- Sauvik Biswas / autobot: 54UV1K - https://sauvikbiswas.com -

Day 1: A leisurely stroll in Kochi

KSRTC bus ride from Bangalore to Ernakulam is really long

We travelled on a KSRTC (K=Karnataka) Airavat AC bus. It was supposed to transport us in 10 hours. It ended up taking over 12 hours to drop us at KSRTC bus stand (K=Kerala, not Karnataka). It did not help that the bus played a horrible movie, called Hello Brother [1], on a bad CRT TV.

The Airavat buses leave from the main road in front of a non existent Big Bazaar. [2]

The Airavat buses leave from the main road in front of a non existent Big Bazaar.

Avoid the pay and use toilet at KSRTC bus stand in Ernakulam. They openly keep cleaning chemicals along with buckets of water intended for the use of travellers.

Palm Grove Homestay turned out to be better than what I had expected

Palm Grove [3] is a nice farmhouse in Edapally. The small campus has many trees, orchids and a few domesticated animals. Daryl, who took care of our accommodation was very helpful. He suggested us to take rest, visit LuLu Mall, Asia’s largest mall, and finally, make an evening trip to Marine Drive.

In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter what mall it is, a mall is a mall in any part of this country. The only interesting thing was the presence of prayer halls for Muslims as an amenity in the mall – a consequence of the large Muslim population in this part of India.

I did not expect Palm Grove to be a farmhouse. The hanging tubs have orchids growing out of them. [4]

I did not expect Palm Grove to be a farmhouse. The hanging tubs have orchids growing out of them.

These rabbits were let loose. They are put back inside cages at the end of the day for their own safety. [5]

These rabbits were let loose. They are put back inside cages at the end of the day for their own safety.

A pair of pigeons in the farmhouse. [6]

A pair of pigeons in the farmhouse.

This was labelled as a cucumber tree. I do not know what variety of cucumbers  these are. [7]

This was labelled as a cucumber tree. I do not know what variety of cucumbers these are.

A few tomatoes in the farmhouse had ripened. [8]

A few tomatoes in the farmhouse had ripened.

Right in front of our room there was a cashew plant. The cashew apple has a smell that is a milder variant of the Strawberry flavour of Twinings Tea that I have regularly at office. [9]

Right in front of our room there was a cashew plant. The cashew apple has a smell that is a milder variant of the Strawberry flavour of Twinings Tea that I have regularly at office.

An evening boat ride

On Palm Grove’s Daryl’s suggestion, we went for an evening trip to Marine Drive. It is about 7.5 kms from Edapally. An auto ride cost us about 150 rupees. We later returned on a public bus and ended up paying only 9 rupees per person. The auto fares were like the ones I was used to in Bangalore, while the bus fares felt like those in Kolkata.

Marine Drive is a picturesque area. We booked a boat called “Gaya”, that took us around the place. For only 400 rupees, we had a nice round-trip that lasted for about an hour. The helper, Santhosh, was a bit drunk. He was a pretty funny chap and explained a lot about the viewpoints. We took his history lectures with a grain of salt and a drop of spirit.

Santhosh, our self-assigned guide, was a very funny chap. [10]

Santhosh, our self-assigned guide, was a very funny chap.

The houseboat pool - a prominent structure at Marine Drive [11]

The houseboat pool – a prominent structure at Marine Drive

No country for dead boats! [12]

No country for dead boats!

Some boating association clubhouse (as described by Santhosh!) [13]

Some boating association clubhouse (as described by Santhosh!)

A speedboat zoomed past our slow ferry. [14]

A speedboat zoomed past our slow ferry.

This international container terminal is colloquially referred to as Dubai Port. Kerala has a strange fascination towards Middle East. [15]

This international container terminal is colloquially referred to as Dubai Port. Kerala has a strange fascination towards Middle East.

A container being unloaded from the merchant ship, "Indira Gandhi". [16]

A container being unloaded from the merchant ship, “Indira Gandhi”.

Marine Drive at night... [17]

Marine Drive at night…

...and Marine Drive at night. [18]

…and Marine Drive at night.

Lunch and Dinner

The Paragon restaurant [19] in LuLu mall was listed as the no. 1 restaurant in Edapally. We had run of the mill North Indian style curries with Keralian breads – Appam and Kerala Porotta. We also had Prawn (Chemmeen) and Coconut fry. They offered us warm water that had a pinkish hue. I asked them about the colour, to which the waiter replied that it was because of some ayurvedic (herbal) roots that have some digestive property.

The pinkish hue of water is due to the usage of some herbal roots that is supposed to help in digestion. [20]

The pinkish hue of water is due to the usage of some herbal roots that is supposed to help in digestion.

For dinner, we went to a place called Dhe Puttu [21], which specialised in various unconventional Puttus. Traditional Puttu is a steamed dish made up of coconut and rice. The two Putus we ordered, Runway Puttu and Veg Biriyani Puttu, were well paired with Prawn Tomato Curry and Chickpea Curry. They served unlimited Cinnamon Tea along with the dinner.

Dhe Puttu's menu reflected their concept of updating a traditional dish. [22]

Dhe Puttu’s menu reflected their concept of updating a traditional dish.

Complementary Cinnamon Tea at Dhe Puttu [23]

Complementary Cinnamon Tea at Dhe Puttu

From L-to-R: Veg. Biriyani Puttu, Chemmeen (Prawn) Tomato Curry and Chickpea Curry. [24]

From L-to-R: Veg. Biriyani Puttu, Chemmeen (Prawn) Tomato Curry and Chickpea Curry.

Day 2: Fort Kochi is no more a fort [25]
A weekend Wayanad trip - in pictures [26]