Just the week before the trip to Cochin on the 2nd week of July 2014, I had done a trip to Goa to experience monsoon in Goa. I would not have taken the trip to Cochin now had it not been my colleague’s marriage there. But thanks to him, I had an amazing rendezvous with monsoon in Cochin. Monsoon in Kerala is similar in many ways to Assam.
This was a very quick trip. All of little over just 24 hours of stay in Cochin. Two of my other colleague’s were companion. We booked a flight for the onward journey on Indigo Airlines at a good price of Rs 2187 per person on Cleartrip.com. On the journey day, I woke up at 10.30 am while my flight’s scheduled departure was at 1 pm. But did pretty good to freshen up and leave home by 11 am. My plan was to catch a Vayu Vajra KIA bus ( Volvo airport bus) but due to this shortage of time booked an Ola cab (080 – 33553355). They were able to book a cab for me quickly as a white Maruti Swift Dzire was available in the vicinity. Now tense moments, as the driver ended up going to another location and it took a couple of phone call to have him pick me up. It was almost 11.30 am then. At every traffic blockage it was anxious moments. Meanwhile one of my colleague who reached the airport called up to find out where I was. He told they are about to close the counter. At that time I was still 10 – 15 minutes away from the airport. I asked the driver to accelerate as we drove past a KIA volvo bus. It was the same bus which I saw while I was waiting for the Ola cab. Taking the cab probably saved me few minutes but lighten my pocket by Rs 812 including the new toll charge. Reached the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) around 12.30 pm and rushed to the Indigo counter to collect the boarding pass. With boarding pass on hand went to the first floor and ran towards gate # 14 as informed by my colleague. As I was rushing, found my colleague standing in the waiting area and he smilingly said you made it!
As they announced the boarding to the plane, my other colleague made it to the airport. He was told the counter is closed. On which he asked is there any possibility to board the plane. The assistant made a call and said quickly go. He was escorted and brought to gate # 14. He made it too!
What was supposed to be a normal 1 hour flight gave a few anxious moments on air as well. The take off was normal but as we were headed towards Cochin the climate started changing. While the plane was descending, it was raining with high speed wind and thick clouds around. Experienced flight turbulence for the first time! The plane jerked, vibrated, air pocketed and gained height quickly. More anxious moments on the flight when the pilot announced that we are not landing at Cochin now as there are high speed wind which could be dangerous to the aircraft and we will come back when the ATC advises. But in another 10 minutes we were descending again and this time I could see view of greenery from among the clouds. Soon we landed on a rain soaked Cochin International Airport.
We hired a pre-booked taxi to Edapally where our friend stays for Rs 540. Enjoyed the hour long drive there while viewing the rain soaked views. Once in at our friend’s place it started raining heavily and monsoon in Kerala is like a blizzard. After little rest, we were treated with authentic home made Kerala lunch. Then we sat at the balcony outside waiting for the rain to subside. Finally, we left for Fort Kochi at around 4.30 pm. We took an alternative ring road which goes through the backwaters and GPS navigation is definitely a help these days. It was dark when we reached Fort Kochi. The plan of going there was to have some sumptuous native Kerala food at Cochin Fort Restaurant. Before that we decided to take a stroll on beach and among the boats and Chinese nets. On the other side of the backwaters is the Cochin port terminal. It was amazing to see the reflection of light from that side on the water. This time we missed the sunset though.
Fish vendors were selling fresh fish. I just wished if someone would fry them for us! So food time, we went to Cochin fort hotel. Ordered for fish pollichi, squid masala, fried cashew nuts and mixed fried rice. I had food at this restaurant a year back and this time too it has not disappointed. The price is little bit on the higher side but its worth it. The drive back to Edapally was awesome as there were hardly any people or traffic. No sooner we reached our friend’s home, it started raining again heavily. That’s monsoon in Kerala.
Next morning our friend’s marriage took place at a church nearby. Around 1 pm after the marriage went to Marine drive. As our bus for returning to Bangalore was at 7.15 pm we decided to spend the time there. A local bus from Edapally to Sanmugam road cost Rs 10 per person. On marine drive it was drizzling on and off. What an experience of monsoon masti in Kerala. Though there were enough people, tourist crowd was thin. We took a long walk there. While it was raining we ventured into some of the malls. To our surprise, we found most of the malls were empty on a Sunday afternoon! Some malls have empty spaces and were scouting for someone to take them on rent. I also heard that many of the highrise apartment buildings which came on the banks of the backwater are also empty. Not sure what is the economics of that.
As we had enough time, we thought of taking a boat ride on the backwaters. For 1 hour boar ride, it cost Rs 100 person. One can also hire a boat for a private ride at Rs 1000. During my last visit I could not take a boat ride on the backwaters. The boat ride this time gave an amazing experience of monsoon in the backwaters. It was drizzling and then raining medium to heavy throughout the ride. One gets an amazing view of the coastline of the backwaters, the Bolgatty place & Island resort and Cochin port terminal. After the ride we decided to leave Marine drive for Ernakulam main bus stand from where our bus would depart. We hired an auto to reach there ( Rs 25 – 30). Autos would try to charge much higher than the actual price, so insist on going in meter or find out the cost to a particular destination.
Near the bus stand we had food. Went to the stand and found our KSRTC (Karnataka State Regional Transport Corporation) AC sleeper bus is waiting for us. After boarding the bus it was sleeping time. But drops of leaking water from the reading light did cause inconvenience for a little while. On complaining, the handiman came and rubbed the reading light. He said water is coming in from the AC vent. Come on KSRTC, you should be maintaining your buses properly – its monsoon time. After the bus left Cochin, it was amazing country side soaked in rain and moon light shining from the sky. What a view while I went into sleep. What an amazing trip! Monsoon masti in Kerala.
To view more pictures of Cochin visit, Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.