(a pronunciation quiz is pending!)
13.02.2009 - 14.02.2009 34 °C
Once back in the Kerala lowlands, we took the risk of stopping where The Lonely Planet hasn’t been! Perumbavoor was a rather non-descript town… but our hotel was clean and that’s always a big pleasure to me! (My kids think I’m ridiculously obsessed, but I think I’m pretty flexible and tolerant… I’ve only been abhorrently grossed out once, and slightly disgusted once or twice. Not that I mean to imply that everywhere is dirty, it’s just that it can be hard to face yet another bathroom where the shower is squished between the sink and toilet and everything gets wet in the process… and then ½ an hour later when you go to use the sink, the floor gets dirty cause the mat outside it isn’t quite clean and the floor is wet, or if you decide to use the toilet the seat is wet…. You know those kind of annoyances? I really try not to complain. Compared to all sorts of folks, I’m lucky to have that as a problem!)
But, back to my story of Perumbavoor: we decided to stop here because of a film maker we met in Munnar who showed us an interesting movie about an elephant shipped from Kerala to Austria via Portugal in the 1500’s. Much of the Kerala footage was taken at an animal rescue centre near Perumbavoor where rescued or born-in-captivity elephants are trained to work in the forests or in temples.
On his advice, we headed to the sanctuary early in the morning and had a great time watching the elephants being bathed by their mahouts. The 5 and 6 year olds reminded me a little of 5 and 6 year old kids, not always wanting to do as they were told! The mahouts were very patient and kind. I kind of wished I could have had a nice coconut fibre scrub down too, and a good old roll in the river (if only it wasn’t full of elephant pooh and other delights)!
Later that day, we made our way to Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala. The good thing here was that shortly after arriving we found another Indian Coffee House. We saw the temple and a grand old church but didn’t linger long. The real coast was calling, and the kids have seen enough Kathakali Dance (and other culture) to last them a lifetime (though I imagine someday they may appreciate it a little more than they did in Trivandrum!)