In January together with Elsy, Julien and Petit Bibi we discovered the beauty of Tamil Nadu State, which is located in the south of India. It was time for some intensive hitchhiking or as we called it: “temple run”
It has been really tiring and exciting at the same time. Talking to the locals, drivers, hosts and walking through remote villages gave us a quite clear idea about the culture and the traditions of the place. We were happy to travel with our good friends and their 6 months old baby.
Petit Bibi is not only cute but also a tough boy. The youngest hitchhiker I know, happy to receive the pinches in the cheek from the passers-by, curious and super smiley!
We camped on the beach (where the watchmen wanted to be bribed for security), visited lots of temples (which frankly speaking still remain mysterious), saw the seas meeting in the South Cape of India and tried to spot wild cats in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.
Once walking through a village I saw a sport shop with a poster of the Polish female national volleyball team and a photoshopped ball of a local brand. I could not believe my eyes! Haha
An other day we hitchhiked just by the side of a kindergarten where curious kids and their teacher invited us over. Pictures of kids are not any unusual anymore, everyone takes them, though there is still something special and magical about them! My energy level after such meeting gains +100 points.
We entered the green, clean and pleasant Kerala and I wish we could travel it more. We stopped by in its capital, Trivandrum, where on the beach we socialized with one fishermen family. They invited us for a wedding! An arranged one: expected 1500 guests. It is very hard to believe how many marriages in India are arranged. In the big cities it is changing, but anywhere else the bride sees her lifetime partner for the first time on their ceremony, or some time earlier once or twice for the approval of family choice, that’s it. We really appreciate our personal freedom now!
In Kerala we also went to the very famous Verkala beach with our host, who drove us 55 km by taxi one way. The beach was located under a big cliff: quite beautiful if not for touristy street over it. It looks a bit like my hometown, Ustka, during the season. Somehow the oasis of white people in India drive us crazy. Well, all in all we are part of them, but in the tourist resorts the human-human relationship is defined in the amount of money you leave for them, nothing else. In Verkala I actually explored the yammi veg kofta dish, so it was not too bad!
As a cherry on the top of our trip with Elsy, Julien and Petit Bibi we visited Johnny from the jungle! We had a small holiday inside our holidays. Johnny is an English man whose family live in the tiger reserve since 5 generations. His beautiful peaceful house helped us to forget about noisy India for a while. Together with Johny we made our own bread, pasta, mayonnaise and went to explore the local jungle. We saw lots of animals including temple elephants, peacocks, monkeys, deers, wild boars and buffaloes. No wild cats though. Maybe next time…
Our friends continued their travel around the world (getting to Germany from Reunion Islands by the longest way! Their “multilingual-baby” blog here http://en.bibiontheroad.net/) and we hitched up to Mysore. There we felt like home, thanks to Mayukh and Proshand, whose house was an explosion of positive energy, good music and an absolutely chill atmosphere. We stayed together with other 8 travelers and had fantastic time together!
In the city we explored the local market (where I dived into unknown worlds of spices, new vegetables and herbs, while Anto was feeling annoyed by too many insistent vendors) and sneaked into the Maharajah’s giant palace for free. The palace itself is lightened by 100000 “eco-friendly” light bulbs. Walking on the streets we saw some unnaturally yellow colored cows. Guess whats that? Turmeric powder, used for the local temple holiday!