Sunday, 5 February 2012

Snow Leopard and the Last of Our Adventures In Kerala



As usual the winter weather led to most of the country grinding to a standstill. Not for us though, it takes more than six inches of snow to stop us hitting the town centre for beer, curry and a catch up with friends. Jon tutted at me going out in high heels but I ended up having to hold him up after he fell over twice walking to the pub (and that was before he had a drink).



Looking at me all snug in my trusty fake leopard coat it's hard to believe only a few days ago we were basking in deliciously balmy 35 C (95 F) temperatures. You'll be relieved to hear that these are the last of our travel pictures. 

In awe at yet another temple.
After a week of exploring the backwaters we hopped on the train to Varkala, a sacred village where Hindus immerse their loved ones' ashes into the ocean and home to many temples as well as the most spectacular beach

Ganesh, anointed with oil, dressed in a mundu and ready to face the day.

We stayed in a large airy apartment in a peaceful garden, a stone's throw from the beach, just shy of £7 a night.

View from my hammock
Some people choose to sit in a tourist restaurant eating scrambled eggs, muesli or pancakes but not us. Why travel halfway across the world and eat something you'd cook at home?

Masala Dosa with sambar and chutney , (a crisp rice flour pancake stuffed with spiced mashed potato, lentils and onions, served with vegetable stew and coconut chutney)

Every morning, just after sunrise, we headed to Dhani's Cafe for crisp Masala Dosas and Nilgrili filtered coffee.


After breakfast we'd walk for miles,


people watching,


and window shopping.


We chilled on the beach by day until the sun set,


then after a shower and a quick change of clothes we'd head to a chilled restaurant to drink beer from china mugs


and fill our faces with fiery vegetable curries, crispy pakoras, chilli chips and curd rice.


Dress courtesy of the divine Sarah

We adopted street dogs and fed them our leftovers.


We heard there was an annual elephant festival taking place in a city an hour inland so we caught a bus and joined in the fun.





Over 40 comparisoned tuskers in one parade.



Thank goodness for the Emergency Elephant Care Unit.


The locals seemed to find us more interesting than the procession.





How amazing are these automated floats?




Back to grim reality again, that is until April when hopefully we'll have enough cash to head back to Goa.

1960s Astraka coat (£2, church sale), 1980s blue leather pants (£3.30 British Heart Foundation), Alexis platform boots (£20, Topshop sale 2011)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


67 comments:

  1. I know what you mean, men, hehehhehhee.We always have to hold them in the end, hehehhehe.
    Wonderful photos, Vix.
    Would you live in India for the rest of your life?.
    I have a friend who has just come back from the deep India.
    He went with a rucksack and a few euros, and he tells us about the greatest beauty and also the tremendous povetry and terrible conditions of life for normal people.
    Have a grand Sunday, my beautiful friend.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  2. it looks like my dream holiday all the delicious food and amazing places to visit .
    Glad you had a fantastic time
    xx fee

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  3. Loved seeing your holiday snaps Vix, India is a fascinating country and I love their food. The photo of your breakfast looks delish and the sunset snap is stunning. Has made me want to go back there now!
    Keep warm. x

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  4. Gorgeous coat! I love the photo of Jon drinking beer our of the china mug. What a gorgeous place to visit. xx

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  5. Wonderful - so bright and cheerful!
    Love your coat too. Thanks for sharing and can totally understand why you can't wait to go back x

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  6. Thank you for that burst of Indian sunshine and heat! The procession and the elephants look wonderful, and oh for that food...
    You're managing to look gorgeous and glamorous, despite the snow - can't beat a bit of leopard to cheer you up! xxxxx

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  7. The snow is so cute!...from where I'm sitting. Must be a nightmare for you though :( Not keeping the spotted green maxi as its 2 sizes too big, I had bulldog clips all the way up my back for those pics, LOL!!

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  8. TBH I DO eat dosa regularly at home! ;) Mainly because of where I grew up (Wembley) and my family heritage. I just eat what I like on holiday- I usually eat the local but if all I fancy one day is a sandwich or something I don't deny myself. Just like in the UK.

    I just went out and about in the snow- wellies for me! High heels are useful for spiking the ice but I was wearing 3 pairs of socks so wellies it was hahaha!

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  9. More amazing pics... and you are looking very glam in the snow :-)

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  10. Hello! I just found your blog and I think it's AMAZING! The pics are great and I can see that You really like what you do here! I love people with great ideas, like you!
    Your blog is inspiring! I will follow you!
    xoxo

    http://nikandpic.blogspot.com/

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  11. Beautiful photos, one of the best parts of going away is to sample local food isnt it. Aw that street dog breaks my heart, I cant cope I get so attached to animals. In my old student house there was this proper manky grey old city fox that I would feed bless him! x

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  12. You look STORMING in your jacket and I have to say that I LUFF your holiday photos - so much more interesting than the usual stuff one has to endure. It looks an amazing place....and you and Jon looks completely chilled out!

    Your pix make me want to go there!

    Lovely to have you back though!

