Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Thursday, June 01, 2017


We slept well enough last night on our houseboat even when the A/C turned itself off and the cabin was sticky warm. It reminded me of when I was younger and slept at night without any A/C at all. My covers came flying off and I would have even opened the window but, at 5 AM traffic on the river resumed. Some boats had motors without mufflers. The closed window helped a little to subdue the sounds.

We had a leisurely breakfast of omelet, fruits, toast and coffee on board the houseboat before we disembarked. Getting off was a bit perilous. The gang plank is narrow, the luggage bulky but we managed OK. Not so from the sound coming from the neighbors boat. A large suitcase fell into the water; I just hope it was water proof. The Crew managed to rescue it and put it on the shore where it stood dripping wet for the owner to retrieve. I am so glad this was not my suitcase.

Lobby Of the Aveda Hotel Has a Large Pond With Coi
We had time this morning; it was too hot to move fast anyway. Our bus stopped one more time for a shopping spree and Carol found a white cotton top, Indian style. But this was also the point when another woman in the group realized she left her money-belt on the boat. It took some coordination but the money-belt was found and returned to her later in the day, in the hotel. The money belt was found among the bathroom towels, on the boat.

Restaurant Area Overlooks a Beautiful Pool
Our hotel was near the bird sanctuary of Kumarakom. Our hotel was a very difficult place for our bus to get into. Indian bus drivers are good, no better than good, VERY good. Our driver was one of the best, yet he had a very difficult time driving on those narrow lanes. His helper had to get out many times to move mopeds, motorcycles or even guide him around corners in the road. Even the hotel parking lot offered problems. It was a very tight fit. The driver only had a  few inches on either side, sometimes fractions of that. Bravo driver!

The hotel in Kumarakom was an Indian hotel and while very nice, it lacks the wants of an international traveler. The dining area was in the open air, wonderful and romantic but also hot, humid and came with mosquitoes. We had room service for lunch.

We called the front desk 4 times and they tried 4 times to fix the A/C until finally they fixed it.
Phew, in the tropics without A/C?  It shows you now spoiled I have become.

At 3.30 in the afternoon, after the big heat of the day, we all took a boat ride on Lake Vembanad. The whole area in and around this large lake is a designated bird sanctuary. We had a guide who knew his thing, and Carol and, it seemed everybody else, had a good time. It is just me and birds. Carol tells me she saw kingfishers, egrets, purple herons, cormorants, etc. but with me it all falls on deaf ears. At one point everybody went for a walk in this heat to listen to the  different ‘chirps’ or “ tweets” while I sat under the canopy of the boat, just minding my own business in the shade. I like birds OK, but I leave them be. I know they are great creatures, they eat bugs, worms, mosquitoes, etc. and that is good enough for me.
Colourful Kingfishers
Water Buffalo With Hitchhikers On His Back

I have an explanation for it all. When I was younger my father collected wild birds in a very large cage. He trapped birds in his home-made traps or nets. It was my job, since my Dad was working; to get those caught birds out of those traps right after I came home from school. After I freed them from the traps, I had to put them inside the large cage my dad built. I hated it. I felt sorry for the little creatures, felt sorry for their confined living. Some of the birds while in the trap or net were bloody from trying to get free. It broke my heart. There was no use talking to my Dad. I set most of the birds free, but of course my Dad would yell at me and would have a fit when he found out, and he did find out.
Cormorant Drying His Wings

Then one day, by mistake? I left the door ajar of the large birdhouse. All his precious birds flew off. After that I was called not reliable and he could not count on me to do him a simple favor. After some time, the big birdhouse came down because he only found dead or wounded birds in his nets (because I no longer even went near the traps).  Ah, childhood memories, I leave birds as birds, I don't care what their names are and how they tweet.

Everybody is different, so if you like birds? OK
A Tree Full Of Cormorants
with me, but please respect that I feel badly for any caged animal, reptile or bird. I hate zoo visits. I just about can handle sanctuaries, where people gawk constantly at wild animals.

And I am not a fan of temps of 35C with 90% humidity like we had that day.
Blossoms On the Suicide Tree

Fruit Of the Suicide Tree

I loved the story of the suicide tree, where the fruit is edible but the pit is deadly. Mmmm, I wonder what that tree looks like, that fruit. Carol told me she saw one on her walk while I was goofing off in the shade.

For that night we saw an advertisement that there would be classical music played in the lobby. Stupid me, it was Indian classical music, of course. Not Western classical! I tried to listen to the Indian classical music, but I have to admit, these sounds were not for me.

Goodbye Amazing India. Tomorrow We Leave For a Few Days in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates

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