INTERESTING INDIA: impressions of the South
Green, lush, floral, hot, sticky, fragrant colourful flowers, coconuts. Flowers, huge umbrella trees. Beautiful colourful sarees, men in wrap skirts- some short, some long … Not as many turbans here… Due to heat?
I see fresh fruits and veggies on corner market portable stands along side of the roadways … Colourful and tasty, red round pomegranate, green and yellow, big and small bananas, oranges, apples, mango and so many more. Grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes, ginger ….
Jungle sounds can be heard whenever I stop to listen. Foliage large and green, with blossoms and fruit hanging …. Abundance!
Palm trees. Brilliant coloured sarees even in city. Men and women driving motorcycles. Woman riding sidesaddle if on the back. Yesterday I saw for the first time, a woman driving a motorcycle in her saree with scarf bellowing behind and a man on the back, side saddle. Often I see man driving, woman on back and up to three children squeezed between them:).
Along the drive I see a vibrant river out the window … A spectacular view, with houseboats, and jungle greenery … Small fishing vessels … Exquisite to see. I absolutely love this extreme …
We stopped for beer and bananas .. Two stops. First we had to stop several times for directions to a store that sells beer. It is not often found in Kerala region apparently. This is the richest area of all India and it is trying to be alcohol free. Interesting process to watch.
Three large beers purchased for the three people on the bus wanting a cool beverage this evening. One each.
Then a fruit stand along the side of the road for bananas right off the branch. Omg. Soft and green and lovely tasting, sweet and firm inside. Some picked up oranges from the next stand. Large water 30 rupees, 60 cents is about the exchange. Fun adventure in the jungle!
Along the way I also spy a snowy white egret and some interesting birds. Flocks of baby ducks being herded along the road … Must have been more than thirty tiny ducks in a puddle, man who is herding them with a plastic bag on end of a stick brushing them along. Cute!
We arrived at the end of a road, a stop sign. We park and all our luggage is moved to a power boat .. And we are boarded on to a lovely long boat with padded seats, open to the air and with a grass cover overhead for in rainy times. We will adventure to our resort and arrive by this vessel.
About a half hour boat ride and we arrive on a private island on the largest lake in Kerala. Amazing, spectacular … Unbelievable! An Ayurvedic spa retreat center also a hotel … Made up of cabins and buildings, restaurant, swimming pool … Wow. We are greeted with leis of scented jasmine flowers and roses .. And a fresh coconut drink, still in the coconut! Little umbrella on top, and straw to drink the refreshing beverage. Not sweetened, not iced, non alcohol … Just the milk from the coconut.
We are shown to our rooms, and take many photos of the one person ferry canoes shuttling people around from this resort to their homes on the network of tributaries and side rivers.
A spa treatment is arranged, overall body massage in medicated oils, including face massage and head, neck, shoulders … Lovely. Then treated to the highlight of the day, an hour ride down the tributaries to the local community, in four long and locally made and one man paddled, canoes.
I am speechless. The sounds and sights I will remember always. Exotic, colourful, happy, jungle homes, people smiling and waving …
I think people in India must think we are good luck? All day we have been welcomed and greeted by locals in especially friendly ways.
We even see a game of cricket being played by some young men along the river on a flat piece of cleared land in the jungle.
Then a wonderful flavourful buffet of curries, vegetable delights, rices, pappadams and more … The beverage of choice here is lemon or lime ginger soda. My he fresh sneezed juice arrives in a few small pitchers and added to the glass … Honey is also available to sweeten the mix for those who want it … And a full big bottle of cold cold sparkling soda water to mix to the solution. We have been drinking them for several weeks now as a change from plain bottled mineral water.
Bed time … Tomorrow morning up early to see the fish market for the locals … A walk in the jungle! Then breakfast, a houseboat ride and a home stay and local meal tomorrow night.
The south trip has been amazing already!
INTERESTING INDIA: impressions of the South