Week 6 – Kanyakumari – Varkla – Backwaters - Periyar wildlife sanctuary

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November 13th 2008
Published: November 13th 2008
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Our time in south east India came to an end with a lazy day in Kanyakumari, right at the southern tip of the continent. The seaside town was geared towards homegrown tourism and the street hawkers were much more interested in the groups of Indian tourists than us. Teenage boys lapped up the funky sunglasses on offer, whist families played in the sea, with the women splashing in the shallows in full sari.

Then in complete contrast we headed up the south west coast to Varkla. This cliff-top town was almost completely dominated by us Westerners, with banana pancakes aplenty. The beaches kept us entertain during the day. Its was so nice to sit out in the sun and dip into the warm sea when the heat got to much. Once the evening draw in we walked along the cliff top, comparing the freshly caught fish displayed out the front of the many restaurants. We made a point to choose a different place every night, but always enjoying a sumptuous meal of tandoori butter-fish and juicy prawns.

After relaxing on the beach for a few days we went further north to enjoy the peaceful canals of Kerala's backwaters. An afternoon punting along palm-tree lined waterways introduced us to the areas clam tranquility. We spent the next day and night on a beautiful wooden houseboat, slowly drifting past rice fields, whist our crew cooked us lovely meals. I have never felt so untroubled.

We are currently in Periyar tiger reserve. A wildlife sanctuary in the cooler highlands of South India. It took a very long, bumpy and nerve-rackingly twisty road trip through tea and coffee plantations to reach the park, but its been worth every bone-jarring pothole for the view alone. Our hotel room balcony looks out into the park and we have seen buffalo, deer and boar whist relaxing in our swing chair.

We are due to go on a day hike into the reserve tomorrow so will have a full update next time.

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