Wednesday, January 3



Kottoor Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, 9:35


We had our first power-cut this morning. According to Irma it started at 5:23 when the fan on the ceiling began to make the loud noise it makes whenever it runs on the auxiliary power. The power-cut remained in force until after we left the house.

We got up at 6:30 and skipped breakfast because we had an expedition planned. Bruno looked puzzled as we more or less woke him up so that I could take him for a walk.

At 7:30, after getting lost in the back roads, Saji arrived in his big white car, and off we went. Ninety minutes later we drove through the little town of kottukadu and came to the Kottoor Elephant Rehabilitation Centre. We arrived just as the elephants started their morning bathing, which involved them rollng and splashing around in a lake while their handlers scrubbed them with brushes.

I notice a big elephant arriving with his keeper. I photograph them as they turn off the path and walk down to the water.

We will watch for a while and then walk back. We will see a lot of wild monkeys who live there on their own initiative. We will then find ourselves in exactly the right place to see the elephants having their morning meal. Their keepers will roll up their food into balls the size of footballs and put them in their mouths.

Feeling hungry we will go to the café and have chai and dosas. For some reason I will find this absolutely perfect.

When we get home I will decide to walk up KS Road to see how far the tarring has got. Tangarat told us yesterday that the road will open in six days time and this had made me curious. By my estimate the new tar now covers about two thirds of the length of the road. I could see the men, women and road roller working away about 50 metres past the junction with Valipuni View Road.

In the afternoon we will sit on the balcony and make loose plans for the final week of our stay. At some time during this we will have the second power-cut of the holiday. This will continue until we realise that it has switched one of the fuses off. Irma will go and play with the fusebox and the power will return.

We will spend the rest of the day at home.