So here we are already at the eighth day of our holiday in Southern India, how time flies! Today for the first time we are completely on our own with neither driver nor guide and the whole of Cochin at our disposal and Mrs Sixwheeleer has shopping in mind.
An early breakfast so that we can make the best of the relatively cool of the morning and we are off in a Tuk-Tuk to the Boat Jetty to take the ferry to Ernakulum, the main shopping area. At the ferry ticket kiosk there are separate queues for Females and Males and once we have our ticket we are penned in a barred enclosure until the ferry arrives. Sadly photography is strictly banned so there is no evidence of our confinement. Anyway the ferry soon arrived and we set off on our journey. It was hot, humid and misty but there was plenty of activity on the water,
we arrived to a dusty Ernakulum Boat Jetty, out of the gates and turn left onto Broadway one of the more local shopping steets. It was very hot and very dusty so no photos again. We walked along Boadway looking at the shops which sold…..well everything really, stopping for a coffee in a tiny local shop where you could get food or drinks and it offered a little respite from the heat.
At the far end of Broadway everything went very religious with several large and highly decorated Christian churches (Kerala has a high percentage of Christians compared with other states) along with several outrageously large Bishop’s Palaces; the dissenter in me feels that the money could easily have been put to better use!
Turning right along another busy road we eventually reached our goal of the Mahatma Gandhi Road, the main shopping street and it soon became clear that this wasn’t going to work. We needed to be able to flit between shops on both sides of the road but the road in question was an insanely busy dual carriageway. We gave it about half an hour and then hailed a Tuk-Tuk to take us back to the boat jetty where we took the boat back to Fort Cochin.
Another Tuk-Tuk took us to the very interesting area called Jew Town
which is a wonderful, bustling area of shops and stalls that we had visited on our last trip here. Specially they have wonderful craft and antique shops some of them in the wonderfully named Ethnic Passage. Historically there was a strong Jewish community in Cochin from the time of the Portugese occupation but now it has dwindled, on our last visit we saw the last synagogue in Cochin but they no longer had enough worshippers to be able to hold services.
Finally one last Tuk-Tuk back to the hotel for lunch and the conclusion that we had really packed it in for one morning. After lunch we had one last foray on foot and then concentated on keeping cool and getting packed ready for our final move on tomorrow.
9 February 2019