Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kochi Jan 16th

We have everywhere been impressed by the huge trees to be found here.  Finding out their names has not proved too easy.  These giant canopies may be banyan trees or maybe 'rain' trees, so called because they absorb the rain and continue to shed drops long after the rain from the sky has given up. 
Stopping to pick up more equipment - bandages and tape - though my ankle/burn has improved tremendously and I can walk normally at last.
What that means is that I can now go shopping!!!
The photo does not do justice to this jacket that I have had my eye on since I saw one in Delhi soon after we arrived. 
We have agreed that I will stay on in Cochin until Wednesday night and Richard will leave Monday morning and ride the bike to Bangalore.  It is a journey of about 550km and will just be a ride to get there - not a sightseeing and stopping to enjoy the places journey.  I can resist that pleasure and will instead take the train and meet Richard in Bangalore - a sign that I am fully independent :-)!
While he was here, however, we tried to see the many sights of Cochin and on Sunday took a 10-15  minute ferry across to Enakulum for the grand cost of 2.5 rupees - about 10c. 
Ferry to Enakulam - the engine
First on the list was a visit to see another of the banks where Richard's father worked at some point.  Richard remembers coming to Cochin when he was about five or six.  According to the tuk-tuk driver, a fairly old man - in his late 50's or 60's - the bank building is about 80 years old so may have been the one Richard's father actually worked in.

State Bank of India 0 Cochin
 It's a tall building for its age....
The whole building

Clock tower for Synagogue (hidden behind wall on left)
On our return from Ernakulum, we rode to the very old Jewish synagogue, built with the permission of the Portuguese in 1568.  It is in the quarter called Jew town that is now mainly occupied by Kashmiri shop-keepers.  There were strict rules about photography as the notice outside indicates.  Violation would result in permanent confiscation of one's camera.  Shoes off inside as is typical. 
We ate out that evening in an area called a "food court"  It was actually a row of about 6 little cookout stalls, all attached to each other, that offfered very similar menus, the main attraction being that they would cook the fish that you brought them.  So we went down to the fish stalls along the seafront and bought a kilo of tiger prawns which the restaurant then cooked for us.  Scrumptious!  Strategically placed right at the fish vendors tables were young men - again - who would offer to cook as soon as you got within a few yards of the stall.  What with the vendors calling out for you to choose their fish and the waiters intent of getting you to their cooks, it was an entertainment in itself.
Another feast of seafood
Having decided that we would leave Bernard and Sally and their guest house Dreamcatcher when our three nights were up, we went in search of somewhere else that I would be staying at by myself for a couple of nights.   The Chiramel Residency, also what is considered a 'homestay' being the converted home of the owner,  is upmarket from Dreamcatcher.  Good bed, wi-fi, spotlessly clean, and low key.  The owner is a gracious, very calm woman who has no need to tell you her life history.  Of course, life histories can be fascinating, but Bernard was so aggressive we could not wait to get out of his reach. 
Wendy's "home" while Richard rides


  1. glad to see you are getting better, fresh prawns sounds yummy!

    love alex and sheri

  2. Wendy, Do you think Bernard could be reading this blog? Your 'new home' looks gorgeous. Our home is about to fill up with eldest daughter and baby and 3 year old. Should be a busy few days for us. Our son took huge interest in your blog when visiting recently. He sounded so wistful looking at your pictures of busy street scenes and even the piles of garbage. Missing his last big adventure, I guess.