Fai Tira blog
Friday 4th February 2011
Cochin is a
vibrant Indian city and we enjoyed our time there. Here are a few
pictures and comments about the place.
into Cochin harbour via a narrow channel was quite exciting as we were passed by
numerous fishing boats and an ex-British frigate.
It was later
reported that the Indian Navy had captured some pirates and sunk their
boat. Well done guys! It’s a shame the British Navy in the
Gulf of Aden don’t do the same.
tortuous check-in procedure we eventually arrived at the marina. This was
associated with a state-owned and managed hotel and was very nice since we
could use all the facilities, as you can see. The marina is the only one
in India and hence a tourist attraction. We were regularly visited by
tour boats with their music blasting and the operator telling the story of its
We organised a
backwaters tour which the Fai Tira crew enjoyed. John has mentioned this
in the previous blog.
This is a huge
area of fresh water with whole communities eking out an existence on the many
islands that are scattered throughout.
There were two
“boat boys” called Nazar: one was chubby and the other skinny so we
called them Fat Nazar and Thin Nazar accordingly. They were in
competition for our business and there was no love lost between them. We
used both of them and got really friendly with each. They couldn’t
do enough for you, from fetching cases of beer and supplies to cleaning you
boat, and trucking us around in their tuk tuks as you can see here in Fat
Nazar’s speed machine. Jeremy and Steve look a little apprehensive
as we all were, ducking and diving through the crazy traffic. The name Gordon
Jackie Brown at the top of his windscreen is that of a generous Englishman who
assists the family in various ways.
Jeremy and I went for a visit to the old town called Fort Cochin. It is
on an island and you can only get there by ferry or by fishing boat as you can
Fort Cochin is
where they fish with Chinese fishing nets but nowadays they are mostly used to
entice the tourist to part with rupees. The fish market along the front
was great, you could buy what you wanted for dinner and take it to any one of
the many restaurants and get it cooked for very little. We did this and thoroughly
enjoyed the experience. We also went for a drink in a local bar that
didn’t have a licence so they served up our beers in teapots with cups
and saucers. How bizarre.
bazaars, I went into town and wandered the markets and back streets on my own
and came across some great sights and people.
The fruit and
veg market was extensive, and where you could buy almost anything edible. The
ambiance was fantastic. I saw an Ashok Leyland truck down a side street and
asked the driver if I could have a look inside. He was really proud of
his decorated British engineered lorry. I also stumbled across the local
swimming pool. The water not quite as nice as in the one at the hotel.
The boys took great delight in showing me their diving and jumping skills.