India - Day5 - Wyanad and Calicut (Khozikode)

An early start and we were back on the road with Uthaman on our way to the wildlife santuary at Wyanad. A quick stop at a roadside coffee shop filled us up and we felt slighty energised. We arrived at the wlldlife santuary and paid the obligatory multiple fees. Which included:Park entry fee - Rs100/person (Locals pay Rs10) Parking - Rs50

Jeep - Rs250

Guide - Rs100

Camera - Rs25 On our way up the road we had a quick stop in at the bathrooms, Janelle and Ceri almost vomited but contained themselves, just. There was a lot of dry retching going on! At the toilets we spotted our first glimpse of the wildlife with some spider monkeys. Our intial thoughts were don't touch the rabid monkeys!! Clambering back in the jeep we set off in search of a tiger.

We weren't lucky enough to find a tiger but we did spot a herd of deers, some even had antlers!!

On our way out of the park and a little dispondent we heard the spotter tap on the roof, we all eagerly looked out the front of the jeep to see a small glimpse of an elephant heading into the bushes trying to avoid our noisy jeep. We all jumped out and the climbed onto the roof to see if we could see more. Unfortunately we couldn't, but we did perk up a bit at having seen an elephant 'in the wild'. PHOTO OF ELEPHANT AND Back in the Ambassador we headed to our next stop, Edakkal Caves. We were greeted at the bottom of a mountain by some locals offering a jeep up the entrance which was a 1km walk. Some of us were eager to walk but Janelle didn't have the energy and convinced us to pay the Rs 70 to take us up the road. Shortly after driving we were thankful we had taken the jeep, because if we hadn't have died from exhaustion we would have died from being run over by a jeep.

Soon enough a guide had attached himself to us, we eagerly took up his suggestion to walk up the mountain to take in the spectaular views. 200 metres up we thought we had reached the top when we came to a small clearing, only to be told there was a better viewing area 1km further up. After a short discussion we thought we should brave the elements and head up. We scampered, hauled and shimmied our way up. All the while our guide kept assuring us it was easier coming back down. The views at the top were certainly worth the arduous climb. But the trip back down wasn't easier. Sari reckons she tottered down with the skill of a mountain goat in high heels.

Looked at the main cave which has been used from 4000 BC until the 15th Century. There are petroglyphs etched into the walls. Most of them were from 2300 BC. PHOTOS OF CAVE Soon were were shooed out as they were closing for lunch. We were keen to get traveling again to make the last leg of our trip with Uthaman and his Amassador to Calicut so our lunch consisted of ice cream and chips. Janelle was overjoyed!! Arriving at Calicut and about 200 metres from our hotel, Ceri finally cracked! Whilst our Ambassador was luxuriously upholstered it wasn't the roomiest car on the road. This meant having to share the front seat with Uthaman and two others. With Ceri in the middle straddleing the gearstick she had had enough of the constant 'gear changing'. Readjusting her position and sitting almost on Janelle's lap she continued to get 'gear grebbed', with heat, exhaustion and plain out grossness playing a part she declared "Stop the car, I need to get out". With a quick changing of the guard we were on our relatively short trip to the hotel.This hotel was actually a hotel and was a rather nice (for India) standard of room. While Sari, Ben and Anton went to exchange money Ceri and Janelle headed to their room, only to hear water running. Thinking someone had come into our room to have a shower we entered with caution. We found what appeared to be a broken pipe, with water splurting all over the bathroom floor. The bell boy attempted to fix the leak but instead managed to pull the entire tap from the basin, quite a hilarious site for weary travellers.We had a quiet night in and ordered room service, just what the doctor had ordered. Sleep.