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Published: February 9th 2007
thIt has been an interesting few days. The drive from Cochin up to Munnar was an education . Sam ,our driver talked and stopped along the way to point out different crops. Rubber trees that are currently being tapped and then dried into sheets. A farmer of this sort can make a living with 20-25 trees. Then it was tapioca plants. Amazing things that grow to about 8 feet in 6- months , are pulled for the root and then cuttings replanted for a new crop in 6-8 months!Nutmeg trees ,cardamon ,pepper plants ,Vanilla ,cumin ... Kerela has them all. Arriving in the hills (mountains really ) and the tea plantations was spectacular.The shades of green and the density of the plantings made the are look like it was covered in a thick sculptured carpet. The resort that we stayed at had a balcony looking out and over the countryside. Beautiful. There was quite a mist over the mountains that night so we had an interesting sunset. It really was a beautiful spot.
The next day we continued exploring the area and went for a motorboat ride on a lake created by a dam . I kid you not...we could have been in BC somewhere. THe trees , the rock and even the colour of the water... THe area is on the southernmost edge of the Himalayas and although it never freezes it does have deciduous trees. We ended the day at an Aryuvedic center and I had a massage with oils followed by a sit in a steam booth and a final exfoliation...I"m not sure that I liked feeling like a huge slippery baby but it was an experience worth having.
Next morning we headed south to the Backwaters of Kerala and boarded our houseboat for a 24 hour cruise through the lakes and canals. It reminded me an awful lot of time spent on the Mekong with Suzanne B..people living by the water...washing clothing , children ,themselves. Fishing , strolling about , shopping at local shops...Flowers , trees , ducks...It was so pleasant. The boat itself was REALLY comfortable . Two bedrooms each with a bath , dining area and lounging area under a canopy , a cook who served us Kerelian food that was EXCELLANT (he also explained what was in each dish which I really appreciated) .Truly the best Indian food I have ever had . It was great!
Sam our driver picked us up at Alleppy at noon and we drove here . I am at an Ashram ,staying in the foreigners residence and enjoying the ambience of the place. This is NOT a resort ... sort of a retreat house that it definately international and quite simple. It should be another interesting experience...
Hope all is well ... I hear that it is quite cold back home...I am starting to acclimatize to the 30+ weather here.Take care.
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