Our early morning boat trip on Periyar Lake was outstanding. The picturesque Periyar Lake, within the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is set in the high ranges of the Western Ghats, in God’s Own Country, Kerala, India.
We left our hotel and boarded our 7.30 AM boat. We sat on the upper deck and had a real birds-eye view in the front seats too! There was a great selection of both birds of prey and very colourful and noisy array of small birds. We are not very good at identifying birds, but names that come to mind are Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, Malabar Hornbill, racket-tailed Drongoes, and many more, but it was a wonderful sight and a delightful sound. We also saw wild boar that were plentiful, lots of spotted deer, plus bison, samba deer, antelope, jackal, many black-faced macaque, bonnet macaque, monitor lizards and, last but certainly not least, about eight or nine majestic elephants close to the water’s edge.
Today, we were rewarded, after our disappointing previous day, when we saw very little in the way of animals. Our boat trip only lasted two hours, but it was a very intense time, looking in all directions, and trying not to miss anything.
We returned to our hotel and treated ourselves to an Ayurvedic Massage, that was excellent – we felt that we deserved the treatment after our difficult, 15 Km. trek, the previous day! In the afternoon, we visited a spice plantation and examined various herbs in their state of growth, including Vanilla, which is now the second most expensive spice in the world. We saw saffron, cumin, pepper, ginger, cardamom and, of course, curry leaf, plus many more.
|In the evening, after a buffet style curry dinner, at our jungle retreat hotel, we were entertained by a spectacular display of local traditional dancing, which we thoroughly enjoyed.Tomorrow we leave for what we believe will be one of the highlights of our India trip, two nights on a luxury houseboat on Kerela’s famous backwaters at Kumarakom Lake – this area has been described by the National Geographic as “one of the fifty paradises on earth”. So paradise here we come!|