This post is long overdue! It is so easy to let my personal photos get shoved aside during wedding season. Back in May I went to India for a wedding and for two and a half weeks my friend Debra and I traveled around the South. Even though this was my second trip to this great country it was still quite the experience! We spent the first couple of days exploring Kochi and Fort Kochi. The Chinese fishing nets of Fort Kochi made a beautiful place to watch the sunset on our first night.The next day we hired a tuk tuk (auto rickshaw) driver to take us on a tour of Fort Kochi. He took us everywhere including the town laundry station.After we spent some time going through the spice market. This is mace. I had never seen it in its unground state before.We arrived in Varkala to spend a few days on the beach. I highly recommend this gorgeous beach and its quaint little restaurants perched up on the cliff.
From Varkala to Madurai we took an overnight train. May is a busy time for Indian trains because it is summer vacation for most Indians. When we first arrived in India we started looking into trains, only to discover that they were fully booked. Miraculously, a travel agent that had been helping us was able to find a spot in a sleeper car, but without air conditioning. We were very excited because the thought of a 10 to 12 hour bus ride was even less appealing. During the wee hours of the night when we were wandering from car to car trying to find our spot it was pointed out to us that we were supposed to be in 3rd class sitting. We protested for a while insisting that we had been assured that our ticket was for sleeper, non-A/C, but to no avail. We had been given the wrong ticket/misunderstood/a mix-up happened…. That night sitting 3 to a bench in full florescent lighting sweating through my clothes I grew as a person, or at least that is what I’m telling myself!
The beautiful interior of the Sri Meenakshi temple in Madurai.These fried peppers were so yummy. This lady also made the best masala chai we tasted!To escape the extreme heat we took a bus to the mountain city of Kodaikanal where we hired a guide to take us into the bush. Our only instructions were to take us somewhere where we would not see anyone. This is quite a feat in a country of 1 billion people! We didn’t want to hike for several hours only to reach our destination and have a tour bus pull up. Our guide was wonderful. He showed us some incredible sights and these little cuties were as close as we got to humans.After another overnight train, not quite as memorable as the last, we made it to Mahabalipuram on the East coast of Tamil Nadu. I took this next picture at sunrise while the fishing boats were heading out for the day.Debra diligently writing in her travel diary.Later that day on the same beach the fishermen sorted out their nets.A sari store in Chennai.The trip culminated with the wedding festivities so my personal photo show ends here. Thank you for looking!