Monday, January 08, 2007

Shower power

Yesterday was a long old day. We finally, and sadly, bade farewell to Haritha Farms (not to be missed, should you find yourself in Kerala), and set off in a taxi at 8 am for a day on the backwaters. We were navigated through narrow waterways by wizened men in orange lunghis with excellent punting skills. They pointed out the water snakes, the kingfishers and the wild pineapples as we went. It was like the River Cherwell on acid.

But it was also bakingly, steamingly, meltingly hot, and we were dropped with our bags at about 5pm at Ernakulam Junction wanting nothing more or less than a cold shower followed by a cold beer. There was no prospect whatever of the former, however, so we made the best of it by visiting one of South India's gloriously dingy air-con bars, full of men drinking vodka on ice and doing deals, and followed that with a fortifying masala dosa at one of the incomparable Indian Coffee Houses. Where else in the world would a worker's cooperative run a restaurant with turbanned waiters?

Then we settled on Platform 1 in the warm clammy night to read our books, slap mosquitoes and wait for the night train to Madurai.

Twelve hours later we emerged blinking onto another Platform 1, after a decent 8 hours sleep and several wake-up cups of Indian Railways' super-sweet coffee. Deflecting the most persistent auto-rickshaw drivers to date, we hoisted our ever-expanding rucksacks and walked to the Hotel Supreme, which I have been looking forward to visiting ever since I found its website about six months ago.

It hasn't disappointed yet. Our room has cool marble floors, the ceiling fan is whirring, I've scrubbed 30 hours of grime off me, and there's a thali out there somewhere with my name on it.

I love this place.


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Anonymous Finnfans said...

It all sounds fabulous. Even the grime. Am very envious. Look forward to seeing you when you get back.

8:38 pm  

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