Oh the tocitement of it!! Nephalents everywhere!!
We were staying in a lovely place called Periyar, a long drive up throughout the mountings and tea plantations to a place where lots of spices grow, but more importantly where lots of nephalents live.
What a day we had. We got up really really early and went to the Periyar National Park and had a lovely boat ride. It was all very calm with oodles of birds; egrets, storks, kingfishers, herons, darters and many more.
There were so many that Zeke and I nearly fell asleep after our early start and no breakfast, but then Ann said, "Look boys elephants!"
"Where, THERE, LOOK, look nepahalents!!! REAL live NEPHALENTS. Whoopee, we see'd nephalents, hooray, hooray!"
"Shh, said Ann, don't make so much noise boys." Well, how could we not? But she explained that we might scare them off and that wouldn't be good.
This is a lovely group and we saw them twice during our ride. We also saw wild water buffalo, wild boar and even Riki Tikki Tavi mongoose. There were bear tracks by the side of the lake, but sadly no bear - we'd love to have seen a bear and said hello, but we didn't. Ah, never mind, Alan says it's another reason to go back. Though I don't think he needs any excuse at all.
Soon our excitement was over and we went back for breakfast. Then we asked if there was anything else to do, and Alan and Ann smiled and said that we might enjoy ourselves a bit more, but it would be a surprise.
Many of the rest of the photos below were taken by our friend and driver Mr Shijo. He took us safely through India in his car and any photos with no copyright below are his. Thank you Mr Shijo.
After a huge breakfast served in our Homestay by the friendly Mr Cyriac and made by his wife Mrs Dolly, we piled back into the car and next thing we we arrived at a place called "Elephant Junction." Here there were lots of nephalents. Why was it not called Nephalent Junction Alan? Well, that's because you've been getting their name wrong. Those large pachyderms are really elephants. But, if you want to call them nephalents as your pet name, who am I to stop you. Hmm, elephants..nephalents..? No, nephalents it is. Everybear knows that's what I call them, so it would be too confusing to change now. You're probably right. Nephalents it is.
At Elephant Junction we met the lovely and friendly Puja, who was going to give us a long ride through the forest. Here she is blessing us, isn't that nice? I did wonder if she was going to have a little nibble, but no, she was a very friendly nephalent.
We went up onto a great big platform and suddenly we were at nephalent level and we scrambled on her back and started on our way up the hill through the spices. Can you see us in Alan's hands?
Soon it was time to get back on board and go back down the hill. Here Ann is holding us so that Alan Can take our photos to really prove that we were actually on an nephalent's back.
This is the view from a nephalent's back. Puja had a very hairy head, (but not as hairy as yours!). True, but it was an intermeresting view all the same. On the way up and back agin Mr Vishnu was talking to Puja and she seemed to talk back to him. Sometimes it was a bark and at other times it was a rumble that vibrated our chests!
After the excitement of the ride, it was payback time as we got to wash the nephalents with scrubbing brushes. What's with the "We"? I seem to recall two creatures saying things like, "Water, water!? Sorry you two we'd hate to spoil your fun, we'll just watch." Hmm, well, um, yes I aspose it was just the humins, what did it. You see we only have short paws. Ah, that explains why you didn't join in. I quite understand.
You see where the nephie's trunk is heading? Just in front of her is a tank of nice clean water and she was itching to get her trunk in there.
Well, first she got to roll onto her front and Alan got sit up near her shoulders. Then she sucked and sucked and then her ears started flapping - it's to a nephalent what wagging tails is to a dog. Then suddenly skoosh and Alan got a shower. Just to make sure he was really wet the nephalent repeated the process several times.
They didn't need to wash again till they came home! Oh, we did bear! Huh? After all that water? I wouldn't have bothered.
Well that was very tociting and it was still morning, and so we went back to Mr Cyriac's house for lunch as we were getting peckish. We had a rest in Mr Cyriac's lovely house until the evening when we went to see men jumping through hoops of fire!
Here are those people jumping through fiery hoops.
After all that tocitement we needed to have a nice relax so next time we'll tell you all about that.
Jock and Zeke