Monday, November 7, 2011

November 6 on to Cochine

Today we finished our cruise on the Backwaters and drove into Cochin (also known as Cochi and Cochine). The Backwaters were really magical and a very nice part of our trip.

Cochi is on the coast of the Arabian Sea and is in the middle of the Backwaters, We stopped on the way in to visit a coir factory – which is a place where they make coconut rope and matting. Our hotel in Cochine is very nice. The room is huge and we have a flat screen TV and very nice shower. There is also a small swimming pool in the central courtyard – popular with young European tourists. The weather during the day is so hot and humid that people like us are completely soaked with sweat and practically have to wring out our clothes after walking around outside for awhile. We had lunch at a restaurant called a Thali which provides small dishes of about 8 different foods – plus rice and some kind of Indian bread. It is used by regular people (not tourists) and the food is very tasty – a huge lunch for about $3.00. Mike and I walked around the area where our hotel is located. It was very busy with local people enjoying a Sunday outing and also quite a few tourists from a cruise ship. There were groups of young men walking along the beach who we assumed were Philippino seamen. Our dinner was at a private home. The woman was a retired university professor and her husband a retired customs man from Chennai. Their son (who had an MBA) was also part of the visit and he told us about a project he was doing with a Swiss professor – selling solar pumps for farmers – no batteries just direct solar power for farms without access to electricity. He was so enthusiastic about the future of India and also the need and opportunities of green technology that it made you feel very positive about the future of India. The young educated middle class seem ready to make great strides. Tomorrow will be the day that the rest of the group leave for home and we will be alone here. We will contact our driver and be ready to drive up to Ooty the following day.

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