Our last day off was spent in the neighboring district of Kerala, India. We left the ashram at 5 AM and got to see the sun rise on the road. We drove through the famous Kerala forest where it's rumored you can see elephants and leopards but we only saw deer and birds. The greenery surrounding us for several miles on each side was lush and lovely.
We arrived at Lincy's beautiful home for a special breakfast that included her famous curried eggs. (She helped prepare the Onam meal for us at the Ashram the previous week.) After some food and some hospitality, we headed off to the Banasura Sagar Dam. Surrounded by the water and the mountains, we practiced some yoga poses and discovered a family swing park in the nearby woods. We could fit two at a time on the swings and at one point a guy plopped his kid on my and Amanda's laps for photos. It was so cute/awkward because the kid clearly was not as excited about this encounter as his dad.
Then we had perfect timing when arriving at a tea plantation as the ladies who pick the tea were coming in to process their bags full of leaves. They were so friendly and most of them balanced the loads on their heads. Its a great reminder of how much work in a land far, far away goes into your morning cup of tea.
After that we stopped at stupid lake, which paled in comparison to the dam, and I was starting to get 'hangry' so our next mission was lunch. We stopped at a local restaurant and had a bit spicier food than we were used to at the ashram. All six of us were stuffed for about $20 USD. Then I indulged in Cardamom flavored ice cream that came served in a little clay pot.
The day lingered on as we visited a dilapidated old Jain temple and did a bit of shopping before finally returning to the ashram around 7 PM. So went our 14-hour day off.