Kerala - Day Trip!

The driver for the tour I booked came to pick me up early on Saturday, at 7 in the morning. Because this is India, so you can have your own driver all to yourself for an entire day and it's affordable!

First he drove me to a big tower. On the inside, when walking up, one could learn the story of the saint Sankara through pictures and short texts about his life.

Next was a stop by an elephant training site. We were just in time to watch the elephants being scrubbed in the river.

It's just as well that the humans should work for the animals because otherwise they didn't treat them so well. They were all in chains, and a young elephant was held in a small space, separated from its mother, just so that tourists could have a better look at it.

A longer drive took us up to the Athirapilly waterfalls. Now this was really worth the trip! From the entrance it was a hike through the woods and down the hill. This is only for people who are in good shape and are wearing the right shoes - or just go barefoot as some Indians preferred to do.

The waterfalls, although impressive, were by far not as interesting as how to get into photo distance to them. There are a lot of big rocks lying around which had probably once fallen down from the cliff.
You had to use your best mountain goat skills to climb over them! In many other countries they would have been moved and the area secured. But there only were two guards who made sure that nobody would try to go into the water.

After climbing back up the steep hill in the heat, my head was ready to explode... But there's more to see!
On top of the waterfall there's a wide, shallow river with smaller rocks.

As usual most visitors were Indians, and they enjoyed their bath in the river. They were mostly just sitting and hopping around - you don't swim much with your clothes on - and honestly I think most of them can't swim anyway...
The "wet sari scene" is not an invention of the Bollywood film industry, it's just normal daily life!

I also had to pose for photos with groups of young men and women a dozen times. Soon I will ask to be paid for it!

From there we drove back to Cherai which nearly took 2 hours, and I decided to sleep in the car for a while.

After seeing so many people in the water I felt the need to do the same. So instead of just watching the sunset at the beach, I went into the ocean and refined my body surfing technique and timing.
More sand in my hair....

That night the hotel's kitchen compensated my previous disapointment with an excellent fish curry and other tasty food. So I my hand into it with pleasure.