A Travellerspoint blog

Elevenses

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Now some of you will know what a sweet tooth I have and thankfully the Keralans have the same. I can get my cadburys and my galaxy here, as well as countless other sweets and snacks. There's the juices - lime, pineapple, coconut, banana, advocado, apple, grape and many more. There's the fruits - pomegranate, small bananas, big bananas, water melon, coconut, papaya and so many others I don't have space to list. Then there's the more serious snacks - sugary rice syrup which is trickled to form a spirally danish pastry type thing; hot roasted peanuts served in newspaper; a very sweet rice and coconut concoction which is cooked in a plantain leaf and shelves and shelves of other colourful sugary delicacies which are on my list to try. Oh - and of course there's ice cream - this one I got from a place called Copelias, which was apparently founded by Fidel Castro - who knew he liked strawberry syrup so much!

Posted by carlala 03:26 Comments (0)

Silent Valley

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We never know what to expect when we get in the car with Usaf. This morning we were going to make a return visit to the beautiful waterfall at TK Colony but when we got there we were greeted by one of the immaculately dressed forestry officers who was going to take us into Silent Valley - an almost immaculate part of rainforest where only those with special permission can go.

As ever we were on the look out for wild elephants and even though we saw the broken branches where they played and the fresh dung from the morning, the nellies remained elusive! But - it was still a fantastic visit. We made our way down to the waterfall again, this time using our freshly cut bamboo rods to wade through the crystal clear water to the other side. Then we sat on the rocks to cool off in the breeze - only after we'd moved on did the warden let us know it was a favourite haunt of the king cobra...hmm.

On our way back down to the car we met four boys from the forest tribe, Chola Naikar, who were carrying large baskets of food to their homes, ten kilometres into the thick forest. The warden explained that they lived in caves and there were only twenty one left of their tribe. They stood there with bare feet, matted hair and expressionless faces, something more from prehistory then booming modern India. I asked if I could take their picture - which they allowed with suspicion - and when I showed them the result, a small mischievous smile crept over their faces. It was a moment that even the wild elephants will find hard to beat!

Posted by carlala 05:31 Comments (0)

Kozhikode

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Kozhikode (or Calicut) is a city on the sea and my first visit to an Indian beach. Less tropical paradise and more mean and murky, I cetainly wasn't reaching for my bikini. One thing I don't think I'll ever get used to in India is the dumping and burning of rubbish - everywhere. On street corners, outside houses, by the school and the beach is no exception.

Having said that the smoke and weather made for some atmospheric photos.

Posted by carlala 05:49 Comments (0)

Where the heart is king

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I was reading my book and one part really struck a chord with me - one character turned to another and exclaimed 'This is India. This is the land of the heart. This is where the heart is king...'. And it's true - being of an age where I think about love a lot - what it is, where it can be found and how it can change everything - India seems to find it so easily. Men hold hands in the street to express their friendship, women are constantly smiling and hugging each other, and the kids...well one of the teachers here said make them love you and then they will want to learn, and I think that's right. That's not to say there aren't any problems or ill feeling toward one another but I think the main difference is that here love seems to be automatic, equal and immediate - 'you are my friend and I love you'.

Hmm maybe I've been living in London too long or maybe the heat is getting to me but this seems a pretty good philosophy.

Posted by carlala 02:07 Comments (0)

Dam999

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We went out last night! I got dolled up and put my glad rags on to head to the local cinema to see the international blockbuster hit 'Dam999'. It was a Kerelan English language film and not withstanding the ham acting and shocking English accent from the American lead (Joshua Frederick Smith anyone?) it was pretty good. Lots of thrills and spills with a love story intertwined....of course! The cinema in Nilambur was pretty basic but all the essentials were there; popcorn, Bright (not Sprite) and surround sound - mozzies were free of charge ;)

Posted by carlala 05:14 Comments (0)

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