Like Jebediah Springfield, we found ourselves in Cappadocia after misinterpreting a passage in the Bible.
Cappadocia is this weird, lunar-esque landscape where the locals somehow subsist, despite the land being perfect for dirt farming. There are caves here, more caves than you can shake (see that! Earthquake pun! Haha!) a stick at. Most of them are kind of cut into the sides of cliffs, but a lot are also hollowed out gigantic stone mushroom things. We stayed in one, it was cool.
There are also these massive underground cities. They aren't populated anymore, but apparently they used to be full of Christians, during some period in which persecution was a problem and living in a cave was the solution. (Our guide had a pretty thick Turkish accent, so details are...hazy).
Did I say Christians? I meant Hobbits. These passages were like 3 feet high in most places, and the areas of the cities that were churches only had normal level ceilings (as opposed to the airy cathedral like spaces they would have seemed to them). It reminded me of Peru more than a little (I smacked my head on more things in that country than my entire youth of drunken revelry). But of course, as a well-fed Westerner I am more than qualified to berate poorer cultures for their lack of consideration.
Does anyone know if the Eastern Orthodox Church has a Saint Bilbo? (sorry :) )
But really, there were a lot of churches. They're mainly cave's, semi-open to the outside, and most with barely remaining paintings on the walls. Pictures may come.
Then we arrived in India.
Bangalore was alright, but more a pain than anything else. The place is so spread out, and the rickshaw drivers ask ridiculous prices (and have dodgy meters). But we had some good food, and acclimatised to the general madness a bit.
Next up was Kollam. Kollam is in Kerala, way down south, and a mere 30 hours on a train from Bangalore. We sprung for the air conditioned train carriage, sleeper of course, and spent the night not unpleasantly.
Well, Adriana spent it not unpleasantly. You see, I had received the dreaded Flea Pillow (TM).
There's really no humorous or dramatic way to put this, my pillow had fleas on one side. Luckily it wasn't the side my head was on :D But I woke up in the morning with flea bites on my hands. Gone now thankfully, but man, I am in solidarity with my canine brothers and sisters now, let me tell you. It's election time yeah? Does anyone know which party has the most developed platform on flea eradication, cause they've got my vote.
*Pause for all the people still laughing at the thought of me with fleas*
Yeah Ha Bloody Ha. I'm looking at you, yeah you. :P
Anyway, Kollam was everything you'd expect a tiny Indian town to be. Things were cheap, it was small, and the people are nice (to me, towards Adriana their attitude can best be described as "Curse you white woman, my mouth is now full of dirt. How dare you allow my jaw to hit the ground so?").
We spent our 5 year anniversary on a house boat. It definitely beat every other year :)
Since the only reason we went to Kollam was for the aforementioned house boat, we soon scarpered and now find ourselves in one of those bastions of the 1960s, the Indian Hippy Beach Town.
This one's called Varkala, and it's this thin strip of filthy sand on the Arabian Sea. Thankfully, it's topped by massive cliffs, on the top of which are all the restaurants and shops you could possibly want. (Including a pretty good bookshop! Ha! Take that, Mostly-In-The-Non-English-Speaking-World-Trip! I win!)
So now we rest, amongst the palms and hippies, eating seafood curries and watching the tropical rain. Next up is Goa, for pretty much the same thing.
Hope you're all well. Next time I promise I'll have better things to relate, and funnier things than Joel with Fleas.
PS, Anyone want anything from India?
UPDATE: New photos up, use the link below in the last post.