Mar 30, 2012

Arranged Marriage in Thattekad

Palm-size spider was among the first to greet us at Hornbill Camp overlooking the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary with over 275 bird species and attracting birders from all over the world

Well appointed cottage tents set amidst the forest and Periyar river

Each luxury tent has a power supply available for lights and fans as well as charging facilities for laptops and mobiles and is equipped with its own private bathroom. When you are inside, you can't believe it's a tent

Rather impressive camp's gazebo is home for your meals and evening discussions. One could totally write a book here (we heard that few already did)

No wonder property made it to The New York Times columns

We were lucky enough to meet the owner of the place and have a guided tour in the plantations that surround the camp

There's a chance tires on your car are made from the rubber of this tree

Liquid from rubber trees is evenly distributed

And is ready for dehydration in a manual press

Fancy some chocolate? Cocoa plants

Cashew nuts are seeds from a fruit

And some vanilla for your ice-cream

A view from the camp

And some flowers for our moms :)

Fish massage is also available in Periyar river's waters 

Most people come to the camp to watch birds. Meet Kingfisher

And another bird (can't remember the name)

Not a bird, but still very beautiful

That's a very rare bird, first time in the area

School-girls from a nearby town on a sunny day

And a multitasking farmer

Arranged marriage is still a big thing in India. Classifieds, published mainly by parents, feature requirements for "brides and grooms wanted"

Really!? What about cricket?

Won an election? Let's go and celebrate with a parade! Call these guys if you're in need of a traffic jam

Mar 28, 2012

How We Almost Froze To Death in Munnar

We were totally unprepared for mountainous Munnar. Temperature would climb up to +35 C during the day and it took some improvisation to get prepared for early morning's +10 C on our quest for one of the best sunrises in India - Munnar. Check out Val's gloves a.k.a. Helen's socks

High five for a granny look

Sit and enjoy next couple of pictures, we risked our lives to make them ;)

Transparent mountain, really?!

Warming up at a local hotel (mysteriously most local eateries have "Hotel" sign), there's rice inside those tubes

Rice pancakes and chai, please

This field could well be the source of your morning tea

Or maybe these hills

If not previous, then 95% chance it's these fields

Tea pickers are predominantly female

Driving here is a lot of fun, especially overtaking

Even on turns like this we could keep our steady 30 km/h

It's hard to keep driving and not look around

Munnar meets guests arriving from Thekkady with a colorful scenery

And a lot of friendliness

These guys are not necessarily gay (common scene in India)

Communist ideology still remains strong in the politics of Kerala

Sunset remains magnificent nonetheless