The long wait to be present on the coast of Fort Kochi had paid off. In one jump down the orange KURTC Bus, I stood in the city built on mangroves. For a moment I stood motionless looking around, quickly adapting to the boisterous travelers at that famous destination in the State of Kerala.
Starting from a corner of KB Jacob Road, I was aligned with the Kochi Corporation Zonal Office, a government office tasked with managing the city of Fort Kochi, which had a population of seven hundred thousand people.
It was still Thursday….I didn’t know why?…. In the middle of the day, the two-story government office with cream-colored walls had its front gate tightly closed. It managed to make me look away and stared straight at the stretch of KB Jacob Road which was perpendicular to the shoreline.
That afternoon I wouldn’t follow a structured agenda. Without an itinerary, I would let my feet go as to enjoy the charm of Fort Kochi.
Just stepped out….It didn’t feel like a beach area, that was because the streets of Fort Kochi presented a shady situation with old tree decorations shading all along. Even paving blocks were chosen as the base for the streets, which were arranged very neatly.
Coupled with the crowds of local and foreign tourists, it made me feel less lonely even though I was far from home. After all, many European tourists seemed to be walking alone as solo travelers like me.
Just setting foot a few steps on the streets of Fort Kochi, my heart was amazed because I was transported to the past when I saw models of local buses chasing passengers along the side of the road. The buses seemed to have come from the past….Old, but they make the atmosphere of the city more classic.
Toward the first destination, I decided to pull over to the beach. From the tourist photos of Fort Kochi that I often find on search engine pages, Chinese fishing nets were always the ones that appear most often on that page. Then, I wanted to find its whereabouts, if I was lucky I would look closely at the activities of the Indian fishermen in the vicinity.
The shoreline wasn’t longer far, only thirty meters parallel to the River Road that I was currently crossing. I immediately got out of the flow of the street and decided to move closer to it. Within a few steps I arrived at the edge of the beach and as far as the eye could see the blue expanse of Malabar Beach was quite pleasing to the eye.
The beautiful scenery was added to the routine of the fishermen along the coast. A group of fishermen seemed to be relaxing enjoying coffee in a food stall, another group seemed to be just taking shelter from the hot sun and several others were seen busy anchoring their boats and unloading their load from the sea to then transfer the load to cold barrels.
Another sight on the shore was the activity of several small groups of fishermen catching fish using Chinese fishing nets…Fishermen in Indonesia (my country) called it “anco” or “tangkul”. Because it was installed on the shoreline, the catch from the operation of that fishing gear was mostly small fish.
Fresh and large fish from the sea were immediately transported using pick-up vehicles to be taken out of the beach area. Meanwhile, several medium and small-sized fish were immediately sold at fish stalls along the coast.
Mingling with the local community had indeed become a favorite activity. Sometimes even a little smile that was thrown on their faces made me feel like I was still close to home. That was what made me feel at home sitting with them for a long time and reluctant to move from the beach.
Fort Kochi indeed depicts a high economic movement, in any place, tourists could be seen thronging.
In the waters, tourist boats went back and forth along the coast carrying various multi-national tourists. Of course, the tourist ships offered sea cruise services along the coast to enjoy the exotic Fort Kochi.
Meanwhile, on the mainland, there weren’t a few tourist buses parked along the streets of Fort Kochi. As if Fort Kochi had been sovereign as a tourist city in the State of Kerala.
Even so, for one hour I put myself on the beach and was satisfied to enjoy the activities of the local fishermen.
I have to leave soon….
Let’s follow in my footsteps again….The next place wasn’t far from the beach.