25th February 2016
15 days, 30 bloggers from 25 countries travelling 2300km around what is described as ‘the best state in India’.
As most of you know by now I was invited by Kerala Tourism on a blogger press trip. I was welcomed with open arms into Kerala – ‘Gods own country’, with flowers and a personalised sign. I think I could get used to airport welcomes like this and now everywhere I go I will be expecting roses! So, what are my first impressions of this Indian paradise?
The people are beyond friendly and helpful
I have noticed in the last week of being here, people are so friendly and always smiling. I know we are experiencing 5 star luxury right now and you would expect this kind of thing in these resorts, but even out of the nice hotels and onto the streets or canals of the backwaters, people are more than happy to be waving and saying hello to you. Maybe it has something to do with the natural beauty that surrounds them!
I backpacked 6 weeks from Delhi to Mumbai last year and the constant hassling can get overwhelming if you are not used to this sort of thing. Here, I have had not one person come up and try sell me something or shout ‘rickshaw, rickshaw!’, NOT ONE. From my experience so far, this would be the perfect introduction for newbie’s into India! As a backpacker it can be a struggle and some people don’t think of coming to India a relaxing holiday but if you would like to take things a little slower then come here, it’s perfect!
I feel like all I have done is eat and eat, and eat. The food here is more seafood based than the North and I actually prefer the cuisine down here! Kerala is known as the land of palm trees so coconuts are very much a staple for food, skin and hair, and many other uses. Just some of my favourite dishes so far have been the Putta (coconut rice) with squashed bananas – a popular breakfast option, and the Palada Payasam which is a dessert usually made with rice ada, milk, sugar and ghee. A traditional meal for the Kerala region is served on a banana leaf like the picture above.
The nature is beautiful and this place is so clean! I love nature so to travel through Kerala is like walking into a tropical paradise for me. Palm trees, beautiful beaches and wild animals are all things you can expect. I even got to see WILD elephants which is something I thought I would never tick off my bucket list in India!