© 2012 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_india_kunnar_15

India – Kerala – Kannur – 30th-31st March

The 3 tier non-AC sleeper was very basic. The windows provided plenty of ventilation and it actually got a little chilly, however a lack of curtain deprived any kind of privacy and no sheet on a plastic covered mattress completed the uncomfortable set. Non the less we did get some earplug assisted sleep and awoke with only 1hr until we were due to arrive  in Kannur, our first steps in India’s laid back state of Kerala. Breakfast was bought at the train station in a vegetarian restaurant and we devoured Masala Dosa’s (thin crispy bread, spicy potato filling and curry on the side) and Masala tea – 25rs, amazing value at 30p each.

After researching on the internet we discovered Kannur Beach House Home-stay which looked great and got very high ratings from previous guests. An 8km rickshaw ride south of Kannur to the beachfront of Thottado Beach and we arrived at the guesthouse situated on a stretch of backwaters. An annual Kerelan festival was taking place called Theyyam, it is local only to Kannur and takes places between October to May across each temple in the area. We caught the tail end of a 48 hour ceremony visited and observed the local population taking part and utilising traditional costumes, amazing facial painting and some trance (not the hard-house variety) based ritualistic dance.

Heading back to the home-stay we explored beautiful hidden beaches with golden sands, palm tree shade and then retreated to some well deserved hammock action. It did not take long to see why people love this home-stay. The food was some of the best we have ever eaten and we have eaten a lot! The 2500rs per room fee includes breakfast and evening meal which are Ayurvedic Kerelan home cooked in variety and you can have lunch for only 100rs each extra. The owners were equally accommodating and loaned us yoga mats as well as being able to observe their chef in action in the kitchen. A family of 4 and very close to each other they used to work in IT but have now built this lovely home-stay which attracts repeat visitors year in year out. We could see why.

Our fellow travellers also appreciated the surroundings and the food, it was really great to share this experience with Ture & Revital (London based conceptual designers/artists) and three graduated doctors from the UK. We cannot speak highly enough of the food. Each meal was a buffet selection, eaten outdoors frequently with the hosts and family and all washed down with herbal water and hot tea. To use a Master Chef quote… Vegetarian food does not get better than this! Yum!

We didn’t really want to leave but we were tied into a train ticket, although only costing around £2 so we could have easily discarded it, but at the same time we had a little bit of momentum going and didn’t want to settle just yet. On our last evening we enjoyed a longish walk along the quiet stretch of beach which just seems to go on and on. Some of the locals were out sorting out fishing boats and so on, whilst others were out to enjoy the views like us. We stopped for a group photograph with some girls from Kannur before making our way back for our last night of fantastic food and company.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0, 18mm f4, 90mm Tele-Elmarit f2.8 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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