What a beautiful part of the world, a long stretch of serene beach to one side, the Keralan backwaters the other. We arrived at 3 Elephants resort at Cherai beach late morning after a fun and eventful rickshaw journey from Fort Cochin. Originally we had planned to use a combination of local transport - rickshaw, ferry, bus and another rickshaw, however our homestay hosts in Fort Cochin convinced us otherwise. Although a bit pricier than taking local transport, our ride ended up rewarding us in other ways. And what a great journey it was. We went by rickshaw the whole way, it came across on the ferry with us. Our driver was fun and really lit up after I gushed over Sachin Tendulkar. Cricket knowledge and I must say, a love of the Indian team goes a long way here on the sub continent! After crossing the water we travelled along through villages big and small before he asked if we wanted to visit his home. Off the road down a little lane into the jungle like vegetation we headed, soon arriving at his home, his 3 boys and a few friends of course playing cricket out front, dodging the coconut and papaya trees as they bowled and batted. We met the extended family who were keen we took a drink, so we settled on some coconut juice, and watched the harvest of 2 from the tree straight outside their home. After a refreshing coconut it was down to business playing cricket with the boys, and what fun it was, with talk of Sachin, Ricky, and Shane - the king of spin thrown in. However after this short but very enjoable sideline on our trip we were soon on our way again eventually arriving at our destination, 3 Elepants, a French run boutique eco resort at Cherai beach. It will be hard to take for a couple of days but hey someone's go to do it!
So nice to be back in my beloved India. We arrived last night at some ungodly hour following the best part of a day in KL, running around with a bit of shopping thrown in. The flight from KL was delayed due to a torrential downpour and electrical storm of massive proportions. It also reintroduced me to India again via the way the "turn off your mobile phone, remain seated with your seat beat fastened" can be ignored by most! We arrived very late to our home stay - Saj Homestay with Saj greeting us and promising a local breakfast delicacy and chai for when we awoke from our much needed slumber. And yum yum - three rounds of masala dosa, pineapple juice and chai - nirvana - a fine greeting. We spent the day doing the sights, and lunching on dal fry and fresh lime sodas - to die for! Tonight we went to the kathakali dance production, followed by beers and nibbles at Malabar House where Rob and I stayed many years ago. Great day, great reentry, hello India!