Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Welcome to India

Ok so after some recovery from the flights we are mobile.

Sunday after some food and a nap, we hired a driver to take us into Kochin and see the sites.
our driver was named Joseph, he is Christian.  There are a large number of them here, result of travelers in the past from the many different countries that came to India looking for spices.

Our first stop was the Hill Palace, kind of run down, althought there is obvious work being done to restore it to its former glory. It is used as a museum to shw the history of past royalty in Kochin. Unfortunately no photo's allowed inside the musuem.

And for some reason they had a fiberglass T-Rex in the back of the property, no idea why. No plaque telling you the signifigance or what wackiness brought it there.

we then headed towards Fort Kochin, first stop was another museuam with basically the same stuff as the Hill palace. nothing special , entry was 5rupees or about 12.5cents CA.
People are friendly and of course the shop keepers want yu inside to buy something. Like every touristy place every second store is selling the same stuff. jewelry, artifacts, scarves, pillows etc. not sure how good the prices are but am sure is over priced.
This horse was about 3/4 size and for sale - they deliver !! - no price though

View through the taxi window as we drive thruough Kochin.
ONe thing is quite obvious here, The TATA Group is very prominant. the car we were in was a Tata. Our Agents compnay is part of Tata group. Tata has its hand in everything India.

Monday morning we headed out to visit customers. lots of traffic , windy roads and stops every few minutes to clarify directions. without a GPS here I would be lost. We found out that this area is a very large rubber producer, so as we went farther into the country side and out of the city the more rubber trees we saw. in one case a worker was trimming the tree so the sao woudl run properly. Sap is collected in coconut shells (cheap and easy). They are is also a large spice producer, like pepper, safron, tamarin.

After visiting customers was time to head from Kochin to Coimbatore. we would be driving this trip as our Agent had driven to Kochin in the morning and lives in Coibatore.

Caught a nice sunset shot driving thru town.

and of course there is traffic here, non stop car , truck and motorcycle traffic. motorcycles are weaving in between trucks and cars with girls riding side saddle in their sari's. horns honking , inches from death at all times lol
We drove in the dark aprox 300kms , down a windy paved goat path, with trafffic like the 401. This trip took 5.5hrs along witha 1hr sit at the border into the next state, as transports had blocked the road waiting for border patrol to let them thru. Chaos !!!

Woke up in Coimbatore the next morning at "The Residency Hotel" really nice place ! The rooms run about $60 per night. really quite luxurious for the price. it has 3 resturants, pool, outside bar, dance bar and conference facilities.

Rooms are great with a bathroom all done in grantie - again quite the spendor considering the price.
Just thinking about why i show pics of hotel rooms and bathrooms. If you think about it any of us that woudl go travel are usually looking for best value and of course clean clean clean.  Myt experience so far in China and India is that you dont have to spend alot to get a alot. You can stay in really great hotels for good price (compared to home) and for the lesser places you are staying for peanuts.  

So we did visit one customer yesterday, coutresy call , convert them over to the dark side of rubber, make them a Dunline customer. Interesting sign as we passed thru security. No escape from what ????

Driving thru town to get there, as usual your senses are overloaded with things we have never seen before. like clothes being sold on the side of the road in basically blue tarp shacks.
or a cart being pulled by some big ass cow 
well its Wed morning here , 3 customers to visit today , more pictures to take , more to see. We have one more night here in Coimbatore and then we fly out Thursday morning to the next stop.

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