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India south Kerala

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

KUMILY – THEKKADY – NP PERIYAR

5.3. - 7.3. 2017, travel book part VI.

 

Why to go to Kumily

Kumily is considered a gate into famous national park Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a home to wild buffalos, elephants and few tigers.

 

How to get to Kumily

I arrived to Kumily [state Kerala] on a bus from Munnar. It was supposed to depart at 11:30, however we didn’t get picked up till 12:20 [110 km, 4,5 hours, 95 INR]. This bus also didn't have glass windows, so I felt like I'm on a tour, I just had to be careful and try not to get hit by a branch from outside. It started to rain again in the afternoon and glassless windows were replaced by them metal blinds. I felt like I'm a canned fish. We arrived to Kumily at 16:50 with a loud screeching sound of one of the buses wheels.

 

Acommodation tip

I was staying in Periyar Inn [1500 INR, via booking.com] and it was the best accommodation I had on this journey.

 

My experience in Kumily

Right after I got off the bus I was spotted by local rep who started to shower me with questions. I snapped that I don't need his help, that all I need is to book a trip in Ecotourism Centre and that I can find that on my own. However, I couldn’t shake him off, so in the end he gave me a lift not only there but also to Santhigiri Ayurveda hospital, where I arranged an appointment for next day. He probably got something out of it from them, but I only paid what I officially should have.

In the evening I walked all around the town, went for dinner and returned back to the hotel.

Next day I was ready at half past nine at the entrance to the park [450 INR], waiting for a prearranged 'bamboo rafting' trip [1500 INR]. I expected it to be a bit old-school, but there was no other trip available that day. At first, they gave us a list of all the forbidden things and all the things that could get us to jail for at least three years and then we went to the forest. On our way, we met buffalos and huge squirrels that were hiding in the tops of trees. After two hours we got to a lake where we took out our plastic bags with lunch and started to eat samba sauce and rice with our hands.

India Kumily NP Periyar

Kumily NP Periyar

After lunch we got on rafts and guides were sailing with us through the dead trees that were sticking out of water. When we got off the rafts on the other side of river, we walked along the bank and enjoyed elephant footprints and their excrements. Even though there is supposed to be over two thousand elephants and almost forty tigers in the park, we didn't see any other live or dead animal on our way. Golden safari in Sri Lanka. I asked the tour guide who carried a big gun on his shoulder, if he's ever seen a tiger. He proudly answered yes – two times. After a minute he added that it was twice in ten years...

India NP Periyar

Bamboo rafting

After we finished rafting, the sky suddenly turned from blue to black, there was a flash of light, roar of thunder and it started to pour. It was so quick that I almost didn't have time to put my raincoat on. Even though, after two hours walking in the forest, we were all completely soaked, including me in my raincoat.

I had prearranged massage at half past three in Santhigiri Ayurveda. After two unfortunate massages earlier on my trip, I decided to try a proper renowned company. And it got interesting again. I was being massaged by an Indian man and I was lying on hospital bed that looked like it was taken from a dissecting room. There was oil dripping on my forehead, making me look like I had a third eye, there was a hot mallet involved and, in the end, I was closed in a wooden box full of herbal steam. Right, I'd just like to make a note that massages should be only performed by women.

In the evening, I had to take a picture of the main street in Kumily, because I've never seen such a quiet street in India ever before, complete silence. Unearthly silence was suddenly explained, as I learned that the whole town is on strike and everything is closed.

India Kumily

Exceptional view in India

The restaurant that I went to last night was also closed, which was a shame as I had the greatest panner masala there. I had to be grateful for a small family restaurant, which didn't even have menus. Landlady cooked a very simple meal for me for 80 rupees and I admit I had to go somewhere else after to fill my stomach. In the second restaurant I got so much food I couldn't even finish it. I saw the waiter take my unfinished food and pass it to another customer who sat in a dark corner. I was just hoping that I was the first one who got the plate...

 

VISITED COUNTRIES

zeme 100

37

KM ON THE ROADS

km 100

48 560

DAYS ON THE ROADS

dny 100

397