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Published: February 2nd 2020
Sadly our houseboat adventure comes to an end and we reluctantly leave our houseboat and it’s fantastic crew behind.
Recycling is alive and serious in india. As we leave the boat area, there is a recycling spot with a gigantic bin of plastic water bottles and a lot of other stuff that is being prepared for wherever it goes. If we are given straws with a drink they are simple paper intended to break down quickly. Purchases at stores are always in paper bags. Many places have filtered bottled water in glass bottles instead of plastic and single use plastic is banned.
It’s a 4 hour ride to our next destination. We are leaving the sea level and making our way into a more hilly area. Higher and higher we climb past pineapple and rubber plantations. Past banana trees, palms, bamboo and glowing bougainvillea. Through villages with women in brilliantly coloured saris, men with material wrapped around like a skirt.
Mid day we stop at a rubber plantation for an explanation of how the trees are tapped for their sap. Rubber trees were originally from the Amazon.The trees are cut in a specific way to make the sap
flow into a small pot tied to the tree. This is done very carefully so the tree is never harmed. An inedible picnic lunch has been sent along for us which some eat before going on down the road. Or I should say up the road. Now that we are in the mountains there are coffee, tea and cocoa plantations.
As I look over the edge of the road (which seems dangerously close) I see cassava plantations way down in the mountain valley below. There’s a sign that says dangerous curves, slow down but the driver apparently didn’t see it. There are guard rails...occasionally. I can see kapok trees now and then. They sport flowers that look like bright red birds sitting on the top branches, Along the road there is one tea plantation after another.
Pattumala Catholic Church near the top is a good place to stop for a visit to take pictures of women picking tea which is growing in the front yard of the church. An unusual feature of this church is a massive man made tree with Christ at the top; inside is a small silent chapel.
Finally we arrive at our hotel
called Spice Village. Time for a short rest before going to Tusker Trails for a ride on an Indian elephant. Jane and I are riding on Lani. She is 27 years old. I stroke her neck and head and talk to her as we are riding along. Apparently she is liking as she slows down every time I do it and the mahoot tells her to get going. At the end I reach up and touch her cheek, I can see her looking at me and she swings her trunk around and touches my arm. When I stand in front of her, she reaches out and we touch hand to trunk with a loving connection. I really want to take her home with me.
Then to a spice grower for a walk through the forest with the guide pointing out different spices and how they grow. I found this really fascinating - we use spices all the time with no idea of how or where they grow or what’s good or not good. We get a little time in the spice shop to buy the organic spices available.
Supper at 7:30 is a buffet in the dining room
then off to our rooms to do whatever we please until bedtime. In my case, it is to try to catch up with my blog.
Early day tomorrow - Good night!
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