The first time I stepped into Tamil Nadu in Mudumalai national park. Actually I can´t speak of stepping into because we were on the way in a local bus to Ooty (Udagamandalam) and the park was on our way. We saw wild elephants which was a highlight for sure I hadn´t imagined on before! After we had arrived in Ooty I didn´t want to walk 25 min up the hill with 23 kg carrying on my back so I tried bargaining (quite unsuccessful) for a good Riksha price fort he way to the hotel. I was too proud to give the Riksha driver the price he asked for so I started walking tot he hotel. After 1 min a local guy, who listened to our discussion, asked me if he can bring me around. I was so lucky!
My travel buddies checked into the same hotel and so we shared another evening together. My room mate Anna and I decided to stay for a second night. The next day we explored the Doddabetta peak, which owns the name as the highest peak in Nilgiri mountains with the height of 2600 m. The walk up was amazing! In between we were accompanied by a mother and her 2 sons, we saw the tea manufacture, tea plantations (and tried the tea), made friendship with a huuuge bull coming from nowhere in the forest and got lost between the freen trees. After a 2,3 hours walk we arrived at the summit and enjoyed the view like many other Indian tourists. We clicked some pictures, relaxed while eating peanut chickpea Masala on a big stone heated up by the sun. Before dawn we started going down. Luckily we were at the perfect time at the right place for catching the local bus back to Ooty.
On the next day we continued our trip to Kochi via Coimbatore. Kochi is a stunning fishermen town with a big sense for art at the Arrabian Sea. More about that you can read in my travel bloq about Kerala!
I should step on Tamil Nadu for a second time in a city which is called Trichy (Thiruchirapalli). My flight from Mangalore reached the airport in Trichy on time at 6 pm so that I could enjoy my first sunset in the Southeast of India. At the airport I ordered via the Ola App my first Ola ride. I was picked up with a scooter. Despite of my 2 backpackers (65 liters and 25 liters) the scooter ride was a perfect idea I just noticed! Fullmoon was about to decrease and we drove around 25 min on a highway towards the huge ivory-coloured ball that caught my attention fully. I enjoyed the time and the fresh wind so much after breathting the sticky and used air in the plane! After being dropped off by the scooter driver (I only paid 95 rupees for a 30 min scooter ride) I checked into my room and went for a walk in the city centre. Actually I was only looking for something to eat. I got to know a speciality from South India: Maniokchips with Masala – Mjammi! In the next store I wanted to buy some fruits but instead I met Gili who´s an artist from Israel. After talking for 2 min we became aware of having been at the same time in Varkala at the same party! He painted the dancing people during his friend was playing percussion! The pictures he took during the party with his mobile phone left all doubts: on 3,4 pictures I recognized myself!
We went together through the streets and he took me home. It was already midnight. On the next day I took a local bus to Srinagar. Over there I met Saran who´s a guide from Trichy. He accompanied and guided me the whole day, showed me his city, explained interesting details about Hinduism and the temples and listened to my questions. We became friends during the short time we shared. His wife cooked lunch for us and we wantched Bollywood movies during eating in their living room. I loved it and I felt very confortable in his home! In the evening he brought me tot he bus stop which was located a bit far from the city. He wanted to be sure that I take the fastest bus to Thanjavur. When I entered the bus was completely full except 1 seat. I took the seat with my 2 big backpackers and expected now some relaxation – not even close! The bus was covered with a pinkpurple light that seemed to come from a party light source. The light flared the whole bus trip. This whole light scenario was supported by the finest Bollywood music! I hadn´t known how loud the music has been before a recorded a long voice note for a friend in Netherlands. She answered me that she understood completely nothing! After I had arrived at the bus stand in Thanjavur and finally in my hotel room I couldn´t motivate for a walk and felt asleep immediatly.
“We became friends during the short time we shared. His wife cooked lunch for us and we wantched Bollywood movies during eating in their living room. I loved it and I felt very comfortable in his home!”
The next morning Saran picked me up at my hotel. He came to Thanjavur with the local bus to shop me the big temple complex and the palast. I was still very tired from the rush oft he last days and made a little nap in the temple complex. It seemed to be very common to use the temple complex not only as a space for worshipping and praying but also for things in daily life like eating, reading and napping. We went for lunch to Sarans favourite restaurant and visited a manufacture for designing the statues made of bronze, silver and gold (I´m sure you´ve seen these Nataraja statues of a dancing man with 6 arms). I learned about all the steps to prepare such a statue; from designing the negative 3D print made from loam, melting the metal and finally after drying the raw statue soft-designing the certain figure of Nataraja, Ganeesha, etc.. Fortunately I couldn´t buy something because I´d be still too long travelling and I didn´t want to send again another parcel to Delhi. However this should change again in Mahabalapuram, where I discovered something special I lost my heart to (you´ll read in my travel report about Puducherry).