After a massively successful safari trek at the Periyar Tiger Reserve, in which we stumbled upon wild bison, elephants, and were told of how the indigent people use bamboo spikes to ascend 70 foot trees to steal honeycombs from gigantic bees’ nests, we enjoyed the entertaining Kalaripayattu, one of the oldest forms of martial arts and originating in Kerala.
I had an arbitrary goal of cycling a continuous 70km (50 miles), but I busted my finger on a pool lounge chair, so Josh had to represent on the bicycle as we made the final descent down the mountains to the backwaters.
Our quads and hamstrings are ginormous (relative to someone who has spent the past 10 years sitting at a computer 8 hours a day). We had our last ride in the flat lands of the backwaters of Kottayam, and were pretty impressive in the speed department (… our speed department) for a good 30km. Bottom left photo in collage below is us with some friendly locals in Munnar who asked to take a photo with us.
After over a week of homestays I called it quits on the cultural experience, and we cancelled our rice boat reservation and headed for the hotel a day early. As far as we can tell, the rice boats are a recent river-polluting invention for tourists, and given the oppressive heat and humidity, it didn’t seem like it would be that fun to sit on the deck, and it didn’t seem that cool to sit in the AC cabin of some slow-moving water vessel that had no cultural heritage.
Josh and our homestay host hiding out under a banana tree in Adimali while the rain storm passes.