We have had the most amazing weekend in the district of Wayanad.
We took the ferry, then train from Fort Kochi straight after J's teaching on Thursday afternoon to Callicut. Where we spent the night before getting a bus to Kalpetta in the Centre of Wayanad.
After arriving at the Misty Hills Resort and Hotel, we spent the afternoon at Pookode lake. Where we went on a pedalo and had a walk. The monkeys tried to steel our ice cream until a dog saved us by chasing them away!
We organised a driver/taxi for the next day and left at 7am (was supposed to be 6 - but turned out that the hotel never booked a car so we had to wait for one...). We went first to Chembra Peak. Where tourists had two options - walk to the viewer point or trek to a lake 2 km away. The second option was of 'medium' difficulty and would talk 3-4 hours according to the Indians.
We chose this option... It was definitely worth it! But I would say its the hardest hour of MOUNTAIN CLIMBING I've ever done (J would agree...).. We climbed in a straight line to the top for 2km with a guide who was very fast... We thought we were slow too, but managed to do the while walk in 2 and a half hours (much faster than the Indians!).
We then got the car to the Edakkal caves which had writing on the walls from 6000 BC. This was also a steep climb, which had an amazing view from the top too.
However J and I became a tourist attraction ourselves - after one person asked for a selfie, they all wanted one. And a family asked for a group photo with us... All very strange. But I think Jonathan has got used to it by now!
After this we went to the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. Where we were taken in a jeep on a one hour drive through forest. We saw lots of big squirrels with bright orange tail, monkeys, a peacock, some deer. And on the way back down the road managed to see three elephants eating in the distance!
That was the end of a very long amazing day!
On Sunday J organised a three activity kind of day with Muddy Boots Vacations. So we started the morning with a hike to a waterfall through tea plantations and forest. Where we had our first experience of leeches (the leech socks saved us I think!). Then a cycle to a Tea Factory - it was amazing to see the whole process from the tractors dropping off the leaves (and earlier seeing the ladies picking the leaves), to the different kinds and grains being separated and bagged.
My favourite part was the kayaking, our last activity. We were chucked in a two man kayak and told that the rope across the river meant 1km and the bridge was 2km away (the bridge was the furthest we could go). After a calm and easy down river paddle, past women cleaning there clothes... It was time to go back up river, which was very hard but entertaining! The rapids proved to be difficult and having an audience at certain points was even more entertaining!
We are now just about to pack up and head back to Fort Kochi (2 hour bus and 4 hour train), so J can finish his last 4 days of teaching. And I will sleep, go shopping and enjoy India!
He will also have a leaving meal along with a few other volunteers on Wednesday night I think and a quiz on Thursday!
Then on Saturday we will be off to the back waters in the South and I'm not sure where from there!
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