Our final blog post on the road and it’s a biggie, covering the final two weeks of our time in a country rich in diversity, colour, vibrancy.
We are writing this post from ‘God’s Own Country’ the night before we fly to Edinburgh and we couldn’t have wished for a more fitting climax. Waving us off over the last fortnight were two golden beaches, lush green canals and beautiful Indian weather. Thanks Kerala.
As we are coming home (not that we have one to call our own) tomorrow and we can bore you all orally, we have agreed that this post should be fairly succinct.
So… let us begin.
Used interchangeably, these three names cover the town and the Wildlife Sanctuary where we stayed for three nights. During our time here, we enjoyed a wonderful morning interacting with an elephant whose name now escapes me.
The next day took me deep into the sanctuary on a bamboo rafting trek (unfortunately Jess’ heels hadn’t repaired enough to tackle the terrain). It was a genteel but pleasurable day and we were lucky enough to see some wildlife including a pack of wild dogs chasing a deer which escaped by swimming across the lake, giant tadpoles, huge gaur that thundered through the forest when we got too close, a pack of wild boar feeding watchfully on the rotting carcass of a buffalo and some elephants.
The park is also home to tigers and leopards, posing a risk to life. Luckily we had an armed guard with us at all times. Look closely at the photo of him and see if you can spot why I wasn’t filled with confidence should a big cat attack.
A short two night stay at the southern end of the famous Kerala backwaters (900km of palm fringed canals and lakes) was really just a pit stop before reaching Varkala. In the small amount of time we had we did manage to squeeze in a punted canoe tour where we visited local craftsman and tradespeople.
Next up we had five nights at a popular beach resort. Despite the scorching weather, the picturesque beach was relatively quiet for the duration of our stay and we managed to secure some serious sunbathing, swimming and body-boarding time. Towering over the compact beach was a cliff lined with fantastic cafes and restaurants.
On our final day we treated ourselves to some traditional ayurvedic treatments. Jess went for a massage while I tried to ease the pain caused by unwanted sea water in my ears. A process where hot oil was poured into my lugs, which were then massaged before the ‘doctor’ tried to smoke the water out with a burning package of herbs.
Alleppey marks the end. Our final destination. We made friends with some dogs on the beach and spent 4 hours fighting through hyacinths while kayaking through the back waters. A very pleasant ending indeed.
All that is left is to leave you all with a disturbing store we found in Kerala. Unfortunately we couldn’t grill the proprietors as we were mid rickshaw ride. I would love to know how they managed to persuade one direction (or 1D as they like to be known) to endorse their store….
If the ending of our blog leaves a giant hole in your life then fear not because…
…in Varkala we met a delightful couple- Dominique and and Phil – who are just embarking on an 11 month trip (lucky bastards) and they have a blog you can transfer your dependency onto: