Evening Sky

Evening Sky

I want you to try and imagine relaxing in a comfortable seat as we slowly drift along in our boat as the light fades.

Listen to the sounds of the gently lapping water.

The call of a bird carries across the water and in the distance, a long way off, there’s a radio playing music.

The voices of our friends descends to just a murmur as we savour the moment…..

That’s India….

 

Vazhachal Forest

Vazhachal Forest

Perhaps we might not associate the south of India with dramatic landscapes, but the mountains that border Kerala and Tamil Nadu have some impressive peaks and river valleys, forest reserves and wildlife sanctuaries.

This is the Chalakkudy River Gorge in the Shoylar Reserve Forest. Just a short way downstream are the Athirappilly waterfalls which I would love to visit in the wet season.

 

Calm Kerala

Calm Kerala

Languid water and luminous sky come together one late afternoon on a fated boat trip on the backwaters of Kerala.

Fated for the two misadventures that befell our boatmen. Firstly when a boat pulled out into our path as we negotiated a narrow channel and we ran headlong into them. Then later when we ran over the nets of two fishermen. They were in tears but thankfully, due in no small part to the negotiating skills of our travelling companion Shyju, recompense was agreed for both mishaps and we concluded our much delayed boat trip by being able to capture this sunset scene.

 

Waterside, Kochi

Waterside, Kochi

The history of the trade that India had with the outside world is a long one and here in Kochi in Kerala and similarly in Goa, the architecture clearly shows the strong influence of Portugal in these former warehouses along the waterfront.

In my early visits to North India I was amazed to discover carved Roman swags decorating the architectural detail and later was intrigued to discover the Hellenistic drapery on carved figures that wouldn’t have been out of place in Greece. At one early stupa I suspected that the columns supporting the porch of a small temple shrine showed evidence of Egyptian influence but have never seen or read of this as a recognised architectural source in India. You never know what you might come across as you walk around a corner in this wonderful melting pot!

 

Shore

Shore

An interlude in Dumfries & Galloway which has nearly 100 miles of south facing shore line and is usually as quiet as this scene. There is talk of identifying the region as a national park which would certainly give a boost to tourism and bring increased prosperity to an area that mainly relies on farming, fishing and forestry.

This view was taken south of Gatehouse of Fleet on Fleet Bay.