kerala, india (ii)

Day 6. We begin our journey through Thekkady, the bus winding around narrow mountain paths, reminding me of Hong Kong. I ride an elephant named Maria.

Day 7. The goat charges at me, and I grab for the nearest arm. From the boat we see a herd of elephants drinking water by the shore. After we circle the lake and return, they are still there. I wake on the bus to the last of the light: thin trees from the eucalyptus family, and then a valley with a river.

Day 8. Two girls and I take an early morning walk along a mountain road. The cows outside our hotel are the first to greet us. After breakfast we find ourselves surrounded by hilly fields of manicured bushes with bright green leaves. Tea process: cut, ferment, dry, grade.

Day 9. Across the dams, at the foot of the hills, is a spot where you can yell and hear your echo reverberate; so we yell curses in as many languages as we know. 

Day 10/11. Before we leave, we visit the historic administrative houses of Kochi’s ruling bodies. The first lift in Kerala was gifted from Britain forty years before the city obtained electricity to power it. Epigraphy, palm leaf inscriptions, village records, copper plates, the alphabet over time.

Food Notes: Things I cannot name (his mother’s house, the banana leaf lunch), butter naan, chicken 65, prawns on the houseboat, the fish his mother fries, dosa (finally), sesame wheels & spicy crackers & fried bananas & chai.

(Photos uploaded soon, somewhere else…)

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