A light breeze shakes the grand canopies of the hundreds year old trees in old Kochi. Underneath one of them, on his old worn out pigeon bike, an old man enjoys the young cricket players intensively alert on the next ball. Church bells rings. Rickshaws flow. The pace is slower and the colonial charm ever present.

Welcome. Welcome sir. Dal Roti is true Indian, and this restaurant with the same name in the old streets of Fort Kochi, is true Indian with a colonial twist. Spices are to the point. The owner is articulate, well read, Some times a little arrogant, and truly inspiring. We are in India, yes, but we are also in old Portugal, in old Britain, in old Dutch centuries and cultures mixed. It is dosed well and it works.

But Kochi is also Indian to the bone. If you walk along the beach on a Saturday night as the sun slowly sets you will see local life unfolded before your eyes. Parents, children and high flying kites. A group of friends mirrored as dark shadows against the burning red sun. Lovers holding hands and couples seated on camels.

And outside the historic districts is a grand Indian city with busy trading port, honking rickshaws and colourful busses. It’s the main gateway to Kerala, to God’s own country as the Indian’s call the Southern State. Famous for its backwaters, national parks and what fever people know, fine laidback beaches.

Most people will make a touchdown in Kochin as they capture Kerala. Do us a favour and spend at least a couple of nights here to truly breathe in the colonial past. And indulge in the freshest of seafood. You will not regret it.

Kerala Basecamps