Whoever put the 'good' in 'goodbye' seems to have thought it through—after an eventful and happy tour of the coconut land, the bloggers bid their adieus in style. Their two week stint covering the glimmering backwaters, sunshine toasted beaches, hillocks dipped in green would be memories they'd lock up in their minds, to be preserved until they come back for some more of Kerala!
The bloggers seem to have made the most of their time here despite the unpredictable weather—scorching heat intercepted with mild showers—in the last couple of weeks. Most of them have been raving about the hospitality of the dwellers of the land.
After a 'beachilious' Cherai experience, they were to tread the turfs of the Kerala Kalamandalam, the institution that set up the cultural milieu of Kerala. More than an institution, the Kalamandalam has been a tradition here, the point of reference to all the art and culture enthusiasts.
They headed to Kozhikode further up north, where the cultural kaleidoscope whirled around to show new patterns in the lifestyle and food interests of the natives. Kozhikode said hello in ways that were unique to them.
Hotel Raviz Kadavu and Raviz Ashtamudi were in full swing offering great service to their globe trotting visitors. Their way of blending the native cuisine with other foods, perfecting that palette with the right colour, texture and combinations were unparalleled, and begot much applause from the foodies of the gang.
The trail then took them further to the landscapes of Wayanad, where green in every which shade drips from every nook and corner. The beauty of Wayanad is encapsulated in the morning mist, in the slight drizzle drops that sieves in the mid-morning sun rays, in wake of the chirping birds and in all things only hill ranges can make you feel.
And culturally, can the Malabar lag behind the rest of Kerala? The dais was spattered with the many hues of red whilst an awe-inspiring performance of Theyyam, the popular ritual form of worship practised in the northern Malabar.
The foodies of the pack had a wonderful time, digging the savouries, treating their sweet tooth and practically putting their taste-buds to good work! The typical Kerala Sadya that they all enjoyed at Vythiri Village in Wayanad elicited various reactions from them.
If typical foodies loved the experience of replacing the cutlery with bare fingers to touch, feel and relish the food that is typical of the Asian countries, others found it a task to find the hand-food-mouth coordination! Video blogger Arnaud Wiehe captured the essence of both the flavours and the experience.
Nonetheless, hopefully the foodies found enough materials of interest for their blogs. The very own Masala bonda, grilled banana, pathiri and other such delights should have done the job!
They had to trace their footsteps back to Kochi after all of it, to savour the last of their days in Kerala. By the Queen of Arabian Sea, on the lanes of Fort Kochi that spills colonial charm around, the bloggers walked around, with their last day in Kerala right around the corner.
The vigour and vibrancy of the land coupled with the gusto exhibited by the bloggers will remain indelible on the pages of the Kerala diaries.
And after some love lost in the land and its many customs, the diaries were closed shut, as they took off to their respective lands. So long, Kerala. May there be memories, inspired visions, and comebacks.