#1 – Arrival in Kochi, India (Gaye)

As many readers know, my wife, Gaye Sharpe, is on a trip to India with World Pilgrim Tours. Depending upon Wi-Fi connections, etc. we will post her reflections on this blog and try and keep up. (The striving to keep up is not a new experience for her friends and family.  :-))

 This is her first post.

The Mumbai airport gives you a taste of mystical India from the moment your foot hits the marble. Images of Krishna, Shiva, temple columns and lush wall gardens soak the sense. It's the most beautiful airport I have ever seen (next to Vancouver of course.) No expense was spared!

The catch - skirting the terminal is one of the most significant slums in the world. I have read about slum economy here with children scavenging garbage to sell to a middle man and this it goes up the ladder each person taking their cut. I actually caught a glimpse of part of it (tens of thousands of shanties) as we flew from Mumbai at sunrise. I expect to encounter this contrast in much of my travels in India. Really though is it any different than the downtown east side and Granville Street?

For the first five nights we are staying at Ben's Homestay, on an island near the city of Kochi. The multi story building with attached cottages and a house boat is in a restful backwater as we adjust to the over 90percent humidity and over 35 degree temperatures. Ben and his family are warm and generous folk. This will be a nice easy transition to India which will fit with my 4 hours sleep in 2 days.

In an hour I am going to experience my first Ayurvedic massage. I've been told just to let go! Hmmm. I'll try.

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