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Published: April 15th 2019
OK, so our last night at Shola Crown wasnt the best. We went down for the BBQ and quickly decided that we needed some different food so proceeded to the restaurant where the Hotel Manager told us that he would bring it up to the room. 2 hours later, despite multiple requests and growing frustration it still hadn't arrived and the kids needs to sleep. However, with the music still blaring from the BBQ there was no chance of that. Anyway, after much gesticulating by Dad and some fairly colourful language, the food came and the kids ate a bit before going to bed.......once the music had stopped! All of this on top of the fact that mum and dad found out that our flights home might be cancelled, this could be good news if it means more time off school...
Next morning, mum and dad argued with the hotel over the bill for quite a while until Anoop came and together they sorted it out. And we were finally on our way......onto Periyar national park and fairly happy to be leaving that hotel behind. Anoop was very apologetic but I think the hotel was just a bit disorganised and
they were apologetic too.
It was a 3 hour drive to Periyar, down winding roads for most of the way and mum, Phoebe and Chloe started to feel a bit carsick. It finally got the better of Chloe who was sick both in and outside the A team van.....not great and we could only find mum's shirt to catch it - whoops!
All of the above faded away when we saw the hotel though - Forest Canopy is an awesome hotel. We were greeted by the staff with bindi's that the gave us as we entered, and a cooling drink in the heat of the day. The hotel manager then upgraded us and offered us an option between to rooms or a cabin....we took the cabin! The cabin has the kids downstairs and mum and dad upstairs, both with beautiful views over the canopy. We relaxed here for a little while before heading up for a swim and lunch where we gorged ourselves on food and totally overfed because the variety was so big.
After lunch, we met up with Anoop again and went on a visit to a Spice Farm, which was fascinating. A guide took
us through the whole farm educating us on all of the spices that he had and teaching us about their qualities. We made a note of them in case we forgot, we saw:
• The nutmeg tree - a bit like conkers, but you have to go through 2 layers and is a natural medicine for insomnia
• The All Spice tree or CCNP (cardomom, clove, numeg, pepper) - berries - used in all masalas, curry and pumpkin pie
• Coffee trees, again - Aribica has one stem and Robusta has multiple branches and large leaves
• Vanilla - 2nd most expensive spice in the world (after safron) - and is a vine
• Ginger; good for travel sickness and looks the same as Tumeric (the super spice) which has an orange root
• Piri Piri - super spicy plant with peppers
• Pepper - which is a vine and we learnt has 4 types from the same bud black, green, red and white
So, a great learning experience and then we bought lots of it too! From here we headed into town to go and see some Mudra Kalari which was a treat from Anoop to say sorry for our last night
at Shola Crown. The show was brilliant, it is a martial art that was created in Kerala and apparently exported to China and spawned Kung Fu. Anyway, they did amazing things and Dad, Chloe and Lucas all joined in the show for a bit. Knackered and tired we went back to the hotel, had a short supper and a quick game of table football and table tennis before bed.
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