The main purpose of our trip was to see and photograph the pepper harvest in Kerala. But since this was Alan’s first time to India, we couldn’t travel all the way here without seeing a few different regions.
I set up the trip in three parts – Mumbai, Kerala and Rajasthan. Mumbai was a place to recuperate and find our bearings. With all the energy of the city, the colorful markets, the hustle and bustle of the workers on the streets, the honking traffic, we became energized.
Day 7, Thursday, Wayanad, India
We spent three days in Wayanad watching the pickers pick pepper. (And no, none of them were named Peter.)
While I had been to the Wayanad plantations a few years ago, it was prior to the harvest. I visited a much different farm where about 95% of the crop was peppercorns.
Days 5 & 6, Tuesday and Wednesday, Wayanad, India
Mumbai and Kannur were so interesting, I almost forgot the real reason we came to India - to see the pepper harvest.
Since I started selling spices a few years ago, I’ve always wanted to come back to India to learn more about the black stuff that sits on nearly every kitchen table. Most of us use pepper on a daily basis, but few have any idea where or how it’s grown.
Sunday morning, we flew 1.5 hours south to the city of Calicut on the south west coast. My friend and partner-in-pepper and spices, Mr. Divakar, was waiting to pick us up with his nephew Akshay.
I originally met Mr. Divakar in 2002 while running The Land of Nod. I used to buy textiles from him and we became close friends. I never guessed that he'd one day ask me to join him in the spice business.
Day 3, Saturday in Bombay
With over 21 million people, Bombay is the sixth most populated city in the world. And I'm pretty sure we saw about 20 million of them on Saturday.
Day 2, Bombay, Afternoon
Yesterday afternoon we toured Dhobi Ghat, the world's largest outdoor laundry. And no, I have no idea how they keep everyone's clothes straight. Also visited CST train station and the beach.