Thursday, February 07, 2008

I think the boat attendant thought I was crazy photographing ladies legs, just liked their clothes

I know the picture is not so good but the are real wild elephants! and we got to see them.


Before leaving Kochi we had a lime soda in a café down by the water and were treated to the antics of a pod of dolphins cruising up the river mouth into the incoming tide of the Arabian Sea catching fish for dinner- glorious creatures.
Then we had dinner at the hotel we have settled on for our tour groups- a comfortable place with a lovely roof top restaurant and evening performances of Indian Classical dance.
What a treat! Three performers Mother, Daughter and Grand-daughter making up a very talented family. Grandmother was a mature woman with such an expressive face, in Bharat Natrayan- Indian Classical Dance the ladies use facial expression as part of the performance so there are striking flashing eyes, amidst the dance movement and stylised hand gestures which for the initiated tell a vivid story in themselves.
Daughter, a young woman in her prime was full of grace, and the joy of dance and her daughter, young and yet to grow into her body and full gracefulness is already obviously going to be the flower of her family.

To experience beauty in what ever form is a true gift to the heart, and a blessing of the physical world.

Kerala , has signs all over saying God’s Own Country- it feels that way, and so relaxing a blessed break from the very busy schedule I have been keeping of late.


Yesterday we visited the Vijnana Kala Vedi Cultural Centre – what a great place, nestled in a small village famed for all the elephants at its local temple is a centre of learning. We were visiting to organize details for future tours and I can hardly wait to get back as I will be able to participate as well.
The village is peaceful, a few minutes walk and you are in rice fields and elephants wandering past are a common site. This part of India is a true gardeners delight, every house has mango, banana, jackfruit, guava, cocnut palms, teak, cashew nuts, curry leaf plants, many betal nut palms[ parts of this plant are utilized in the elaborate make-up of Kathakali performances] and all types of exotic flowers- so abundant.

To- day we are in the Cardamon Hills, the weather is cooler and the gardens continue, we drove through rubber, teak, then tea and coffee plantations and now there is also cardamom and pepper thrown into the mix. Today we are off to visit spice plantations so I am sure we will find more.

Last evening we took a boat cruise in the National Park- Periyar Tiger Reserve and saw wild elephants coming down to the waterside to graze and drink- absolutely wow!

In the night I heard many strange noises- local elephants and monkeys – they sometimes like to talk most of the night!
I have a series of pics I took sitting on the boat watching the ladies board- what a stunning array of saris and outfits – a visual feast!

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