A Magical Holiday in Kerala

A Magical Holiday in Kerala

Terry travelled with us to Kerala & the magical Malabar Coast. We caught up with him when he returned to the UK to hear his holiday highlights.

 

This was my third trip to India, but my first time in the South. My first impression was how welcoming and helpful everyone was.

The standard of all the CGH Earth hotels was brilliant. Brunton Boatyard in Kochi was a bustle of activity with fishing boats everywhere and the views from Spice Village in Periyar were extraordinary. But my favourite was Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom, Kerala’s heartland of lagoons, lakes, paddy fields, and canals. The hotel is surrounded by water, so I was collected from the jetty by the hotel boat. It was a very special way to arrive and then I was taken to a beautiful grass-roofed hut, which was my accommodation for my stay.

Coconut Lagoon CGH Earth Hotel Kerala
Coconut Lagoon, image CGH Earth Hotels

I also had lunch with both Jose and Michael Dominic (the founder and CEO of CGH Earth hotels), in their homes which was really interesting. Jose took me into the grounds of his homestay in Madukkakunnu to show me how they extract rubber from the trees, and I got to hold a piece of rubber straight out of the heater. It was incredibly tough. He also pointed out the ‘Beatles Tree’, which got its name after Paul McCartney visited. Michael and his wife Sunita’s home in Ernakulam was amazing. They built it themselves on sustainable principals - there’s an underground water store and everything is composted.

The thing that's stayed in my memory is the friendliness and vivid colour of Kerala

There was a bit of drama when I was trekking in Eravikulam National Park. My guide noticed there was a herd of Indian bison coming towards us, so he led me up a hill to wait for them to pass by. The path was rather steep and, halfway up, my knees gave way. The guide couldn’t lift me up, but he was very calm and told me just to sit still and relax while he phoned for help. Two men appeared very quickly, lifted me up and carried me back to the car. The bison didn’t take any notice of us!

There were lots of extra experiences on offer and I did them all. I especially loved the early morning birdwatching at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. We went by boat and the guide was brilliant at pointing out all the different species. The kingfishers were incredible.

Kerala kingfisher bird water boat

 

Kerala is one of the most religiously diverse states in India and I visited Anglican churches, Catholic churches, and synagogues while I was there. I was struck by how well all the different denominations got on. That was good to see.

I took 600 photographs on my tablet and 300 on my phone while I was there, but the thing that's stayed in my memory is the friendliness and vivid colours of Kerala. And the guides who were all so helpful and well informed. One gave me a wooden box full of herbs as a present and another is still in touch with me now that I’m home. It really was my best ever holiday.

 

kerala fishingboats

 

Discover our holidays to Kerala & the Magical Malabar Coast here