Kerala, India: The Official First Day of the Blog Express – Media, Dignitaries and Lots More!

Today was a huge day – Monday, February 15th – our first official day of the Kerala Blog Express.  30 bloggers from 25 countries on a whirlwind tour throughout the state on a magical looking bus.

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But I was up EARLY…after my first night of very restful sleep, my second was…not so good.  Jet lag came on hard and I was up every hour or two.

Going for a walk, I watched the egg guy make deliveries in the most ornate truck.  Kerala is mainly vegetarian and eggs are very popular.

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Luckily, after getting up to watch a very hazy sunrise (so hazy that you couldn’t actually tell if the sun was up or not), the hotel was organizing for a giant wedding.

Drummers were practicing in the street.  Do you see what I mean by the smokey haze?

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And serious make-up and beautiful costuming was going on…

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Absolutely amazing dress…though I am not exactly sure this says “Welcome to the most romantic day of my life”.

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So so beautiful.

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And then…our bus arrived.  In its many colored splendor.  We are not sneaking around Kerala in the bus above.

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We loaded in to head to Trivandrum.  Time for the press conference.  EEEeek!

The Minister of Tourism and the organizers were there.

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Our names were then presented on the screen and we were asked to introduce ourselves at the podium.

That’s me.

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And I have no idea what I said…but I did say that I live in Belize.  That’s about all I remember.

We headed outside to a media frenzy!  This might be my 15 minutes of fame.

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And then the Minister took a selfie with all of us.  I believe it is on Twitter.

Here is my perspective.

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And from the other side…

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We were off…loading into a bus to visit a temple in downtown Trivandrum.  It is not allowed to take photos inside but the women, all dressed to be blessed at the temple, outside were so interested in having their photos taken.  I loved it.

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The temple so intricately carved.  MAN!  I was dying to take pictures from closer but the guards meant business.  No cameras.  And that must be respected.

IMG_9679 A look around the area near the temple and around the capital city.

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Everyone is happy to have their picture taken and everyone is so friendly.

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And a flower booth to buy temple offerings.

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We headed back to the sea town of Kovalam for tea and the beautiful sunset.  You can’t even imagine the amount of photos and selfies being taken by 30 bloggers, one French film crew and the official photographers of Kerala Tourism.  Insanity.

The Kardashians have nothing on us.

IMG_9698IMG_9700Exhausted, we headed back to Trivandrum to spend the night.  Our small group checked into the Vivanta by Raj.  Wow.

We met the manager and the staff…I insisted that I couldn’t eat (it was almost 8:30pm and I had a blog to write!) and they sent up a “small taste of Kerala” to the room.

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The small taste that arrived about 15 minutes later…from two types of bread to 4 separate dishes and dessert.

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The official tour has begun!  Kerala – The Trip of a Lifetime, it is called.  And tomorrow we have a 7am pick-up to head out to the “Backwaters” and a night on a fleet of luxury houseboats!

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Namaste Kerala.  One day in and it has been amazing…

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  • Kim R

    Wow, everything is so colorful! It is a bit white up here at the moment. Enjoy the craziness!

  • Billizer

    Thank you for sharing…but, I guess that’s what bloggers do. Very interesting! Looking forward to your continued coverage of India.

    • It IS what I do. BEST JOB EVER.

      • mysteryboy

        and you do it so well! Seriously……

  • That’s a large “small taste”! I thought it was interesting that you said they are mostly vegetarian, and yet that meal looks heavy on the meat, unless some of the meat-looking dishes are actually veggies. Not much green, though! What a trip, though…except for having to stand up and introduce yourself, it sounds wonderful. The night in a houseboat sounds like a real treat. Can’t wait to see what that is like!

    • The average national wage is like $300US a year – this hotel caters to foreigners FOR SURE.. And it had beef (!) and chicken. But the locals really just eat eggs for protein…

      • thomas varghese

        Unlike in the rest of India The minimum wage is very strictly enforced in Kerala by the State government.The daily wage of a farm labourer in Kerala is above $11.00 a day. Most of the people engaged in the unskilled sector are from other states. It is not eggs which are consumed most,but chicken & fish.In fact we do not consume too many eggs as we consider it is not good for health.The truck & egg supplier are from the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. Most of the women in the photo taken from near the temple are not from Kerala.My comments just for a real understanding of Kerala.Thanks.

  • Susan

    WOW! So far very exciting! That “sampling” must have been for 2-4 people!! Hope you enjoyed it. Love the bus they have had specially painted for you. Absolutely NO HIDING in that! I am kinda bummed that they didn’t list you as from Belize, but I still Love the good old USA so OK. Looking forward to seeing more of your adventures. Take the melatonin (I don’t think I spelled that right) before you go to sleep. It’s should help.

    • I’m kinda bummed too. Once the film crew leaves, I can wear my Blue Water Grill I LOVE BELIZE every day. And YES! I’ve been doing the melatonin. Last night I slept like a baby. And the 6am alarm was like a BUCKET of cold water.

  • Dan

    I’m so jealous.

  • Jim

    Really enjoying this. Thank you have a good time while you are informing us of your travel.

    • Oh good. I’m REALLY loving it here…I had no idea. INDIA!

    • SPmQQse

      HAHAHAHAHAAA

  • Linda Young

    Your photos are fantastic! I’m totally speechless!!

  • Poached Egg

    Kerala? Vegetarian? The rest of India might be vegetarian but not Kerala!