Thu 28-Nov Cochin
Drive Thissur thru Cochin to Alappuzha passing many billboards
Our local guide is Joy, though not his palace being advertised
Cochin has huge showrooms for all car makers, toyota, chevy, vw, tata, mahindra, renault, citron,
Many christian churches, including a very early 4th century Syrian which established here long before Portugese form of Roman Catholic
Past Cochin is wetlands, there is a huge lake area behind a narrow piece of land to Arabian sea. Brackish in parts but mostly fresh because gates at exit into sea to control flow. Much of lake reclaimed for rice production, with canals throughout.
The Tata Neon costs INR130000 (A$2600) and is cheaper than a tuk-tuk at around INR200000 ($A4000)
Largest shopping centre is in cochin 6 football fields owned by rich muslim
Ambassador is a Morris Oxford unchanged almost since 1950s and still manufactured. Now has an Isuzu engine instead because so down on power, not selling as well as in the past, but comfortable
Buying wine and spitits requires special visit to state controlled liquor shop, where you transaction is hidden, and people furtively queue to pay, then pick the liquor. You come out with a bottle wrapped in newspaper
Many houses have an open top floor where clothes washing and entertaining done
Picked up houseboats in Alappuzha
Boats used to be used for transport, but now roads, many lost jobs. Still fishing. Now boats derived from these are tourist houseboats going through canals. 1000 in operation, and actively being built. Some traditional building techniques, but for example have plastic lining now.
Ours are 3x houseboats, each 3 double cabin, with 3 crew
Rice is grown and currently being harvested
Sun was strong this afternoon, so our helmsman used an umbrella
People wash themselves and clothes in canal
Houses are below water level and rice is below that.
Waterbirds, cormorants, egrets, kingfishers
Huge flocks of ducks for eggs and meat
Lake is 12-15 feet and can be punted
Though local fishermen prefer to hitch a ride on powered boats like houseboats until they paddle off
Govt ferries run quickly and frequently 5am-10pm
Water hyacinths are a pest, but ducks like
Bridges and ferries, even take on a tuk-tuk
ECG centre available on-canal, and ATMs
Church built 427ad by very early christians dating st Thomas
Syrian christian churches have a flagpole
Being washed when we were there
Traditional medicine doctor office
School kids ferried by hand rowed canoes, costing 2 IRP
Hardware, food, sweets and DVD stores amongst tourist shops
Houseboat being built, or fitted out in the canal
Woman taking her goats for a walk
Guy in hand paddled canoe on mobile phone

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