    Ali x

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  13. Vix, thank you for sharing so many wonderful photos, it really does look like you made the most of every single moment in Kerala, from the food, to the exploring, you really do make me so envious!
    You look fab in your leopard coat, and leather pants, now that is how to dress in depths of this cold weather xxx

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  14. The contrast between your 'snow leopard' photos and your unbelievable Indian adventure is a delight. Both are gorgeous and magnificent.

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  15. love love love your photos I can feel the heat.....you look divine!!x

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  16. I have loved your vacation pictures.....glad you are home though. It was somewhat boring without you!! love the leopard!!

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  17. Lol, poor Jon, perhaps he should try wearing heels next time, it might be better for his balance :-). Itks so hard to believe there are such beautiful places when we're all drowning in cold. :-( wish I was on that beach right now. Xx

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  18. So enjoyed your pix and ELEPHANT FESTIVAL - oh that makes me so happy :)You'll be back in no time (it's flashing by yet again - how are we in Feb so soon?).

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  19. Gorgeous coat!! And I love those photos - so exotic!!!

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  20. Hi Vix - have really enjoyed looking through all your lovely holiday pics - looks as though you had a fabulous time. xx

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  21. Its funny watching from afar how quickly the UK just crumbles at the hint of snow into some mass panic! Those Kerala pictures do warm me up for sure though!

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  22. I've been enjoying your photos - what a tonic to counteract the snow! (not that I've seen any in Glasgow, yet!)

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  23. Thank you for sharing your holiday with us; some sunshine has been good for the soul today, even if it is only in picture form :)

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  24. looks like an amazing trip! but i'm glad you're back, i need my Vixen fix!! :)

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  25. oh wow you really spent a wonderful time in kerala, delicious food and amazing landscapes oh and the cute puppy you adopted, it must be hard to come back to cold europa again right? but of course i haven´t seen any other snow leopard that hot as you!
    love and kiss,mary

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  26. so beautiful! I like Ganesh I can't face the day without being anointed with oil

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  27. Wow! I totally do the same with food! In Indonesia, even though I was there for a year, I made a decision that I was not going to eat any dinners or breakfasts, I was going to go local! I'd still gladly eat rice, veg, chilli and tempeh every day for breakfast if I could!!
    Amazing photos, I wish there were more!!! You've made me want to go to Kerala even more!!!

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  28. Thanks for the photos of your vacation; it was a nice little bit of vicarious travelling! Faux leopard and blue leather--LOVE!

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  29. Another set of stunning photos! Very envious of all that lovely food. I'm vegi too and could happily feast on curried veg dishes forever more!
    Yum :) x

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  30. From sun to snow.....poor you.Loved all your adventure photos, that sunset was so inviting, lucky you xx

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  31. The weather's mad isn't it? We got a tiny bit of snow yesterday, but it was mostly gone this morning. You look so warm and cosy in that gorgeous coat! Thanks for sharing the holiday pictures - almost feel like I was there with you both x

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  32. Thank you for sharing, I love reading about your adventures! The pictures are amazing xx

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  33. Amor,
    your looking very beautifully warm in leopard coat and blue pants.
    India is so amazing!your truly in your element.
    your pictures are stunning. the food looks delish! I could surely eat all the goodies. I hope to visit one of my close friend's in India one day.
    besotes

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  34. Vix, your holiday photos are so beautiful and mouth-watering - how about a book project 'Vicky's and Jon's Secret India Travel Guide - How to travel cheaply living like a King and Queen'??

    X

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  35. I have so enjoyed your photos! Love the pic of Ganesh and the real elephants as well. Keep adventuring!

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  36. All your trip photos are so beautiful. I DO ADMIT I had a good chuckle over the "Emergency Elephant Care Unit" I know I will never see something like that here in my neck of the woods.

    Your leopard jacket if freaking fantastic!! I <3 it!

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  37. Thanks for sharing your holidays pics, looks an awesome place ♥

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  38. Thanks for taking us on this journey with you Vix! I've thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the colourful architecture, the yummy food and the beautiful beaches. I wouldn't be able to stop feeding the street dogs if I were there, I'd be so worried that they might be hungry that I'd probably be buying them food! Such a cute picture of you and the little pup!

    This snow must have waited for you to return just to welcome you back home in true english style haha!

    Keep warm! xxx

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  39. I feel so much better knowing there is a ambulance for elephants, amazing.
    The sunset photograph made me sigh, so beautiful.
    It has been so nice to experience your holiday from a world away, thank you.
    Happiness to you. Love v
    Stay warm.

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  40. I've absolutely loved hearing about your Indian adventure and seeing all your beautiful photographs. It looks wonderful no wonder you keep returning there. xxx

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  41. Thanks for these wonderful photos. Last night I dreamed me and Ron were on holiday in Goa only we paid $25 a night for our dream hotel.. probably cos I can't imagine paying 7! still thanks for the dreams.. xo

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  42. India is most definitely your spiritual home. Your holiday looks like my idea of heaven, I cannot imagine going all those miles to sit and stuff British food and beer down my neck.
    The picture of you at the Elephant festival with the locals looking at you keenly is absolutely stunning.
    As for the coat - leopard is one yet to find it's way into my collection - I MUST remedy that after seeing yours!

