Another trip we took was a visit to the tea plantation and spice plantations. On our way up to the tea plantations we stopped to see the rubber tree fields and watch the local worker in extracting the rubber from the trees. In the first photo you can see him cutting the tree, and the trickle of rubber coming from the tree. Our next stop was Ruby’s spice plantation, here we stopped to see all kind of spice that were grown in these parts. All spice, ginger, african ginger, nutmeg,turmeric(used as an antiseptic to mosquito bites), Chillies, lime, cocoa, cloves, pepper and coffee to name a few. we were lucky enough to be served lunch and meet the 84 year old Ruby, who was a complete darling, an amazingly interesting and insightful lady and will surely touch your heart with her passion and knowledge for life. Who also work with Mother Terassa. This was very profound for me as my own Nan passed away a few days before at the grand old age of 86. I will so miss her, she was the most inspiring person I had in my life, especially after losing my own mum 11 years ago.
The second photo is the river on the way up to the tea plantation. The views are amazing and they will take your breath away. To get to the plantation you will zig zag your way up through the mountain passing through the rain forest and if you’re lucky you might see the wild monkeys, tigers, elephants. Once up at the top of the mountain you will see the tea plantation factory. Here there is a restaurant where you can sample the local brew. This is one of the rare places where they roll the tea leaves instead of crushing them, which makes for a stronger tasting tea.
Gary and I recently set off on our travels once again this time our first destination is Kerala India. For our two week stay we are at “The Leela at Kovalam”. This is my first visit to India, on our arrival I was very keen to finally see this country for the first time.
I have heard so much about the place, many will say to you that its one of those places you will either love or hate, there’s a lot of poverty in here, but of course it all depends on what part of India you travel to. Kerala is on the west coast ot India below Goa. As our plane started to descend I could see the forest below, and how beautiful it looked too. We flew into Trivandrum airport, which is nothing like our airports of London with its masses of tarmac and runway, and pollution, so its extremely refreshing to get away from the humdrum and the stresses of the UK.
On leaving the plane i was immediately hit by the heat, which took me a few days to aclimatize. Without a doubt there is a little culture shock to come to terms with, the worst being the ladies toilet, which is just a hole in the ground and somewhere to put your feet! After collecting our luggage we took the bus to our hotel, on our 30 minute ride it give me a real insight to some of the poverty here and the adverse style of life to our own, there is so much that we take for granted in the UK. The traffic here is mad it looks like every man for himself, with lots of horn blowing which is an indication that you’re about to be overtaken, it’s motorbikes galore. Despite all this, the people of India are the real gems, these guys really are happy, smiley and always polite and friendly. The women are always dressed in bright beautiful clothes, there’s so much colour and art here, a real treat for any artist. The country is abundant in wild life and people and I must not for get the smell of India, it’s beautiful all that incense and curry.
For a relaxing couple of days we took a trip out on the house boat, sailing around the backwaters, here you will see how the other half live. You get a real glance at the rice paddies and the families who work there. This is a peaceful way of life and very relaxing. We were lucky to have a lovely crew that helped with a few local phases. they prepared all our meals over the two days, allowing to sample the local cuisine, be warned you will not be starved, and you are kept supplied with local beer too. The views are tranquil and beautiful. One of the down points of the trip were the mosquitos so be warned make sure you have plenty of insect replant and sleep under the mosquito nets…
What a beautiful hotel all 5 stars of it… On arrival I was treated like a princess, truly welcoming. Our room was stunning along with the views. The room was simply beautiful with high attention to detail. The Hotel grounds were amazing too, and I highly recommend the restaurant on the beach. I can’t express enough that the views are amazing. We travelled with Thomas Cook and our guide Vicki was lovely, very helpful with lots of hints and tips about the local culture, she totally took care of us. The Leela has everything wonderful staff who are there helping you have the most pleasant stay. The leela has a gym, infinity swimming pool, private beach, and beautiful grounds to stroll up on.