Published: January 31st 2012January 30th 2012
This is where the boats leave for the trips around the lake
Leaving the backwaters of Kerala we travelled inland for about 5 hours by car up into the hills, known as the Western Ghats, and passing several tea plantations on the way. The journey was horrendous with our driver spending a fair proportion of the journey attempting to overtake every vehicle in sight on the twisty mountain roads. Apparently that is the norm and he explained that he just wanted to keep our journey to a minimum!!!!.
Our hotel in the hills was called "The Wild Corridor" and that it was. Perched on a hill it offered wonderful views of the jungle but had a disadvantage in that it was very much exposed to the prevailing winds. We soon realised that we had slipped up on our clothing we had packed as the temperature in the hills was not what we had expected. It was a lot cooler than the coast and backwaters and the end result was that we had to dig out the clothes we left England in.
The highlight of our trip to this part of Kerala was to be our visit to the Periyar Tiger Reserve in which a boat trip round a large lake in
the middle of the Reserve is the main attraction. Wildlife on the edge of the lake was promised although a view of a tiger was unlikely as there are very few about and they don't tend to wander about in the open for the tourists to look at.
To get on the boat we were subjected to plenty of Indian bureaucracy. First a ticket to get into the Reserve, then a ticket to get on the boat and finally a ticket for the use of a camera. Each purchase involved a queue and its associated hassle.
Once on the boat we, along with about 200 Indian visitors, were instructed to put on bright yellow life-jackets.We wondered why this was necessary . May be the stability of the craft was questionable. We live to tell the tale, On the trip we sighted an elephant, wild boar, deer being hounded by wild foxes, lots of bird-life, a few monkeys, but no tigers.
Upon a wild animal being sighted the 200 on the boat rose from their seats causing a major viewing instruction for the majority. Sitting at the side of the boat gave us a definite advantage when the
animals to be seen were on our side. Fortunately the elephant was the right side and thus the picture we obtained.
This part of Kerala is famous for its spices and a trip to this part of Kerala is not complete without a trip to one of the local spice gardens where we were given an interesting guided tour and at the end we were pointed in the direction of the shop where we encouraged to purchase samples of what we had seen. This we did.
An interesting part of Kerala but if you come be prepared for a drop of temperature when travelling inland from the coast.
There are more photos below