Periyar 16 | bellsandtrance's Blog
Subject: Periyar 16
We leave our mountain tea plantation on route to Periyar....190km South. I wish I could explain to you how beautiful it is here, the best I can do is tell you that it's one of the most picturesque places I have ever been. We drive up through tall mountains covered in mist, and down through valleys of cardamom plantations. Lakes in the valleys. Tropical jungles on either side of the road. It's like the Drakensburg, Knysna forest and Eastern Transvaal all in one. Wow!
Jobie Shcumaker is really giving it a good whirl today and at one point I actually ask him to drive slower as its getting terrifying going round hair pin turns and dodging head on collisions every seven minutes. Better to sit in the back of the van!
We stop off at an elephant sanctuary where the kids and Garth ride an elephant up a hill and back down again. They they scrub the lying elephant and sit on her back as she showers them with water with her trunk. They absolutely love it. The beast lies in a bath and she closes her eyes with her pretty lashes every time she gets a scrub..must be itchy being an elephant. What a great experience for them!
Jobie gives us his typical Indian head nod( something between yes and no ) which as far as I can deduce can mean anything! Come,come quick quick, boat ride, up up! So a further speedy drive through countryside and a village(watch out pedestrians) we arrive at the Periyar national game reserve. 777 km of lush mountains and rivers. We travel down a wide river on a ferry to see what wildlife we spot. The reserve has over a thousand elephants and twenty eight tigers (we should be so lucky) various creatures are spotted, jackals, birds, buck, elephants and an elephant bull carcass that the crows are feasting on- another bull had killed it the previous day. We return to speedy and his bus. All in all a most totally excellent experience.....but wait there's more.
We are staying in the Shalimar Spice garden........I feel like I'm entering another world. The entrance to the hotel is numerous steps going over a wooden bridge. The whole hotel is surrounded by tall trees and plants, the gardens are totally lush and the whole place in built on different levels. Our rooms look like little garden cottages and are very comfortable. In the evening the whole place is covered in coloured fairy lights. This country just keeps getting better and better! We sleep listening to the various mysterious night animals coming alive.
The last day of 2012 is spent...shopping (again) ( of course) the shopping is different here once again, beautiful jewellery, more spice and exotic clothing..... We have fun fun fun!....our suitcases are bulging now just like out tummies.
We go to a spice plantation and see pepper growing like vines, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, aniseed, bananas, it's all very interesting to see and I now understand why some spices are so expensive ...some take forever to harvest and get ready.
We return to our own spice garden and while everybody is relaxing by the pool Charmaine ( Shamina in India) and I go for a wonderful Indian head treatment, this is part of their Aryuverdic medicine. We lie on wooden beds and hot oil is pored over our heads for over an hour . We get this wonderful head massage, it's very relaxing and quite strange!
The New Years celebrations are beginning and these people sure know how to throw a party!
The whole swimming pool area is decorated with lights and ribbons and balloons and bamboo strings. There is a drinks stall, a prawn fry-up stall. A pasta stall. A local starter snack stall. A whole buffet is laid out with various curries and local cuisine. We chow down and celebrate. After dinner we watch various shows( dancing, martial arts, live bands, fire shows) - take part in a dancing competition, Shamina and Hanuman(Declan) win and they win two nights accommodation! The staff are all dressed like warriors and they have a lot of fun with the kids playing fighting games! Garth blows flames for everyone and he gets a huge applause.(damn battery went flat, no footage) Everyone is jolly and laughing and just before twelve the local drummers get on stage and start a hectic drumming circle that builds and builds and builds until midnight. By this stage a lot of people are boogying to the infectious beat. At twelve fireworks go off by the pool and we are all handed long sparklers....what a perfect moment. We get up and do Gangam style....it's so funny. Everyone is dancing. There are smiles all around and good old Declan is the star of the show. He sits on the waiters necks alternatively, his arms waving in the air a huge smile stuck to his face....party animal! A great time is had by all! One of the best New Years eves of my life I must say. We couldn't do better anywhere!
Here is hoping that everyone had a good New Year, we miss you all and see you soon!
There are no comments on this post yet, be the first to leave one!
Previous PostsKovalam 18, posted January 9th, 2013, 2 comments
Kumarakom 17, posted January 8th, 2013
Periyar 16, posted January 1st, 2013
Munnar 15, posted December 29th, 2012
Cochin14, posted December 28th, 2012
Aurangabad 13, posted December 28th, 2012
Mumbai 12, posted December 28th, 2012
Udaipur11, posted December 28th, 2012
Jodhpur 10, posted December 27th, 2012
Rats temple 9, posted December 27th, 2012
Bikaner 8, posted December 27th, 2012
Jaipur 7, posted December 27th, 2012
Jaipur 6, posted December 27th, 2012
Rajasthan 5, posted December 27th, 2012
Agra4, posted December 27th, 2012
Varanasi 3, posted December 27th, 2012
IDelhi and train 2, posted December 27th, 2012
India holiday, posted December 27th, 2012
BlogrollHere are some friends' blogs...
HelpEmbed Photos Embed Videos