Today I woke naturally at about six thirty to the early morning light shining through a gap in the curtains. Steven was still snoozing next to me so I laid there and checked my mail and things. Once we were both up we proceeded to pack up our belongings up again into our rucksacks ready for the next step of our journey. We headed downstairs at about eight ish and sat in reception. Steven wanted to download the Gandhi movie... Which I think will take about four days lol... While we were sitting in reception there was a commotion outside, upon our investigation there was a large Indian elephant at the from of the hotel.
The elephant was a temple elephant and beautifully decorated... Me and Cliodna grabbed our cameras and headed outside to take photos. We got a couple of nervous ones standing next to the elephant and then he reached up with his trunk to touch us on the head... This is the elephant giving his blessing. I ran inside and grabbed Steven so he could see him... It was so amazing! We were so close and able to touch him and Cliodna fed him a banana, which didn't even touch the sides. I then went back to wash the saliva out of my hair and found elephant dirt on my tee shirt... Couldn't believe it! I had jus washed pomegranate juice out of it and spent the past two days drying it off in the bathroom!!
The time then came to head to Thekkady so we waited for the bus to arrive... Then Ravi said to us that the bus was waiting at the rail station as the traffic was so bad. We then loaded a auto rickshaw with all the bags and we climbed in the remaining auto rickshaws and headed to the station. We made it in one piece... As did the luggage and climbed aboard the bus.
Shorty after hitting the road the bus started acting a bit funny and the air con smelt of diesel?! Ravi then took to the microphone to inform us that "there was a problem with the bus... It was leaking diesel". We thought this would result in a new bus or awaiting a mechanic but in pure Indian fashion he simply said... "We are just stopping here to buy some tape to tape it". I found this very amassing and typically Indian. After the patch up we hit the road and headed for Thekkady.
We arrived in Thekkady at noon... We are staying at the 'Michaels Inn hotel' and it looked lovely... Thekkady is right up in the hills and a lovely little town... It smells of the many spices that are grown here and is a lush green from all the tea trees that are here in a abundance. The hotel itself looked very inviting and was surrounded by beautifully scented flowers. we jumped off the bus and checked in... we then had free time for about an hour so Steven grabbed some lunch... The yummiest dal in India. I wasn't particularly hungry so settled for a fresh lime soda and a banana. After lunch we headed out to the tea factory to see how our beloved favourite drink is made. It's quite fascinating to see and we really enjoyed it... We given got to try the different varieties.
After the factory we headed to a local spice plantation and got to explore the millions of spices that are grown in India... We saw black pepper, cardamom, hot chillies, bell chillies, coco beans, coconuts, papaya, cloves, ginger, honey, basil, cinnamon, and loads of other things... Was the tastiest garden I have ever been in and it was quite extraordinary the amount of variety. Me and Steven tried the hottest little chillies and after that Steven couldn't stop sweating haha..
After this we headed back an enjoyed a cup of chai in the sun room before heading off to the kalari payattu which is an Indian form of martial arts and was very exciting. The guys throw swords around and jump through fire hoops and everything... All the girls had a little crush by the end... Particularly Vanessa, we went to have pictures taken with the guys after and she couldn't stop blushing. Steven also had some fighting shots done which were pretty cool... Then we got the warrior mark of honour on our foreheads and left feeling very macho.
After the show we headed to a local restaurant for dinner... For some reason it was included in the tour which to this moment none of us know why... We hade a devious spread of prawn curry, rice, vegetable, aubergine curry and naan bread... They even provided beer (which was extra) but as they weren't allowed t sell alcohol they put it into tea pots and we drank from tea cups haha... Was random and the funniest tea I have ever tasted. Me and Vanessa got massively freaked out when someone pointed behind us a mahoosive spider... Which then disappeared ...we couldn't settle as we were sitting in the dark with just candle light so we freaked!! Then the waiter stood on him!! Didn't help us out though as we looked under every inch of the table with a torch. The meal was delicious though and we enjoyed it very much. We then headed back to the hotel to hang out before bed.