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Published: March 9th 2008
After a massive breakfast, and i mean massive we headed out in Asif's amazing car and headed to the tea plantation which covered all the surrounding hills. After pulling what i suspect were some major strings Gufoor managed to get us inside the factory for a look around. Parisons tea plantation was where Yousef was born and Yousef's father had worked as a supervisor. Inside the factory we were shown around by the foreman and it was amazing to see how tea is made. The leaves are dried by massive fan beds and then put through a series of machines to sort, cut and the leaves. The entire process from plant into the factory to being able to make a cup of tea takes about 8 hours and the factory runs 24 hours a day. The tea plants can be harvested every 15 days. The factory also makes its own grinders for curring the tea and these massive metal rollers are changed every week. We were very lucky to see inside and I don't know if any other tourist has seen it! The factory was great with conveyor belts all over the place carrying tea to a different machine.
then went to see a very large Dam and reservoir and took a boat trip across it which was great. We had lunch with Asif and Gufoor at a local restaurant which meant we became a bit of a spectalce as the only white faces in a local place. Lunch was a very large plate of rice along with some very tasty curry and half a fish each, as well as some coconut and chili and a popadum. All for about 25p!!
After this feast we headed to the Erakal Caves. Getting to the caves involved a trek up a mountain road and then some step which were more like a ladder. Once up there though the caves were amazing and contain carvings on the wall thought to date back 4500 years! From the caves we then continued to climb the mountain which at points was just scrambling up almost vertical rock. We left Gufoor and Asif behind about two thirds of the way up and carried on all the way to the top. The view from the top was amazing and worth the hours climbing to get there, as you can see by the photo!! haha. The way
down was a little harder than the way up and we took it very slowly, no ambulances round here! Not sure how accurate it is but the manometer on my camera was reading 1200m above sea level at the top and 700m at the car, From the top you are able to see 95% of the region of Wayanad! long way up! We then went to see a local museaum which contained more carvings as well as examples of hunting and fishing tools.
We stopped for a Chai and some tasty cake on the way home and then had another huge feast back at Zubaida and Yousef's house. We then retired to bed absolutely knackered from all the climbing.
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