Flying over Kochi, in India’s southern state of Kerala it is immediately evident, this is a vastly different place. The overbearing rust colored cities and dusty villages give way to such a vast array of greenery one might exhaust all adjectives to describe it. But one thing is clear, once stepping off the plane, it is humid, so humid you swear within seconds of disembarking that you’re already sweating. Probably, because you are. This is monsoon though, so I accept it as best I can and tell myself, at least it’s good for my skin.
Kerala, though still India, feels worlds apart from the north. I feel as if I can breathe a bit better here, slow down, and ease up on my guard I’ve constructed from the north. First stop, not counting a brief overnight in Kochi, to where I’ll return before flying to Mumbai, is Alleppey. Famed for its labyrinth of backwaters and houseboats.
This morning after an overfilled bus from Kochi I found my way to Bella Homestay, which has easily been one of the best places I’ve stayed this entire trip. The rooms are ridiculously clean and well appointed, with A/C! Plus the owners are really exceptionally nice and helpful. There’s only four rooms, but because it’s off season I didn’t worry about finding space. Incidentally, two girls from the states are also staying here and have similar itineraries to mine, including the same flight back to Mumbai. It’s funny how things work out. Of all this time in which I had planned to spend much of it alone I’ve only had, really two days in which I was totally by myself, and the company I’ve shared-as is generally how I feel about travelers-excellent.
This afternoon I spent at the beach, while not the perfect white sand variety it was beautiful, and reminded me of home, and how being near the ocean has become something of a necessity. I crave the ocean, not to swim, but to see, smell, and hear. I love the feeling of sand rushing beneath my feet as it retreats to the see, and the sensation of falling that accompanies. I could stand that way for hours, just watching the sea, it is one of the greatest comforts.
The evening was spent with the Americans watching the sky bursting with light in a monsoon thunderstorm. A previously still sky gave way to a downpour and deafening thunder. The lightening was the best part, watching it jump from cloud to cloud across the entirety of my field of vision.