After days of sleeping on buses, trains, and airplanes, we were met early in the morning by our good friend Shinith’s brother Shinoy. He was an amazing sight to see. We took a taxi to his family’s house in the village of Thellacherry.
Not sure what our expectation was for a house in the village but this was not it. Their house was huge, beautiful, and such a comfort. When traveling or living abroad, I can’t put into words how amazing it feels to have people take you in and treat you like you’re family.
We had coconut juice fresh from the trees, amazing home cooked food, and Shinoy to show us around the town.
We went for some sightseeing trips that included a 20 plus km drivable beach, a carnival, and a long drive through the hills. Shinoy wanted to make sure we didn’t come all this way to just to sit around his house, even though we were really enjoying having tea, chatting with his dad, and relaxing in the quiet village.
It was sad to not have Shinith there, but his family was amazing. Shinoy did so much to make us feel welcome. We stayed for 2 nights and left on Christmas day to catch a train to Cochin.
Christmas day had a few amazing moments. Our day started with a short drive in an auto-rickshaw to a local temple to witness Theyyam. This includes dancing, blessing worshipers and in the end the sacrifice of a live chicken. Rorey would not be very excited to see an animal sacrifice on any day let alone on Christmas.
The people at the small temple were very welcoming, and made us feel comfortable about being the first tourists to come to the temple and witness this. If ever in Kerala, there are many chances to see Theyyam. They host nightly dances in some tourist areas, or during December just ask around and you will find one in a nearby village.
We were met with a surprise Christmas dinner that included noodles and a Christmas cake. This was an amazing gesture from a family that has never celebrated Christmas before.
Shinoy got us in contact with a friend of his to help plan the rest of our trip. It was the best thing we could have done. The next few days were going to be no stress travel.