100% gourmet homestay…and 1 Dalmation…

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We cant believe our luck! Our homestay is a mix of old and new arcitecture …cooling stone and beautifully carved wood and its massive and right in the middle of a coffee plantation…this looks relaxing i think to myself…
Small groups of us stay with different families for two nights in Wayanad in Kerala.
Around this area there is opportunity to spot wildlife, visit tea and coffee plantations and other natural places of beauty… So we all decide to go to the massive waterfall…that sounds nice I thought…a relaxing afternoon with a packed lunch by a waterfall…Errr nope! It was like bloody torture for me!
Back at the homestay was much more my scene…relaxing with a cup of chai and a piece of homemade cake and an organic banana grown in their garden…

The food we experienced at the homestay was amazing! All fresh, home cooked Keralan food. The things they can do with vegetables,herbs and spices are just delicious! India really is a vegetarians dream destination i think…
And I try everything…even the chicken and the lamb and it’s all gorgeous. The breakfasts were like a feast too…home grown banana fried in coconut oil, big fluffy pancakes, omelettes with just a touch of spice, freshly prepared pineapple juice…all just delicious.

The owner of the house ‘ Chauda’ is lovely. His wife was not there as their daughter had just had a baby two weeks ago and was staying with her, so he had some helpers. One of which lived across the road and we met his family too. Although I wasn’t sure who was who as so many people live together in India. Normally you will find 3 or 4 generations under one roof. I got some pictures of this lovely family and as I leave start thinking ‘ good night John boy’… Chauda tells us that Kerala is the most populated state in India. I didn’t appreciate that at the time but as we travel across Kerala you can start to see it.

There are lots of animals and insects I get sight of here… My friends the mosquitos…lots of Gekos- different types, ants marching in line everywhere, birds of prey…but most unusual to me was the owner had a Dalmatian. A temperamental Dalmatian who loved to play with the hose pipe! It’s not the sort of dog you usually see in India, actually it’s the first dog I’ve seen with a collar on as there are so many strays here.

We are all a little sad to leave…especially as we have a really long drive day ahead of us but we manage to squeeze in one more breakfast…fit for a queen!

I was snoozing on the truck ( I was tired from lack of sleep but it was mostly because I ate far too much at breakfast!) when we started to hear really loud music and cheering. We were in the middle of nowhere and came across a little town holding a big festival!

There were dancers in groups, each group wearing identical outfits and dancing and singing. One group was holding these big bright canopies over their heads and moving quite fast – you could see the sweat dripping off them…it was midday and really hot…I was just in awe!
One group were playing drums and big symbols and basically we nearly brought proceedings to a hault when we drove up…and when we pulled off the road we could then see the highlight of this procession…3 gigantic, beautifully painted elephants. Each with 3 men sitting on top, one holding one of those beautiful parasols up high. The Elephants had on big gold ornaments over their heads and paint on the face and trunk too…just stunning…we just felt so lucky to see something like this. All the families and children jumping and dancing in the street…such a great atmosphere…

This is what I love about India…you never know what you might stumble upon…expecting the unexpected…still..

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