Saturday, 3 December 2011

Pinch me I must be dreaming!

I have been very re-miss in writing my blog over the last few days and that is because I am finally relaxing!!! Yahay!
We arrived two days ago at the Dewalokam Resort in Thodupuzha (in the state of Kerala) to what I can only describe as a full on 'Downton Abbey Reception'. All the staff (about 15) were waiting for us outside, with huge grins on their faces as our taxi pulled up and as we stepped out of the car, they ran over to us annointed and blessed us, then placed Jasmine leis over our necks - the scent was amazing - and then we were handed a fresh coconut with a straw and drank the coconut water inside. (supposed to be very good for the digestive system).
The main homestay itself is delightful, large bright rooms and all so clean, clean, clean! (Claudine is in heaven!)
And our room is spacious with a wonderful view of the grounds outside. There is even a proper bath and shower in the bath room as opposed to the usual shower sticking out of the wall between the toilet and sink and a big drain in the floor!
Claude and I were in shock, we just sat down on our respective beds and stared at each other, then burst out laughing in disbelief - we were in Paradise!! But as I suppose Claudine pointed out, this was our Karma, we deserved it, having been through the trials of the four weeks before ... however, there was one draw back - we are the only guests here this week, so this is going to be a very good test on our friendship!!!
The owners; Jose (short for Joseph) and his wife Sinta returned from work, (Jose is a professor of English Literature and Sinta teaches English in school) and we met them and their children Tara (12) and Paul (7). The whole family are so kind hearted and welcoming into their home. Jose showed us around, understandibly very proud of his land, on which they are growing a whole assortment of fruits, (unfortunately Mangoes are out of season!!), an assortment of Ayurvedic herbs, (healing) and various wonderful spice trees and plants. There is a river running through, which at certain times of the year can be swum in and best of all, there is a fresh water swimming pool where I intend to swim, lie out, read my book, listen to my ipod and grab a few more freckles!!

Every evening before dinner, the two chefs give us a cooking demonstration/lesson - I was most impressed with Claudine's shredded cabbage with coconuts - then Sinta and Jose eat with us for most meals and we chat.

The food can only be described as fresh, tasty and safe!!! It is all homegrown and home cooked and all completely organic. Such a treat to be able to eat fresh fruit and salad! So much so, that we are trying to think of ways to transport some of it around with us once we leave in a couple of days - though I think I may have to be dragged out of here kicking and screaming.

Yesterday, we were invited to Tara and Pauls' school to meet the principle Father Johnson, teachers and children and talk at Assembly!! Claudine put on her best R.P. accent and spoke whilst I sat and watched. Then it was my turn to talk to the teachers at their meeting after assembly. Father Johnson asked me to give the teachers some beauty tips, which I was happy to - even though Indian ladies skin seems so much better than ours!! Then he asked me what advice/tips I would give to the men, to which I replied: 'Be nice to your wives!' Thankfully they all laughed.
You may be shocked to be reading todays blog and finding there are no moans or complaints from me, but I really can't think of anything negative to say about this place and the people here. It is just what we needed!
In fact, yesterday I went to an Ayurvedic doctor for a consultation and had the first of three Ayurvedic massages. The oil is medicinal and made up specifically for the client and massaged on by two ladies at the same time. Loads of it!!! After which I had to swivel round and lie back down while another theraputic oil was poured over my head and massaged in for the next 20 minutes!!
I have to admit, I had to fight against my British reserve when I stripped off down to my underwear for the massage and the lady looked at me and pointed to my bra saying 'madam?', so I dutifully took it off only to find her pointing to my knickers too and saying 'madam?' And so I tried to act like it was perfectly normal, whipped them off and dived onto the bed and I did manage to forget about my nakedness during the treatment. That was until the end when one of the women offered to help me shower all the oils off, I smiled politely and said that I would be fine, as I practically skidded across the tiles to the shower room.
My next treatment is today at 3!
And so that is it for today, I shall sign off with a huge smile on my face as I get ready for a swim before lunch - which we have been told is going to be a typical Keralan meal. But before I go, I would suggest that should you have a bit of spare time and in need of re-charging your batteries. This is definately the place to come to. Tata!

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