08.02.2014 - 08.02.2014
A little story from last night's dinner. The red onion salad consisted of red onion and mayonnaise and something else that I couldn't recognize. I asked Paula the tour guide and she didn't know. She asked Eugine and he didn't know. Eugine asked the head waiter and he didn't know. The head waiter asked the chef and he didn't know. The head waiter then removed the plate and took it back to the kitchen and finally came back with the answer. It was chicken sausage!
After breakfast, we hopped on the bus and went to the Meenakshi Temple. It is a marvellous sight in the daylight. A few of us went back into the temple while some, Phil included, stayed outside. He didn't want to walk around in his socks again so he minded all the cameras as we weren't allowed to take them in again. We had the same guide as last night and she told us a lot more stories today and we went to a lot more areas in the temple.
I gave an elephant 50 rupees in his trunk, he gave it to his keeper and then the elephant was supposed to touch me on the forehead as a blessing. He actually whacked me on the forehead with his trunk. It was a bit rough!
My Tamil name for 4 October is Sharti and it means "full of energy".
Phil walked around the entire perimeter and took photos from all angles. We all met up again at 11.30am and went up on to a shop's roof and took photos of the temple. Back to the hotel to put our bags out, then in for lunch, then on the bus for the three hour drive to Periyar Tiger Reserve in the state of Kerala.
Dirty Temple feet!
Driving through the countryside from Tamil Nadu to Kerala was lovely. The country side changed and we saw rice, bananas, grapes, palm trees and sugar cane growing. It is very green and fertile.
At one stage we averted having a very bad accident. Another bus, full of Indians came out on our left hand side and our driver slammed on the brakes and missed him by inches! We were all pretty shaken up and poor Eugine was thrown into the door. He said he was okay, but I think he will be bruised and battered tomorrow. After that very close call, we stopped for a toilet break and a cup of chai at a roadside stall.
We entered Kerala at a town called Kumily. We are in a communist state and it shows. It is clean and tidy and looks quite prosperous.
Our accommodation is very nice. We all have our own separate bungalows.
We went to a dance show before dinner and then had a nice buffet dinner on the verandah. It is quite cool here, 15 to 25 degrees.
After dinner we sat in the bar and hooked into the internet there. There was a gnawing noise and I thought it was Phil's foot on the chair, but the bar staff told us that there was a rat in the wood somewhere. Well, whatever it was, it was having a good time.
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