    Lucy x

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  43. Hi Vix! You look so serene despite the white shit that we are too experiencing! Plus the cold bu i must say it is not so bad in Montreal this year! Not much snow and milder than usual

    Agian your pics of Goa are wonderful! I will go to India one day with Mr. D!

    Love your coat!

    Take care

    Ariane xxxxx

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  44. I have LOVED seeing your photos. I get really into feeling what the place must be like when I see other people's photos of fantastically different places! I remember on my travels having all kinds of wondrous food for breakfast and wandering around absorbing the places I was staying. My favourite trip was a ferry trip from Tokyo to one of the small islands a few hours off the coast there. Stayed in a Japanese ryokan and spent the nights battling cock roaches, and the days eating the most gorgeous sea food. Then we went up a mountain and sat in the hot springs overlooking the sea. Bloody amazing! Travel is fantastic isn't it?! Thank you for your gorgeous comment on my blog Vix, it means alot. Em x

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  45. Such Beautiful vacation photos! I am Loving your Leopard coat. Leopard is my all time Favorite!

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  46. Sounds like you are holding up to the snow well. I was enchanted with the Ganesh statue...before I realized that you'd actually been to an elephant parade. It would be so awesome to have seen that.

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  47. Such beautiful pictures, Vix! The more you share, the more I long to go there and see it all for myself!

    You are such a stunning snow leopard!

    xo, Anita

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  48. I simply LOVE your coat!!! I have wanted one like that for years. With a bit of luck and good bargin hunting one will come my way one day. It doesn't snow in Hamilton, I wish!!! Looks magical.

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  49. I'm not very keen on a lot of heat but India looks amazing. The food looks divine! I agree with you about eating out when you go on vacation. When I lived in Tahoe we'd see people in line at Dennys or McDonalds and I'd think to myself why would you eat something you can get back home?? I'm loving your pictures and it looks like such a blast!

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  50. Love your blog!!! xoxo from Rome

    www.rockandfrock.com

    Ps. Follow each other???

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  51. It's almost painful to look at those wonderful India paradise pictures while it's Siberia weather outside. Ughh. I think the people in the street were fascinated by you mostly :)

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  52. Welcome Home Vix & Jon! Those photos of your hols are brilliant, I just love all those colours - such a change from dreary old Blighty. And that food on offer looked lovely - all washed down with Kingfisher? Mmmmm.....

    P.S. Hope you're getting over the climate change shock! xxx

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  53. I obviously have a subconscious response even to looking at photos of different temperatures: my shoulders shooting up near my ears at the image of you in the snow and then muscles dropping and relaxing while lingering over your beautiful photos and tales of Kerala!

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  54. I have loved your holiday posts, of course this one is the best because it has elephants!

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  55. Amor! You look fabulous, as always - I LOVE that divine coat! Your travel pics are wonderful - the little pup breaks my heart and I adore the elephants. SKYPE SKYPE SKYPE!

    Love! Sarah xxx

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  56. Wow, you even manage to look glamorous in this hideous snow. Me, I'm so muffled up I look like a badly-stuffed scarecrow - and I'm still freezing cold. Love your Astraka coat. And your photos from India are beautiful.

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  57. Thank you for sharing your holiday pics with us! I'm now longing for an exotic holiday! Glad to see you back, although I'm sure your heart is still in India!
    XXX
    Suzanne

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  58. Hi Sweets!
    You are melting that snow I'm sure because you look hot in this warm coat! Good thing Jon had you there to hold him up :) I wish I was on that beach in 95 degree weather RIGHT NOW! I'm with you when on vacation who wants the same crap you can get back home. The Dosas look so yummy!!! and Jon well Jon looks so relaxed and tan and happy in these pictures, India suits him huh. The sunset gorgeous, the picture of you with the puppy melts my lil heart, and the Elephant festival I just can't even imagine. Thanks for sharing your pictures love. I miss you!!!
    XOXOX~
    Krista

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  59. lovely photographs!!!kerala is truly beautiful.

    following you, would love it if you could follow back.

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  60. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful holiday snaps. Kerala looks an amazing place.
    Gorg jacket...let the cold do its' worse. Grrrr!
    Z xx

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  61. wow amazing coat and amazing photos.

    Such a beautiful elephant, I love elephants they are my favourite animal, so gracious.

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  62. Thanks for feeding the street dogs. They need folks to look for them. How could you not bring that puppy home? My mouth was watering at the breakfast. LOVE South Indian breakfasts!

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  63. You were in Kollam? That's my hometown! Yes, people stare so hard in Kerala, it gets really uncomfortable sometimes. Love the temple festivals too. Especially like seeing the elephants :) I always worry if they over-work them though.

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  64. Your Kerala photos are truly amazing. Thank you so much for sharing them.

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  65. Vix! this winter outfit is one of my favourite ever! So stunning. And I am in awe at the photos of India, you guys really make me want to go there one day! xxxxx

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  66. Beer from china mugs... I'm going to try that a pretend I'm in Varkala.
    What a thing to witness - and elephant festival, how enchanting!

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Love from Vix
xxx