For the next 23 days our ship will be sailing in an area known as High Risk for Piracy. We will be in permanent contact with the Internatioal Task Force including U.S. and U.K navel forces. During the hours of darkness, only essential open deck lights will be on. Our cabin curtins must be closed. We had our first pirate drill in which all passengers had to leave their cabins and enter the hallway. Our ship will do a weaving manuver as needed. Some passengers are uneasy but I knew this could happen so I feel pretty calm about the whole thing.
Cochin (Kochi), India is a Portuguese founded city with colonial architecture and Dutch style palaces. I chose a tour away from the city into the back waters of Kerala. These backwaters stretch from north to south over 900 miles with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes along the Arabian Sea. Many small villages thrive along the water. Adult children are working in other countries and sending money back to their families in these villages.
Traveling by bus to get to Kerala on their roads was hectic and full of near misses. People drive on the wrong side of the road and weave in and out of traffic. There was even a boat traffic jam when we got on the canal. We were greeted with drummers when we stopped for an Indian lunch.
Mangalore (Mangaluru), India was much cleaner than Cochin. There is a big push in this city not to throw their garbage on the street. The pictures below are of a beautiful old 18th century British home in the heart of the city. Ceilings were high with ceiling fans to keep the home come cool in 100 degree temperatures. The owner has opened her home to tourists and greeted us at the entrance for a private tour.
Goa has 1.5 million people. One million of these people are migrant workers from the north and surrounding villages who are building new roads and bridges in the southwest India. Their homes were poor and they have minimal education. Even though education is free in India, families have to buy books and uniforms. Poor families can not pay for these so they do not send their children to school. The literacy rate is only 62% in India.
The spice market is home to more than 84 different species of birds, 100 varieties of orchids and almost every spice imaginable. We toured the grounds and had a traditonal Goanese lunch.
I finally finished “Puddy Climbs the Great Wall and Meets a Panda”