21st March 2014
The first thing I was instructed to do when I told my folks I was off to Kerala, was to buy as many spices as I could possibly carry back. Kerala is known for their spices but I find it a little ridiculous to lug back a bunch of stuff that is easily available down the road! Oh well, I’m happy to indulge and bring them back for everyone. Though these are readily available all over the state, the place famous for its spice plantations is Thekkady. It’s beautiful and I’m lucky enough to stay in a town called Kumily which I’m told is the real deal for spices.
My hotel is an adorable eco friendly resort called Spice Village with its thatched roofs and wooden cottages with monkeys and local guinea fowl running about all over the place. As much as I love luxury and fancy hotels, places like this with some character are always the kind of hotels I would prefer to stay in. I’ve noticed most hotels in Kerala go out of their way to endorse eco- friendly tourism. There is enough information in every room on saving water and electricity which I think it’s a great initiative because most people don’t realize how much they waste.
I’ve been to Thekkady before as well as Perriyar and the lake and tiger reserve but I’d forgotten just how pretty all of it is. A trip to the spice plantations was interesting but more than the spices I was just enjoying the walk through. Anyone who knows me, knows hiking and trekking are not part of my regular vocabulary so I find I surprise myself by enjoying walking about but it’s honestly too gorgeous not to enjoy. I’m with a group of trigger friendly people so, of course, the mandatory selfies in the plantations were taken along with the bazzillion pictures of all the spices, but it’s fun. If you enjoy cooking then this is a rather informative walk. I enjoyed myself but went a little nuts when it actually came down to buying the spices.
I got a list from home, right down to the exact spice and the precise quantity. I feel like I might have bought out the store and I know I’ve bought a lot when they tell me the price is a certain amount ” but for you I make it so much” I feel very special whenever I’m getting a discount of any kind even though I know it’s such a con! I find myself running out of laundry and too lazy to bother so I took the easy way out and bought myself some funky pants. What was supposed to be a quick pop into a shop and buy myself ONE pair of pants quickly turned into taking some of the girls there and bargaining for them so they didn’t get jipped. Blogger, writer, foodies – local bargain/ haggling queen, all in one this multi talented tiny taster 😉
Tiger tiger burning bright, in the forest of thy night… The sign board says Perriyar Tiger Reserve but alas! not a single tiger in sight 🙁 The adventurous lot that decided to hike in the forrest at 6am ( shudder!) were incredibly lucky to spot one darting away in the distance but no such luck for the rest of us who enjoy our sleep. Plenty of adorable elephants, monkeys, sambhar deer, bison and birds who’s names I will never remember. I enjoy forrests and parks and this one is experienced by boat. Word of advice – pick the shaddier side, I got half my face tanned and it was NOT fun! The is a hotel called Lake Palace which is situated in the middle of the lake and was once the Maharaja’s palace when he decided to visit and if you’re manage to get there you can get a stunning view of the lake and forrest. We were lucky some of the animals decided to take a dip at the time and add to the majestic view.
Thekkady is beautiful and as I can feel the distinct drop in temperature. As we travel further, I realize it’s about to get a lot cooler. Next top – the hills are alive with never ending tea plantations!! Munnar here I come !!