Hope this finds you all well
The last week out here has seen a major change in the weather which I expected perhaps when I first got out here at the beginning of October but not getting towards November and it seems to of caught even the locals by surprise.
The week started off fairly typical of how it’s been up to now then gradually getting a little bit more cloudy as the week went on which was actually quite nice as it was a bit cooler, but by the time it had got to Thursday morning you could see that a major storm was brewing out to sea as the usually calm sea with gentle waves breaking close to shore was now transformed and large waves were now breaking out on the horizon and churning up the sea bed and bringing in what looked like waves of mud.
At this point I didn’t realize that it was Cyclone Kyatt that was the cause, just off the coast of Goa and moving very slowly towards Oman. The beach became a hive of activity on the Thursday afternoon and evening with police arriving with megaphones and locals moving their boats off the beach ( probably about 40 to 50 boats in total ) although the beach is quite deep they obviously expected a unusually high tide. A lot of the locals had come down to the beach just to see the change in the sea and the the lifeguards were busy with their whistles trying to keep kids getting to close as an occasional freak wave would come in.
The only time I had any real experience of similar weather was mid 80s in Belize when there during a hurricane but it didn’t actually seem as bad as this, it was just 45 minutes to an hour of high winds and rain then about 20 minutes of eerie silence ( it was never quiet in Belize ) and then another 45 minutes to an hour of wind and rain and it was gone, not really causing any real damage where I was.
By about 5 o’clock here I was back in my room and I didn’t really know what to expect but had found the cyclone warning on the internet but thought as the locals around me showed no signs of leaving that I’d probably be ok to just wait it out as it was supposed to be moving away from here slowly anyway.
Within an hour or so I could hear the winds pick up noticeably and rain start falling, as the huts here have terracotta tiled roofs and a tin lean too on the front you can imagine the noise it caused. I just hoped that the hut would be somewhat waterproof and except for an occasional drip every so often ( unfortunately over the bed ) it stayed dry but I did have a couple of small lizards come in to join me to escape the weather which I thought was good as they may eat any mosquitoes that may be around.
The rest of the night the wind seemed to intensify, so I only slept on and off as I could hear things being blown against the door and didn’t know how high the water would reach ( I’d decided that if the waves reached the hut that I’d make my way inland ) but the waves only got to about 40 feet away as I discovered the next day when it had calmed down a little and I opened the door to find a lot of palm tree branches and sand out the front and people starting to appear to assess the damage and clean up.
The cyclone hadn’t yet moved on but the general consensus was that Thursday night was the worst of it. When I did venture out along the beach to get some food and water in case the weather worsened you could see that the waves had reached the restaurants and bars and destroyed a lot of structures that had been put up ( none of the restaurants or bars were open ) and people were busy cleaning up and trying to get ready to open as soon as the weather improved.
I did meet one guy and his wife while I was out who runs a new restaurant along the main road where I was going at least once a day until the weather changed as it is open to the elements ( having no roof ) so it’s been closed about 4 days now, he was just coming down to the beach to see what was happening there and said he was hoping to be open again soon.
Friday night was a continued improvement and you could eventually hear the winds subside and rain return to normal ( not wind lashed by the Cyclone) and by this morning apart from the sea being very high still things were beginning to return to normal although the clean up continues along the beach ( still no restaurants open ) and some trees are leaning precariously over power lines along the main road.
Sorry that this blog has been mainly a weather report but the only other thing I can think of significance this week is another Cow story that happened before the Cyclone whilst having lunch at the Karma Cafe and sitting close to the road, I was surprised to be approached by a young cow and it’s mother ( who obviously had no control over her offspring) as I was eating my noddles and attempted to help herself, now this surprised me as I was pretty sure cows only ate grass and plants along the road here but I only just managed to move my plate in time to beat her tongue to it, on seeing this the owner chased them up the road ( I was unsure what to do as I’m not sure what the Cow protocol is here and don’t want to offend anyone ) but this cow must of liked the smell of the noodles because it returned, this time I had picked up my plate so it couldn’t get them but undeterred she went for a dish full of flowers in water on the table and tipped over a jar of sugar which she was then happily licked off the table, luckily I was able to move glasses away to prevent any breakages and retreat inside with my food but was surprised when she came up the step and followed me before the owner ( who was out the back ) again intervened this time they didn’t return thankfully.
So it’s been an interesting week here and one where I’ve not really moved that far but I have only just noticed that I’m starting to miss hot water for showers and doing washing so I’m looking forward to going to Kerala on the 31st for a month and my first experience of the Indian railways. I’ll be traveling overnight on the Netravati express which takes 2 days to travel from Mumbai to its final destination in the south of India but my trip from Canacona to Eranakulam should only take 14 hours if it runs to schedule ( which I’ll be surprised if it does )
So my next blog should find me settled in down in Fort Cochin after the train ride and short ferry over. So until then
Take care and good luck for anything you have going on this week