Our “Classic Caribbean” Vacation in Kerala, India

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The local fishermen

The first two weeks of our time in India was spent on Odayam beach in Varkala. It was awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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View from the North Cliff of Odayam beach

We arrived in Trivandrum on the 16th of November from Luxor Egypt. We had left Luxor the previous morning, and had a four-hour stopover in Doha, Qatar. With the time change, we arrived in India very early in the morning, with no sleep. At 5 a.m. we took a one-hour taxi ride to Varkala, a town on the cost of Kerala. When we arrived at the hotel that we had booked, we found out that they had no rooms left. YIKES! As it was still early in the morning, we decided to get breakfast at a café on the beach near by. After we had finished breakfast, we learned that Palm Tree Heritage Café where we had eaten was part of a hotel complex. As we were so tired, we decided to book a room for three days. The only room that was available had one king bed. Thus, sleeping was a little cramped, as my mom, my dad and I were all in the king bed, and Matthew got a twin mattress that was brought in and placed on the floor.

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Eating a slice of Lemon Dumping Cake at the New Kerala Cafe

The three days that we had originally booked flew by as we played in the surf and relaxed, and we decided to say eleven more. Our routine was pretty much the same every day: wake up at 6:30 for yoga, have breakfast at 9:30 while watching the local fishermen fish, go swimming from 10:30 to 11:30, do homeschool from 12 to 3, take a break in our A.C. room for an hour (it was about 32 degrees outside, without humidity which was virtually 100% all the time), go swimming again from 4 to 6:30, eat dinner from 7 to 8:30 – Palm Tree’s service was so slow, but the food was great (I highly recommend their chicken tikka), go to bed at 9:30. Some days we changed it up (what!) with heading to town for shopping on the North Cliff, or having a sweet at an amazing bakery, New Kerala Café, that we had found. If you ever get there, try the Lemon Dumping Cake even if the name seems odd.

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Food at Kumari’s House

Half way through our say at Palm Tree Heritage we found a family that had a home kitchen/restaurant that friends of ours had recommended (Shout out to Steve, Ann, Kathleen and Robbie!) called Kumari’s House. We had a delicious thali dinner on banana leaves, which consisted of countless vegetable curries and other dishes, such as plantain curry, okra curry, beetroot salad, carrot salad, and more. The food was amazing, and I loved the atmosphere of the place: a cow in the backyard, tropical trees surrounding me, beautiful flowers, and family pictures hanging on the walls.

 

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The tandoor covering at Palm Tree

The two weeks that we spent on the beach were so relaxing, and enjoyable, that if you ever find yourself in Kerala, I highly, highly recommend staying on Odayam beach in Varkala, for at least a few days. It’s not on the North Cliff and maybe not in the action, but instead it is further up the beach and a more relaxed place!

 

 

 

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Drinking coconut water

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A butterfly fish that the local fishermen caught

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A tandoor

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Bird taking off

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Water buffalo grazing outside of our hotel

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Matthew and I playing in the surf

Yum! Yum! – Food In Morocco

Tagine in Morocco

Tagine in Morocco

I think that the food is really different in Morocco than in Canada. On almost every menu there are tagines. Tagines are meat with vegetables and sauce boiled in a clay pot. In Chefchaouen, we found a really really good restaurant called Bab Ssour. The kebab in sauce, the tagines, and the couscous with chicken were excellent. We ate there every day when we were in Chefchaouen. In Fes at Café Clock, I ate my first camel burger and it was delicious. During our overland trip, I also tried a kefta which is ground beef shaped like mini burgers cooked on an open grill. The keftas were also very good.  

Although we didn’t try the following foods, the markets of Fes and Marrakesh had the following foods on display:

  • camel, cow and sheep heads (some with their tongues hanging out)
  • live chickens and turkeys
  • livers, kidneys, bull testicles, and other organs
  • shark heads with grapefruit in their mouth
  • lots of flies on the fruit

Overall, the foods that I tried were very good and I enjoyed them.  I didn’t want to try the ones that sound disgusting. :)

Delicious Coucous

Delicious Coucous

Bab Ssour - Great Restaurant!

Bab Ssour – Great Restaurant!

Camel Head in Fes Medina - Check out its tongue!

Camel Head in Fes Medina – Check out its tongue!

Camel Burger!

Camel Burger!