© 2012 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_india_kumily_25

India – Kerala – Kumily – 10th-12th April

We enjoyed our time in Varkala however it was now the time to sadly leave the beaches and cooling ocean behind and head inland to the small town of Kumily where the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is located, home to wild elephants and tigers.

A 2.5hr busy train ride departing Varkala at 7am to Kottayam was quickly followed by a speedy 3hr bus journey to Kumily, which should normally have taken 4hrs but the bus driver had obviously been to bus racing school. Our home-stay of choice was Claus Garden at 1400rs/per night, run by Claus of German descent and his Indian wife, who both welcomed us on arrival to their lovely house. Large open rooms with wooden fittings, solar hot water, wi-fi, communal area, kitchen that we could use, breakfast if you wanted it and a lovely roof top terrace with the occasional black monkey.

We both loved the setting for our next two days and quickly increased our time here by another night. A cheap lunch was served up at the Annapurna vegetarian restaurant located on the main road running through Kumily. We booked onto a “Nature Walk” tour in the wildlife sanctuary at the Ecotourism office costing 800rs for up to 4 people. Once the afternoon heat and sun had receded somewhat we headed for the Miracle Mile road which leads surprisingly to Miracle Point! The views from the top are worth the hike which can be steep in places and we walked back towards the town passing little family homes, children waving and dogs barking angrily at us.

Breakfast consisted of pancakes, fruits, really tasty homemade jam, tea and coffee all for 180rs each. We had a relaxed morning exploring the garden of Claus Garden and working on editing photos and writing for the blog. Before we knew it we were at Chrissies for a lunch of Italian pasta variety. The food was good, especially a great cardamon shake, but the dining environment was a little lackluster.

If you are in a mountain region like this one then you really should visit a spice/tea plantation. A short rickshaw ride (50rs) to Abraham’s Spice Garden, which is noted in the Lonely Planet and featured in Micheal Palin’s Around the World in 80 gardens, was also highly recommended by Claus. We toured the lush garden with Mr Abraham himself for 1 hour which included tasting herbs, leaves, bananas and fresh papaya straight from the tree. The tour was very good costing 100rs each and we would highly recommend it, over the more commercial plantations in the area. We jumped on a local bus back to Kumily and the home-stay for more blogging, reading, napping, yoga and a body circuit  – not all at once and not all for both of us! Evening meal was eaten at Sree Krishna, a South Indian Thali filled us to the brim.

Up early and in a rickshaw for 6.15am, we would have to wait for breakfast until we returned from our guided “Nature Walk” in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary where we would hope to see some lush natural landscapes and wild elephants. The tour began 20 minutes after the 7am scheduled time slot and our guide was of the mute variety. No introduction, just some form filling waiving our rights away, he mumbled inaudibly whist we followed him through grasses and forest. We came within 20m of an elephants bum sticking out of some bushes and we retreated to observe from afar. We know and understand that elephants are very dangerous, not really the harmless gentle type, but we spent most of the 3 hours heading in the opposite direction from any of the elephants that we spotted, even at 100m+ away!

With temperatures rising and frustration setting in after passing the same few trees several times we arrived back at the beginning and said goodbye to our friendly if not very informative guide. Back at Claus Garden breakfast was a grand affair which included home-made brown bread, north Indian soft cheese from a can (think mozzarella), tomatoes, home-made jam and peanut sauce, fruits, tea and coffee, all of which were quite spectacular.

During the afternoon we explored more of Kumily on foot and then spent the afternoon and evening relaxing in the home-stay. The following morning was our departure day from Kumily to journey onwards towards Munnar, a 4-5hr journey on a private local bus leaving at 9.45am.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0, 18mm f4, 90mm Tele-Elmarit f2.8 processed in Lightroom 3)

Related posts that may be of interest to you:

  1. India – Kerala – Munnar – 13th-14th April Before we left Kumily we couldn’t resist another fabulous Claus breakfast, the same as the day before , perhaps we’d been subconsciously craving this kind...
  2. India – Kerala – Varkala – 4th-9th April Varkala was to be our place of rest, a holiday within our travels and we wanted to have a little base here for a while...
  3. India – Kerala – Fort Kochi – 1st-3rd April Our train to Ernakalum left at 10am (ish) from Kannur and so after another wonderful breakfast we sadly said our goodbyes to the friendly hosts...
  4. India – Kerala – Thattakad Bird Sanctuary – 15th-16th April After our Indian breakfast in Munnar we got a 9am bus heading towards Thattekkad Bird Sanctury, we had to get 2 buses in the end...

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>