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Published: August 9th 2017
Geo: 12.8694, 74.8426
A home stay in India is a must, and where we were headed was the Varnum homestay located about 15 km outside of Manathavady in the state of Wayanad. We arrived at about 2pm and were immediately welcomed with some lunch. The mother and father of the homestay where both busy during they day. Beena the wife was attending a week long yoga course and Vargese the husband had spent all day driving his son 400km to another place to study, he ended up getting back at 4 am, but was up before us in the morning.
Once we settled in we took a walk around the property which have rice fields and banana plantations, we went a bit further into some bush land with a few trails.Along the way we noticed some big poo in which Carole thought it was elephant poo, but i dismissed that quickly, but it turned out that she was right, later on that night when we met Beena, she had told us that a couple of nights ago some wild elephants had raided their banana plantations.
The food at this homestay was spectacular, it was always different and never ending, so i looked forward to
breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The next day they had organized a jeep to pick us up after breakfast and take us to the local waterfalls, it took a while to get there and we did take a dodgy dirt road along the cliff face, but we stopped and walked into the bushes and among the trees to the waterfalls. It was a really nice spot to sit and chill out for a while, down the base of the waterfall was a plce where you could go swimming. I didn't end up going swimming but Carole did. Further up you could climb to another base of the waterfall, so i went up with the guide and Carole stayed down. After the waterfall we drove back to the homestay and grabbed some more of the delicious food that was on offer for lunch, we waited about an hour before heading back in the jeep for the national park.
the national park is about 17km from the homestay and is meant to house many Elephants, monkey's, deer and even leopards. Upon entry we had to pay for foriegner entry, use of a camera, use of a car and use of a guide which is compulsary,
but our guide spoke limited english, he was baisically there to spot the animals in which there were few on the day we went. The unfortunate thing was we ended up being there on a Sunday so it gets more busy on the weekends because of all the Indian tourists, so this creates more noise and traffic throughout the national park, so i believe that's why we didn't see much, we only saw a couple of deer and monkeys. It was a quick ride too, maybe 1 hour along a bumpy and dusty one lane track. So both of us were pretty dissapointed in the trip to the national park.
As we were heading back the driver turned an opposite direction to where we were staying and drove up maybe about 2 km before we passed oncoming traffic slowing us down to let us know that there were Elephants just off the side of the road. Finally we sawsome wild elephants, there was a group of about 5 or 6, maybe a couple of Parents and some baby elephants, so we were happy to see some.
So we headed back for some dinner and packed our backs ready for our departure the
In the morning we asked for a rickshaw to come take us back to Manathavady to catch the bus, but we were told that all the rickshaws and taxi's were on strike for the day, but Beena made a few calls and we got a rickshaw to take us up the road to a local bus stop where we had to catch the bus to the main bus depot and then catch our bus up the coast. We were headed to Mangalore so we were in for another day of busses and trains.On the bus from Manathavady I sat next to a little boy, maybe 7-8 years old in which i let him listen to my Ipod, he seemed to like the songs with guitar and drums.
We caught a train from Thaisserly to Managlore and arrived at about 5pm where we settled in and got some dinner. We were going to be staying another night in Managlore as we had a train to Madagoan (Goa) departing at 6.30 the next morning. So during the day we took a rickshaw to two temples, one was called the ##### Temple which was a proper temple, we arrived just in time
to see some prayers which involved a saxaphone. It was quite a amazing, people whould line up, they would play some music while looking at a statue, then they would purchase some gifts and move to another par of the temple and line up and more music would play and they would open a back ropom and everyone would look at the statue. Some would recieve some kind of gift bag. Afterwards they would go outside and walk around a tree with another statue. I still can't grasp what they are praying for and what it all means.
The #### temple seemed more proper cause we took a ricksaw to another temple which was like 10 times the size with big tall temples, but this temple had quite a few children attending, it also looked like a theme park in one part of it where there were almost life sized plastic statues of animals and other weird stuff, so it didn't seem as sacred as the previous temple. In most temples you can't take photos inside which is a shame cause in one room there is a guy who gives all the blessings and Bhindis to the people who was sitting
on a chair plating with a mobile phone and just above him was a sign asking people to turn their phones off while in a temple.
We got a bite to eat just up the road, I wasn't in the mood to do anything else so i headed back to the room to watch some movies while Carole did a little shopping.
The next morning we woke up at 5 and headed to the train station to catch the train to Goa, it left at 6.30, we had super cheap tickets so our area had hard seats and wasn't packed at the start but later became more busy, be we finally arrived into Chaudi station at around 2. Chaudi station is about 2 stops and 1 hour before Madagoan. But this was the station to get off if you wanted to get to Patenm or Palolem beaches which are the southern beaches of Goa.
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