Carrie and I woke up early to catch the sunrise at a temple near our guest house. After a bit of bushwhacking (we missed a turn which had nice but slippery stone stairs) we made it to the top of the rocky hill just in time to see the orange ball peek up over the horizon. There were no safety rails. Certain death if you took a wrong step taking a selfie. But that’s what the Darwin Awards are for right…. I heard a stat that more people died from selfies last year than shark attacks.
A Yogi jesus appeared from nowhere (perhaps he camps at the temple up there?) And began to do fancy yoga moves. Carrie had names for all the poses… I had no idea what he was doing. The tourists were taking photos with him. He seemed to be enjoying himself.
We knew there was a temple elephant Lakshmi so we went looking for her. There was a line up for blessings.. lots of school kids waiting their turn. Since we came in the side entrance we didn’t remove our shoes and got told off. So we high tailed it out of there and went down to river to await Lasksmi’s bath. She came lumbering down the stairs but her handler was a meanie. He had a long stick he was hitting her with to make her lie down to bathe her. Carrie cried and I couldn’t watch any more so we left.
We had the most amazing dosa at a little hole in the wall our guide Vijay told us about where we made a cute friend Mali who explained how to eat dhosa from the middle out. A dosa for those of you who have not experienced the delight is a crispy crepe rolled loosely around a dry potato curry filing. I told him my name is Elizabeth and he said he has a queen Elizabeth coin collection so I gave him a toonie. His friends seemed impressed with the polar bear on the coin. It must be quite exotic to them.
Next we walked to the “waterfall.” Which is just a water trickle because of the low water and a dam upriver. As we were walking down the dusty trail a nice man appeared and started chatting with us. Turns out his family used to own a restaurant along the river but since UNESCO has recognized the area as a world heritage site they tore down the restaurant. So he now works on the banana plantation and takes people on tours for tips. He’s not allowed to charge because he’s not a registered guide. The river rocks were worn smooth and really slippery and of course hot. A few tourists were there as well as some locals. Maybe I was being paranoid but it felt a little sketchy with the gangs of young men following us down the path on the way back. I made them pass us.
Next day we rented mountain bikes and cycled to the monkey temple. We had to put our bikes on this shitty little boat to cross the river which was delayed for 20 minutes to bail it out. We got lost along the way to the temple because the photocopied map sucked but we saw the bouldering area and some nice rice fields. It was a scorching dry 35 degrees… I had to climb 575 steps to the top. I and many other out of shape tourists stopped in shady spots on the way up. I was melting from the heat. There were naughty monkeys running around . We saw two getting it on. A conservative mother tried desperately to distract her young boy from gawking while Carrie and I squealed and took photos of the XXX show. We also picked up a weird quiet Korean along the way who didn’t know where to go so he just followed us but didn’t talk.
Next day was the easy day ha ha. Carrie was try to take it easy on me. We walked along the water in search of the bull monolith but instead got lost in a banana plantation. That night we left in a rickshaw to the train station for our exciting overnight train experience.