Friday, 26 November 2010

Therapies of two kinds

It's our last day and so cause for some sadness, though I think I am ready to go home. I'll be sad to leave this lovely house but I'm looking forward to not being mosquito target No. 1!

At breakfast the Col. tells me my massage is booked for 10am. This is something of a small surprise as I only expressed mild interest in the possibility of having one! I'm sure it'll be lovely and worth having before our long journey home which in real terms door-to-door is likely to be around 24 hours.

The Col. takes us to the ayurvedic treatment place and in I go. A very sweet and petite lady tells me to remove clothes and jewellery and gives me a modesty cloth.

The whole thing takes around an hour during which I am very efficiently pummelled with an enormous amount of oil. Being English, I find it a tiny bit weird being naked with a stranger. The only other time I had a massage was in Jordan and I wore a swimming costume. I like the foot and hand bits best - nice and impersonal! And the face bit is really good too.

After the massage I have a shower and scrub myself with some ayurvedic powders.

The experience is very pleasant and I'd probably do it again.

Afterwards we go to a shop which is very smart. I buy a few fabrics. It is a bit like indian habitat without the furniture and with added clothes.

Then we have lunch which is a wonderful biryani.

After a short rest we carry on shopping and go by tuk tuk to Chalai Bazaar. The bazaar is lined with shops and stalls selling jewellery, spices, fruit and vegetables, plastic containers, flowers, and everything else you can think of. There is a stall that sells coir and rope. One for tiffin tins. Paint sits right beside floral decorations. It's huge and amazing.

I buy some spices and cashews. Cardamom and cashews are the region's main crops, there is even a Kerala state cashew development corporation!

The vegetables are beautifully displayed - rows of aubergine, drumstick and many types of cucumber and gourd.

I buy spices at a wholesalers and then we go for a wander.

Afterwards we come back for some tea and a vadai - a savoury doughnut.

Then S and I go to the other market for some things to bring home and to go via the cashpoint to pay our bill. This market too has fabulously colourful displays of neatly arranged fruit and vegetables. There are gooseberries which I've not spotted before. They are bigger than UK ones but are similarly sour.

We return home and start packing all our purchases and clothes.

Before long our room is tidied of stray clothes and holiday accumulations and travel clothes are laid out for tomorrow. I have a small Uniqlo thermal vest for when we get to the cold and, I understand, snowy climes of England.

I decide to wear my dress for dinner as it's our last night. It's also easy to pack and can go in the top of my rucksack.

Dinner is an absolute feast - mushroom soup, tandoori chicken and for S tandoori cauliflower, chickpeas that we had the other night because I liked them so much, aloo muttar, fried okra, paneer palak and chapattis. I am really stuffed!

Then we retire to our bed. Alarm is set for 6.30 so I don't think it'll be late. I put some cream on the worst bites and pack my dress away.

It's been a great holiday and this final week has made it really special. The Col. has made us so welcome, it's been like staying with a kindly uncle or family friend. In a way it's lucky we're going home, it would be extremely hard to top this lovely lovely place.


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