, basically in need of a paint job – although this photo certainly makes it appear to be in very fine condition.

While in the grocery store yesterday, I came across this display of cricket bats, pretty much dominating the sports section. There was no baseball or ice hockey gear in sight.

4 thoughts on “India – First Real Tourist Trip”

  1. Hello,
    Diane, wade & Peter,
    I did have a read through your blog and found it to be very interesting.
    In case you, can’t place us, my son and I spoke to you while you very cooling off in the pool and we were waiting for wedding reception to begin.
    I always thought sailing was an expensive enterprise and beyond reach of average folk.
    I had send my son this summer holiday for a sailing camp, so it really piqued his curiosity to read about sailors all the way from Canada.
    If you do needed to visit north kerala (nilambur, Calicut)I would be more than happy to take you around.
    Cheers Jopu

    1. Hi Jopu – it was nice to talk with you and help to answer your questions. If you’re back in this area, please drop me a line and we’d like to have you over to actually visit our boat at the marina, and not just talk by the pool. We always like to inform people about our lifestyle. Thank you for your kind offer to show us around North Kerala, and we may take you up on that.

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