India - dreamy beaches in the north of Kerala
A train trip in India - this was on our bucket list since very long. So it was no question - to our second destination on our trip we go by train. We had ignored all warnings to make reservation for trains 2 month in advance. The day before we wanted to travel we simply walked into an agency in Fort Kochi and we were lucky. We got a second class non AC ticket for the next day to Kannur! Wow, travelling can sometimes be so easy.
We were happy to leave Kochi. We liked the city, but our homestay was really awful and we were looking forward to a nice guesthouse. And again, how lucky we were - we got a room in our first choice guesthouse. In the morning we took a taxi to Ernakulam (the train station of Fort Kochi). It was packed with people, most of them spending the night sleeping on the floor of a platform. We easily figured out where our train left, and after only 30 minutes we
were on our way to North Kerala. Non AC was comfortable enough and anyway, the journey took only 6 hours. The landscape we passed was amazing and we loved to observe life going by in the different train station we stopped at. The 6 hours passed quickly. In Kannur we wanted to take a Rickshaw to the homestay on Thottada Beach. But they refused to take us - so we had to take a taxi. Another scam as we discovered later on - but anyway, we bargained well for the taxi prize.
We were welcomed at the KK Heritage Homestay like old friends. The owner, Sreeranj, is simply amazing. He gave us his private room, as everything else was booked. The room was simple but perfectly clean and big. He stayed in the living room for our stay - we really felt bad about this, but he was just happy. The setting of the homestay was out of this world: close to a small lagoon and just a couple of minutes from the amazing beach. This is one of those places where you arrive with no expectations - and you just stand there with your mouth wide open. 3 nights was by far too short. We enjoyed every single minute. The food was great, the beach left us speechless and at night we had great discussion with fellow visitors: an amazing family from Belgium and one from Israel. Together we drank liters of Chai tea till late at night.
Of course, we did not want to miss the famous theyyam, which is a very old form of Hinduism. In fact, it is believed to pre-date Hinduism. It is originating from folk dances performed during harvest celebrations. Especially the early morning performances are quite spectacular. That is why we got up at 3.30 am in the morning. A Rickshaw driver took us 30 minutes north of Kannur to a small tempel in a village. The whole ceremony took about 1,5 hours and was really interesting. It ended with some blessings. Well, we were terribly tired, but it was worth it.
Thottada Beach and Ezhara Beach itself are stunning and empty beaches (just on sundays they fill up a bit with locals). You can walk along the shore for hours without meeting any people. There are a lot of big waves, but it is not dangerous to swim. It was pure bliss and exactly what we needed after our turbulent start in Kochi. And a big thank you to Sreeranj and his family. They made our stay unforgettable!