It was goodbye to Chennamkary and hello to Kumily, Thekkady in eastern Kerala. Our luggage and ourselves safely crossed the Pamba river in the canoe ferry from outside Green Palm Homes to the opposite bank where we met with our driver who would take us all the way to Monsoon Retreats in Kumily. A drive of 152km which took 4 hours through towns and villages and up and over hills and mountains, round hair pin bends, along roads that fell away to steep falls, and all undertaken with typical Indian driving technique. There was much use of the car horn and clearly no problems overtaking on blind corners or hills…… The alternative would have been to take a bus, a much cheaper option, but would have taken even longer to get here.
Monsoon Retreats is an incredible place. There are 5 treehouse type cottages raised 10 feet off the ground on stilts with the most precarious of ladder type steps for access. The cottages are all located in a cardamom plantation where the owner, Subish, is trying to blend agriculture with ecotourism. It looks and feels like we are in the middle of the jungle with sounds of crickets and many varieties of noisy birds.
We are very close to the Kerala – Tamil Nadu border and just up the road from Elephant Junction, the Green Park Spices plantation, and the Periyar National Park. Apart from the scenery, the other big difference is the drop in temperature. It was 32c in Chennamkary this morning and only 24c and drizzly here this afternoon. The forecast for the rest of the weekend is rain and thunderstorms – more like an English summer!
We took a tuk-tuk into Kumily mid afternoon as Mr L was in need of lunch and we needed to go and book our tickets for bamboo rafting and trekking in the Periyar National Park. We couldn’t get a full day booked so have had to book the early start half day on Sunday as that is all that is still available.
We had a wander around Kumily, saw God’s very own spice shop……..
……..and found a local coffee shop for coffee and food for Mr L, and then eventually got a tuk-tuk home.
Dinner can be booked here at Monsoon Retreats for a small extra charge and all food is vegetarian and cooked by Mama, Subish’s mother. We joined another couple who are also staying here for dinner. The food was good but not as good as Palm Green Homes. Good to compare notes of India travels with the Canadian-English couple who are in the ‘tree house cottage’ next to us.