Our travel starts in Cochin with its sweet moisture and Jasmine fragrance… Former hub for the spice business, from the cultural heart of Fort Cochin emanates the nostalgic flavours linked to its triple colonial past : Portuguese, Dutch and then British. Following the original plan of the indo-Portuguese architecture, the recreated Hotel Brunton Boatyard plays with times and creates a subtle atmosphere of the past by using materials such as brick and terracotta. The proximity with the harbour gives way to the lively show of the flying Chinese fishing nets, graphic and ingenious. Although one feels mainly like strolling around the city, Cochin is not short of cultural attractions, particularly in the area close to the Jewish quarter, where churches, synagogues and mosque stand together respectfully. Then, we head towards Peroyar, 195km away which would take a good 5 hours because of the traffic ! Here we take a big dip in exotic India. In the lush villages, some pretty houses and surprising multicolour churches punctuate the rice paddies and the tea plantations. Pepper, nutmeg, cocoa, cloves… the mild climate in the Periyar high plains is favourable to farming. In the very pure eco-lodge, the Spice Village reveals its charming tribal keralese cottages in the heart of a primitive jungle. Spice Village is at the forefront of ecology and surrounded by a very generous biodiversity. In fact, here, all the energies converge to protect the environment through the use of solar energy, rubbish recycling, water purification, handmade paper, organic farming… We are now very much looking forward to discovering the romantic beauty of the backwaters and the arrival by boat at Coconut Lagoon is unforgettable. This very beautiful estate, a birds’ paradise, is made of authentic houses from Kerala. Surrounded by rivers and by rice paddies, here, our imagination runs wild. The tender light – the choreographed and ceaseless parade of the traditional boats made in coco fibre – the natural decor of the lotus flower – the improbable butterfly garden. As we leave Coconut Lagoon, we sail on the backwaters, between lagoons and narrow channels, where we can watch the life of local people on the water. We disembark in the city of Allepey before reaching the lazy resort town of Marari and its many beaches located on the Oman Sea. We keep so many marking memories from Marari such as the discovery of the villages in tuk-tuk, the unique sight of the fishermen coming back from the open sea, the nets overflowing with fishes ready for the rowdy auction sale, the visit of St Augustine school, the happiness of the children and their charming school director Jessy…
Our Travel Story in Kerala is a non exhaustive example.
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