Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Friday, April 06, 2007

travel update from Varkala

Greetings from Varkala!
Varkala is a small village in Kerala India on the west coast. It is built up on red stone cliffs facing the Lakshwadeep Sea. This is the local name for this body of water. It is for all practical purposes still the Arabian Sea. I arrived here on April 1. and I am enjoying a littel quiet time alone. I have been travelling with a few travel mates for the last 5 or 6 weeks now and I am glad to be on my own again. That being said I have truly enjoyed the company of the travellers I have been with lately. sometimes people ask if I get lonely from travelling by myself. The fact is that I am almost never alone by chance or design! So the first couple of days lhere I made a point of not talking to anyone just to be by myself. I am digging it!!
So I came here after spending 6 days and nights in Kochin or Cochi. it is spelled both ways. I met up with an Irish lad on the night train from Gokarna to Kochi and we decided to share rickshaws into town and then we decided to share a room our first night and then we both moved into a very nice "homestay" guest house called Wilsons. We each had private rooms and bathrooms and patios. Very nice for only 150RS per night a littel less than 3 euros. Kochi is soert of a blur in my memory. I found myself partying a lot with the irish lad. He kept buying these tolas (10 gram packets) of this very fine Kerala Ganja. I joined in with him and got quite stoned. Here in India, The drugstores are quite liberal compared to some countries. Drug prices are also regulated here so the people can afford the drugs they need! Wow what a concept, huh? Affordable medicine...hhmmmm... Well anyway among the affordable goodies one can purchase legally without a prescription are 5 or 10 milligram valiums for 4 cents or 7 cents, 15 mg codiene tablets for 8 cents or ( oh I love this one) 16mg morphine tablets for 11cents.
Nothing starts the day off quite like 48mgs of morphine and a nice hot cup of chai!!! Then back to the room for a couple of joints and Oh say it aint so The irish lad has some of that Peruvian marching powder that I so loved when I was a youngster!! Aye Zukes...Where does the time go?
While in Kochi; which is incidently, the nicest of all the India cities I have visited so far, we went on a tour of the backwaters in a dugout canoe propelled by bamboo poles that the indian "sailors" push the boat with. Super tranquil and very beautiful. Saw lots of cool stuff like peppercorn vines, nutmeg trees, cashew nut trees orchids and jasmine and frangipani. Watched women making rope out of coconut fibers. And lots of birds and other wildlife like turtles and fishes.
There is an ancient form of musical dancing called Kathikadi and we saw an interesting performance of this art form. You are meant to arrive 90 minutes before the show actually begins so you can watch the performers put on their make up, which was as fascinating as the performance!! We also went to another dancing concert which was better. It had no name that I am aware of but I think it was another form of Kathikadi. Very cool music too....
Gokarna was a blast. i had a very kicked back time. Lived for 3 weeks in a bamboo hut on Kudle beach. Great fun although I didnt do much of anything except read swim and go for long walks on the beaches and on the cliffs along the beaches. Hung out with a few Italians. All pretty cool. Made a good friend in Stefano who I will most likely go and visit next year in Italy. I am thinking of spending a couple of months in Italy mostly on the island of Sardegnia in April and May of 2008.
I will remain here in India, in the deep south of india for the next 5 or 6 weeks until May 14 (the day before my visa expires) I have bought a ticket to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia from Chennai on the 14th and I will probably stay in Malaysia for 3 months or so since that is how long my visa will last there. I hpe to go to Singapore while I am there also. After that I am not sure.
In a few days I will go to Kanniyakimuri. It is a small city sacred to the Hindus, at the very southernmost tip of India. Here is where the Bay of Bengal, The Indian Ocean, and the Arabian sea all meet. Three huge bodies of water all converging. The beach has 3 colors of sand from the different waters and during April the sun sets at the same time the moon rises on the horizon, So you can see the sun and the moon on the same plane. I don't know of any other place in the world where this occurs, do you? It is only 3 hour s away from here by train.
India has some very interesting travel arrangements. The three ways to get around for long distances are by bus over badly maintained bumpy roads, or by train which is efficient but excruciatingly slow. The trains only average about 35 km per hour(25mph) and the express or fast trains only go about 50 or 60 km per hour. But they are cheap and they sell good food on board and I always meet interesting people on the trains so I am not complaining. Also I am never really in a hurry anyways so...Whats to complain about?
Here then are a couple of quotes to think about until you here from me again...

"A train is travel; everything else,- planes especially -, is transfer, your journey begins when you arrive" Paul Theroux

"When there is intelligence, then Nationalism, Patriotism, which is a form of stupidity, disappears." J. Krishnamurti
Peace and Love to all who read these words.
Robert

4 Comments:

Blogger Guru said...

Hi Robert,do u remember me...???
Ya we met at Mahabalipuram...u asked me abt. the tasty "Samosa's"..."Kachori's"...did u get me...???
Ya,how r u...??? I saw ur blog,it was really superb.
Im doing Computer Science Engg. in Vinayaka Missions Aarupadai Veedu Institute of Technology.
http://www.avit.ac.in
You can reach me at hiprasad2004@gmail.com

South America is waiting for u...have a nice trip Bye...!!!

---
Guruprasad Balaji

3:05 AM  
Blogger Guru said...

Hi Robert,do u remember me...???
Ya we met at Mahabalipuram...u asked me abt. the tasty "Samosa's"..."Kachori's"...did u get me...???
Ya,how r u...??? I saw ur blog,it was really superb.
Im doing Computer Science Engg. in Vinayaka Missions Aarupadai Veedu Institute of Technology.
http://www.avit.ac.in
You can reach me at hiprasad2004@gmail.com

South America is waiting for u...have a nice trip Bye...!!!

---
Guruprasad Balaji

3:05 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

The Indian hospitality industry has seen a major hike in the recent times owing to the astounding industrial growth of the country. The growth in the IT sector has also hugely led to the revolving fortunes of the metros and major cities of the country. Offshore business flowing in and the eagerness of the MNCs to come up in India has led to the obvious growth of the hospitality sector also. Most of the big names in the hospitality industry from India and abroad have their properties in the important commercial hubs of the country. However, surprisingly, the hospitality industry is not that vigorously promoted in one of the most important metros of the country, Kolkata. In the past decade Kolkata has also seen major industrial growth. But unfortunately, the West Bengal state Government hasn’t shown much inclination towards the development of the hospitality industry of the state in general and the hotels in Kolkata in particular. Inspite of the repeated appeals from the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India, the state government hasn’t come up with steps that would boost the growth of the hospitality industry. Most of the suggestions and appeals made by the Association have gone unheeded. On the contrary, the state government increased the luxury tax payable by the air conditioned budget hotels in Kolkata and the ones in the rest of the state by a whopping 650%. Change in excise duties, reduction in the bar license renewal fee etc have also not been worked upon. In one word, the government seems to be underestimating the need to strengthen and boost the hospitality industry in the wake of unprecedented industrial growth. With proper etching out of the taxes and fees payable by the hotels of the state, the state government can make the business hotels in Kolkata and other renowned hotels of the state bring in huge profits for the state.

4:35 AM  
Blogger Hai Baji said...

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9:09 PM  

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