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November 20th 2014
Published: November 20th 2014
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Riding an elephantRiding an elephantRiding an elephant

Our elephant ride in Thekkady
We left Cochin and made for Allepy and the backwaters of Kerala. Here amongst the paddy fields are canals with villages alongside. We boarded a 'houseboat'- well we have never had such a wonderful experience! We were offered coconut drinks on boarding our boat where 3 crew were at our service. They served us refreshments and food with such courtesy and pleasantry! We cruised past villages, schools, fields and people doing their washing until 6 pm when we moored for the night. A long canoe took us for a twilight paddle along a side canal where as night fell, huge bats flew overhead and villagers' homes lit up. On returning to the boat we were served supper and spent a very calm, tranquil evening.

After a luxurious sleep in the superbly appointed bedroom, we breakfasted and made ready for returning to the base. Before that Paul, of course, joined the crew who we're using the river to wash in, for a morning swim!

It was a truly beautiful, unique experience.

We then drove from these quiet backwaters up towards the western ghat hills. As we drove the flat paddyfields became trees and the landscape less populated and more
After the rideAfter the rideAfter the ride

Posing with our gentle giant
hilly. The views became more spectacular with thick forests including rubber plantations. As we rose higher we entered tea plantation growing areas and saw tea being picked. We were also surprised how cool the climate is but we are quite high up!

Our hotel is on a tea plantation. Tea is not very profitable so many plantations are having to diversify. It is quite rustic looking but very comfortable.

Today we enjoyed a cruise on the beautiful reservoir/lake at Periyah national park. It is famous as a tiger and elephant reserve but, alas, we did not see any! However, we did have an elephant ride. Well it is something you just have to do!

We then made a fascinating visit to a spice plantation where a guide showed us the different spices and herbs growing and explained their health benefits which she hoped we would want to buy in the shop! It was very interesting.

We also enjoyed watching some kathakali traditional dancers.

Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7


Paul in a tea plantationPaul in a tea plantation
Paul in a tea plantation

Paul in a tea plantation
Diane in a tea plantationDiane in a tea plantation
Diane in a tea plantation

Diane in a tea plantation.

We enjoyed a wonderful 24 hours on a houseboat
Swimming in the backwatersSwimming in the backwaters
Swimming in the backwaters

Paul joining the crew for an early morning swim in the backwaters of Aleppy
Kathakali dancingKathakali dancing
Kathakali dancing

We enjoyed watching some excellent kathakali traditional dancers

21st November 2014

It all looks very interesting. Glad it's all going well.

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