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Hello all. My apologies for begin offline for so long but the internet connectivity in the last week of the India adventure was poor. Leah and are are now back in Canada and back at work, battling jet-lag and the massive mail dig-out that has to happen after 2 months away from my day job. I’m not sure but this might be my last post (about India anyway).

At any rate wanted to finish the story with you all by posting some pictures and telling you about what er did in the last week.

Sunday, Sept 15:

We flew from Delhi to Cochin in the South of India. This is a very different world form Northern India and the climate and many other things are once again so different. That said I guess that to be expected, just lie Victoria is very different form Winnipeg. Once we arrived at the airport we were driven to Fort Cochin and did a quick walk around the city. It’s a more resort like seaside community and clearly tourism is the bread and butter here. IN Fort Cochin caught some good pictures of the Chinese Fishing nets:

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Monday, Sept 16: Spent the morning doing more touring of Fort Cochin and then drove to Kuramakom on the backwaters area of Kerela (the State we were in). There we boarded a boat for a quick rid out to an Island resort where we spent the night. It was such a beautiful place. The only downside is it was a bit rainy….

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The good news on the rain however is it prompted both Leah and I to get a massage at the resort. So inexpensive compared to Canada prices and VERY relaxing! In the evening we attended a fun dance performance that was put on that showed of some of the traditional dance from the region.

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Tuesday – Did a quick visit to a local fishing village, also got a canoe ride around the area to explore the sights from a whole new vantage point. Then we hoped int eh boat and back to the van for a drive to our next stop in Alleppey where we boarded a houseboat for an backwaters tour and overnight stay.  the Kerela backwaters are a rainy but wonderful place.

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While on board we stopped at a place that sold fresh Prawns and the crew cooked them for out dinner. As you can see they are GIGANTIC!

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Wednesday – Got off the boat and went for a drive to a ocean front resort, Abad Turtle beach,  near a fishing village called Mararikulam. Here we stayed two nights. This was a great place somewhat like a Hawaii experience. The weather improved too and in my case got a bit hot given the high humidity there is in this part of India. As always I continued to sweat. The good thing is there was a pool 🙂

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During our stay we went to the beach to watch the Fishermen bring in the evening catch. The Ballet of the boat docking, unloading and departing in the surf was very cool.

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We also went on a 10K bike ride on some very old bikes the resort rented us. Along the way we stopped at a Hindu temple to watch them light a night time offering. It was very neat, but also scary to ride back the resort after dark on such sketchy bikes!

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In addition during our stay we spent more time in the Spa and got an Indian cooking class and did a few other fun and relaxing things.

Also I should mention they had the best butterfly gardens I have ever seen. There must have been 10 different kinds at there were over a dozen on any bush at any given time! I spent lots of time here trying to capture some good butterfly pictures.

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Finally we returned to Fort Cochin for our last afternoon/evening where we went on a cruise of the harbor as well as attended a very intense and strange cultural performance highlighting another ancient performance / art from the region. It was called Kathakal. It was interesting but it sure seems to be something that might need to grow on you. the facial expressions are a bit disturbing….

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Then the next day we spent more time around Fort Cochin. We went to the Jewish part of the town and did some fun shopping to buy some interesting things. If you come by our house ask to see the cool Spoon holder we purchased. It’s certainly the only thing in our house that is over 300 year old!

The final day (Sunday) we headed for the airport at about midnight for the very LONG journey home (27 hours traveling, 36 or so with no sleep!).

When we got home I was greeted to an amazing surprise birthday party Leah had organized for me. It was so great to arrive home to see some of the people I had missed so much in the past two months.  Thanks to Raya, Seonaid and all for the hard work to organize the party. It was a great to celebrate a big birthday.

So that’s a “quick” summary of the last week of the trip. Over the next few weeks I’ll be working on compiling a proper slideshow just in case anyone wants to see more. My hope however is this Blog has given everyone a pretty good sense of the main things that went on.

Thanks to all who took the time to keep up with me and provide me such supportive comments while I was on the adventure. It was a wonderful way to mark my 50th year on this earth.

Until my next post (whenever that might be), Keith.

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