Kerala photography retreat
Description of Kerala photography retreat
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PlanetWe consider it a huge privilege to be able to visit the world’s wild places and at all times we endeavour to respect local cultures, the natural beauty and fragile environments. At the beginning of the trip we advise and discuss issues such as appropriate dress, local religious and cultural beliefs, disposal and re-cycling of litter in wild place and local environmental issues.
We mainly travel only short distances by local rickshaw on this Retreat and we walk or cycle as much as possible, the distances are all very close to our hotel which helps to keep our carbon emissions down.
The hotel grew from an old residential house in a small lane of Fort Cochin, and was constructed with the help of local people.
'The Tamil ladies carried all the tons of sand and cement on their heads in their wok pans. There was a person for every task. All the woodwork was done with simple tools and great skills. The bathrooms got marble powder and egg white finish and beds were made on the spot. The finely-crafted furniture is all made of wood, hand carved by local craftsmen. The pool and the yoga platform were a priority, both made by a local contractor. The last thing was to polish the floors. In the mean time, lots of people were mending and polishing old furniture from Tamil Nadu where we bought boxes, jars, cupboards, tables and chairs.'
The hotel keeps things as local as possible, putting the environment at the centre of its operations. All the meals are cooked in-house and when possible using organic, local produce, sourced from the area especially fish, spices and vegetables. Shopping in markets helps to reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging. All that can be recycled is and solar energy is used to power the showers for example.
PeopleWe travel in small groups often splitting into smaller groups of two or three persons in order to reduce intrusion on local communities while photographing. With a few exceptions when we visit iconic locations, we tend to avoid main tourist areas, concentrating instead on the less visited communities thus economically supporting these local communities.
In Cochin we have known and worked for 25 yrs with our local experts and as such we get to visit places often unseen by other visitors to the area and we are often treated to insights of cultural tradition and ways of life that would have passed us by without this connection.
We encourage our guests to immerse themselves fully in the culture and daily lives of the local people and help facilitate this by shopping at markets and supporting local traders and using locally-owned businesses, particularly those in out of the way locations.
We respect local cultural sensitivities acknowledge that we are guests and conduct ourselves accordingly and when we photograph someone, we exchange contact details and ensure that they are supplied with copies of their images, digitally.
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