Cochin fishing netsCricketA week is not long enough to explore Kerala but is great for a taster. We start our trip in October 2012 in Fort Cochin, a historic and protected town in the middle of the state. We stay in the Malabar Hotel which is a haven of peace in this busy location.

In Cochin you can wander along the waterfront, explore the narrow streets and markets, and enjoy delicious seafood in the many restaurants. For more city action a trip across by ferry to Erenakulum on the mainland is very worthwhile.

 

 

Purity guesthouseBackwatersAfter Fort Cochin we head down to Purity, a guesthouse owned by the Malabar Hotel at Muhamma on Vembanad lake, part of the Backwaters. Purity has just 6 rooms and each are beautifully furnished. More rooms are under construction. There is a full Ayavedic spa and you can also get cooking lessons.

The backwaters are a network of lakes, rivers and canals that stretch for miles. Originally constructed to grow and transport rice they are now a popular tourist destination, either to visit on land, like Purity, or to explore by house boat.

 

BackwatersBackwatersThe houseboats are converted rice boats. The standards vary considerably so go with a good operator like Lakes and Lagoon. Our boat was very comfortable with air conditioned cabins and a covered deck from which we could watch the action on the banks.

As we only spent one night on the boat we did a large loop of the backwaters ending in Allapuzha where we transferred to a mini bus for the final leg of our trip.

 

 

 

Beach SymphonyMarari BeachMarari Beach is a short ride from Allapuzha and Beach Symphony, a small resort with six or seven villas, is where we stay. Our villa has a plunge pool while the others share a nice pool but the sea is the best place to swim. The water is so warm that it hardly cools you. The resort provides simple meals and has all mod cons (power cuts permitting). The yoga teacher was away when we visited but we were quite happy to go for walks and watch the fishermen instead.

 

 

 

Early morning