Hyderabad was a conglomeration of brown patches with few blues and interspersed with green dots, two hours later I was landing in midst of a green earth with a blue river snaking through and as far as the eye could see no brown patches of dry land – Kerala welcomed us.
Alosh’s wedding – the avid photographer looked ill at ease when in front of the camera :)
The infamous strikes of Kerala hit us, and our plan of going to Munnar went down the drain.
Spent two days at a very small place (I would not even term it as off-the-beaten-track, for that it had to be on a track!), no network unless I went outside for a few meters, backwaters just behind the house, a black sand beach a boat ride away, and to reach the house you had to cross a 2 feet wide strip of land with water on both sides. It helps when your friends live in place that you can only term as paradise!
Warning: If you can see the rains approaching on backwaters at a distance that seems at least 4-5 kms, never get on the small fishing boat even for a 10 minute ride. We made that mistake and luckily lived to tell the tale. Within 1-2 minutes the rain that was kilometers away was upon us, and the visibility was reduced to 8-10 feet, I could hardly make out the front of the boat. Strong winds threatened to overturn the boat, and the rising tide threatened to gobble up any thing/person that went overboard; luckily for us we were not in the middle of the backwater but hardly 20-30 meters away from the coast and were able to reach the coast drenched to the bone, but alive.
I have trekked through mountains and trekked through jungles too, but one thing has been common – there has been ample daylight, and all the treks were timed perfectly to make use of all available sunlight. So when I got a chance to undertake a trek at night through a jungle that boasts of tigers and elephants, I would have been a fool to refuse this once in a lifetime chance :) Trekked for around 6 kms for three hours in dense darkness in the Periyar Tiger Reserve Forest equipped with nothing but a tiny torch that threw light till about 10 feet ahead. Walking in plains was easy as the moonlight helped a lot. The second you left plains and headed under trees it was impossible to see an inch in front of you without the artificial aid. Unluckily we were not able to spot any animal, would have loved to spot an elephant in that darkness.
I hate traveling in a cab, and by air. Give me a train any day, or let me drive. Traveling for long hours sitting is very tiring, the stunning scenery helps a bit, but not for long.
Need to give at least 3-4 weeks more to cover all places of Kerala. It is a breathtakingly beautiful place, and I’ve covered hardly anything. I will be back :)
It definitely was much easier to write a post in the form of unrelated points :) Will stick to this when the words are not flowing…