India April 24 – June 13, 2018 Our local grocery store. Fancy mall downtown. Beautiful outdoor restaurants and stores. Some of the many available methods of transport are presented in this photo. Clean and Green, Cuban Park, Bangalore. Another day wrapping up in Bangalore. Hopefully we will see you again! Here’s another one! Beautiful park in the A street-crossing cow is never far away in India. Modern and touristy downtown Bangalore. Cafe around the corner from our apartment. Beautiful thunderstorms in the distance were visible from this rooftop restaurant downtown. I’m happier than I look. Amazing used bookstore – downtown Bangalore. Bangalore Transit system. Cows munching away on some street snacks. Alley in our neighborhood with a chicken wandering around. OSHA-sanctioned construction material conveyance system. A colourful walk through the city. A couple cows and a dog hanging out in the Bangalore heat. Local Catholic church. Forbidden oasis – this building is in the army training centre. Public not allowed. Welcome to our Bangalore bungalow! Our apartment included the obligatory tiled living room floor. Lots of excitement in our second class seats. We chatted with some fellow passengers. The sandwich tasted as good as it looks. This train took us from Kochi to Bangalore. Sarah loading up on fruit during our daily neighborhood walk. Construction with modern scaffolding. Sarah lounging in our posh theatre seats. Warning sign around army camp. Such an experience. Popular shopping street near Ulsoor Lake. View from our apartment. The neighborhood was an interesting mixture of Catholic, Muslim and Hindu. Fig tree on our spice plantation tour. Busy and hectic downtown Munnar. Munnar Market. Our overnight hotel in Munnar. I took a liking to our tour guide, friendly and a good driver. Under the Banyan tree. Mattupetty Dam. We made quick friends with this lovely couple on our Munnar tour. This suspension bridge built by the British can handle modern cars. Sarah with our fellow tourist. These Mahindra Jeeps will take you into the mountains for a fee. View of Munnar tea plantations. One of the most beautiful places our Asia trip has taken us. Side of the road overlooking the tea plantations. This photo shows the elevation of Munnar and what our bus dealt with. Spice plantation tour. We learned about the various fruits and spices grown in India. These are “bananas”. Cute family from northern Kerala wanted photos with us. A river runs through it. Sarah on the pedestrian bridge between rainstorms. Cows chillin out. Check out those mountains. It was a beautiful sight. Munnar tea plantations. More tea and beautiful weather. Rickshaws and more rickshaws. The clouds create a contrast, temple off in the background. Sarah looks back in horror. We look happy ’cause the ride hasn’t started yet. The open-air bus that brought us to Munnar. Won’t be forgotten! Freight ships passed every few minutes, one was headed to Egypt. The Chinese fishing nets are mostly for tourist’s enjoyment. Still fun to watch. The rocks made us nervous though, so we didn’t stand too close…. Beautiful reconstructed Santa Cruz Basilica in Fort Kochi, the touristy neighbourhood. Originally built by the Portuguese in the 1500’s. A serene park amidst the chaos of downtown Kochi. Kochi passenger ferry, which we ended up on after an Uber mixup. But it ended up being really beautiful and a great local experience. Local women enjoying the beach. John on the beach. I love the pride truck drivers take in their vehicles. Jew Town in Fort Kochi, famous for beautiful synagogues and antique shopping avenues. It was settled by Jews possibly as early as the 12th century. Lulu mall, fantastically modern and Indian. Ice rink in Lulu Mall. Lulu Mall, largest mall in the country. Wearing clothes I purchased at FabIndia, a really neat store but with almost Western prices. Walk along the backwaters, more Chinese fishing nets. Our local restaurant, where we ordered takeout and Horlicks (a delicious malt drink I’ve never seen before) almost daily. Our street, filled with lush greenery like everywhere in Kochi. We stayed on the top floor of this building near the backwaters. Our amazing three bedroom condo – bigger I think than all our other Airbnb’s throughout Asia combined. Our first morning in India we stayed at a budget hotel. The owner’s wife brought us this fine breakfast. Kochi’s Infopark. Epicenter of IT work for the state. Sometimes I thought Sarah and I were the biggest attraction at the zoo. We had several families stop to take pictures of us and follow us around. We went along with it and had a blast. We could have watched these monkeys all day, so fascinating and cute. The local Zoo. People enjoying/teasing the animals. Catholic rally in Thrissur. Oh, English signs, yes please. Lonely elephant. This is in the city of Thrissur, a two-hour bus ride from Kochi, where we spent a day and ended up at the zoo. Thrissur drivers hanging out. Amazing fields with cows grazing. This was outside of Kochi in a smaller town, Aluva. Coconuts for about 80 cents. How this guy still has all 10 fingers is beyond me… Farmers Cafe, Fort Kochi. Fort Kochi water tower complete with grazing cows. Empty lot near a church. We stayed in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood. Living the high life at the international Grand Pavilion Hotel. A cricket game is never far away. Sarah posing on the Fort Kochi beach. We passed on the camel ride. Beach with Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi. Lots of hawkers and tourists and so much energy. Sprawling, larger than life trees. Kerala is known for its strong communist party. The colours. Signs protesting the recent rape and murder of a small girl that made international headlines. Seems safe. Goats everywhere, hard not to pet the little guys. This is what $3-4 gets you, and it was enough for both of us, and so delicious. Typical local flat. Part of our daily walk, notice the hammer and sickle. Taking the rickshaw around town. Biryani, a delicious Indian food that must be eaten with hands. Down by the Backwaters. View over the backwaters from our deck. Chinese fishing nets are visible to the left. The trains come blasting through, no crossing, so beware! Our colourful neighborhood.