We stayed in Fort Cochin which was a boat ride away from the mainland of Ernakullam. It was a beautiful Portugease style town with a massive art scene. Art cafes, exhibitions and shops covered the town. We stumped upon book shop after book shop, art gallery after art gallery and even found an Albert Camus themed cafe. We took a wander to the beach front to see the Chinese fishing nets and to get harassed by people trying to sell us necklaces and drums. It started to rain at about 6pm as it seemed to do every night in Kerela so we found a nearby bar to hide away in. The next day we visited the Biennielle art exhibition which we had heard so much about from local people. It was a pretty incredible and massive exhibition that pretty much took over the whole town! Bamboo huts were built, which showcased paintings and an exhibition devoted to the Syrian refugees which involved wading through water. There were photographic exhibitions depicting life in Kashmir, and the more cramped conditions of Mumbai. Alongside the art, there seemed to be a large political movement towards communism, a high abundance of hammer & sickle and Che Guevara spray painted on a vast number of walls. The whole atmosphere of Cochin was so relaxed and a really lovely and beautiful place to potter around for a few days. Another place we were sad to leave!
As we had to get to Hampi for the 12th in order to go to Holi festival on 13th we had to rush about a third of the way up the country in 2 days in order to make it on time! This meant 2 over night sleeper buses in a row which we were not particularly looking forward to. We boarded the bus at 7.30pm from Cochin to arrive in Bengaluru at 6am the next day. The bus was very compact with a double bunk bed on 1 side and single on the other, each separated with a curtain. The general smell was definitely unusual and we both came to terms with the fact this was not going to be a hygienic few days!!! Luckily as we were both so shattered we fell asleep pretty quickly. The lack of toilet on the bus was something that Lucy had not thought about before downing a litre of water before getting on! The three hour bus stops for a toilet break couldn’t arrive soon enough!