It's time to head towards Kannur after an exciting journey from Banglore to Waynad and then staying at different homestays for exploring the region full of coffee/tea plantations, coconut, spices, bananas and lot more.
Early in the morning our host Suneesh was heading towards Calicut, so we wanted to have the ceremonial shot before he leaves. Above shot was taken in the misty morning at our homestay in Bamboo village around Mandupara village in Wayanad. Suneesh is standing with his sister and mother. We had nice time at Bamboo village with such a lovely family.
As Suneesh left, we went for a walk and this was first morning in last 5 days when we experienced mist in Kerala. We walked around the villages and came across various colorful birds. Although I couldn't capture any of them.
It was the time when we had already started missing the Wayanad, as we had to head towards Kannur today. Suddenly we realized that today after lunch we will not be seeing these coffee & tea plantations which make the place more beautiful.
It was probably the best morning walk during our stay in Wayanad. The mist made it special :). We kept walking and didn't realize that we have crossed two villages on the way and we also need to get back to our homestay :). On the way, we met folks who had started their daily activities. A gentleman was out for delivering milk to different folks in the village. A family was already there in their farms to collect raw rubber. A lady was plucking some leaves from her kitchen garden, probably for cooking breakfast.
We headed back home, had tea and got ready for the day. We were having idli-sambhar in the breakfast and our guide Anoop arrived at the same moment. He was on time. We asked for 10 more minutes to start the village walk.
First we went to Daniel's house, which was nearby. He told us about various social initiatives being run in the village. The Homestays were also a part of it. It was a great interaction and we got to know about some of the brilliant things this village is doing. Similar models can be adopted by many other villages in India. I will be sharing a separate post about the way these villagers work as a community for personal growth as well as for making their village a good place to live. The above photograph is clicked at Daniel's house with his family.
Behind Daniel's house, there was a rubber tree farm. A family was collecting the raw material for rubber making and we thought of taking a closer look at the process. This is again a long process and deserves a separate post. The process starts at 3:30am in the morning when they come to the farm and makes some cuts on the tree, from where this liquid starts coming out. After 3 hours all the containers tied to the trees get full and then they collect the material to process. They had installed a small processing unit in the same farm.
On the way to Uravu unit, Anoop introduced us to many medicinal plants which are heavily used by local folks in Wayanad. We found wild camphor, which grows in abundance on the roadsides. He also showed us a wild grass called Eupatory, which is used for wound healing. A plant called Jetropha has multiple uses: its sap is used for cleaning silver and gold, its sap can also be used by children for blowing bubbles, and the plant is also used as bio-fuel. He also told us about hibiscus and the fact that its leaves can be used to shampoo your hair.
Above photograph shows the group of Bamboo village ladies creating thin bamboo sticks which are used for making bamboo mats.
The Uravu unit is spread over a reasonably good area with machines to process bamboo, units to make bamboo items, and a spice shop. First we went to the spice shop, which was full of aroma and some unique spices. We chose some of the spices which we usually don't find in Delhi so easily. Especially the ones which our hosts have been using for cooking non-veg. We also got some pathimugam, which is used while boiling the drinking water. It doesn't change the taste of water and is considered a good medicine for digestion.
Then we entered into the unit where ladies were making some beautiful things from Bamboo pieces of different sizes. This unit was making lamp-shades. There were different units for decorative items, pens, spice boxes, furniture, bangles, and a lot more. And they were doing it at a very large scale, bigger than what I had thought. It seemed like a mature organization.
Due to some reason, we had to break the village walk in between and then headed towards Kannur after having lunch. The journey from Wayanad to Kannur was beautiful, especially the stretch, which was a steep decline from a hill. On one side of the road, there were thousands of coconut trees with mist all around Initially we were guessing that it is the sea. There were a lot of trees around the road so things were not clear on the other side.
Our last homestay was a pleasant surprised. Aptly called the beach homestay, it was right on the beach and we could see the sea from our balcony. It was right there. We interacted with the other guests in the homestay, and found that most were French.
In the evening we headed to the beach and found it to be delightfully non-commercial. Children were building sand-castles and grown-ups were playing frisbee and some made-up games. At seven we returned to the homestay to a sumptuous dinner of daal, chawal, raita, and fish.
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