Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Zoo and beach

Yesterday I went to the Trivandrum Zoological Gardens. It was a pretty nice zoo - there were wide, meandering paths and the animals were (mostly) in large, natural habitat types of enclosures. The weather was cooler than the day before, so walking through the zoo and gardens was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

The plan afterwards had been to go to the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple (yeah, say that ten times fast!), but I discovered that it is closed to non-Hindus and I'd really only be able to see the entrance tower. Since what I really wanted to see - the 10,000+ sacred stones that were transported from Nepal by elephant - was in the inner sanctum, I decided against going. The rest of the day was spent playing cards, reading, listening to music, general lazing about.

This morning after a big, hearty breakfast of chicken sausages, herbed potatoes, steamed bananas, a chocolate muffin, and coffee, it was time for a mini road trip. We headed about a half hour away to Kovalam for some beach time. I'd read about a particular beach in Kovalam called Lighthouse Beach, but for some reason I wasn't expecting to actually see a lighthouse.

It was a great day at the beach. I got a little too much sun the other day, so today I insisted on an umbrella - much better AND cooler! The water was warmer than it had been in Varkala and it seemed that there were fewer tourists on the beach. After awhile, we left the towels and umbrella on the beach and headed to a nearby restaurant for lunch and then walked the boardwalk so Amiri could do some shopping.

Then, on to the lighthouse! I've never been in a lighthouse before and I've certainly never walked the stairs to the top of one before, so I was excited to find that I could do just that. It took 260 steps to get to the top, but the breeze and the view were amazing.

Tonight we'll be going out for traditional Keralan food as it's our last night in Trivandrum. Tomorrow there's a two hour bus ride to Kanyakumari where there's not much at all to see (or do), but it's the convergence of three waters (the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Mannar, and Indian Ocean) and it's the tippy bottom of India.

* * * * *

It took more than a month of traveling through India, but I've finally found an illustration of how to use a squat toilet. Well, ok, I hadn't actually been looking for it, but I did find it:


  1. Ah, a beach sounds good to me right now. We did go skiing yesterday. At midday, the temp was 17 but with windchill it felt like 6. We were dressed warmly enough, so it was fine. But I couldn't move under all of the clothes!

  2. I loved the zoo pics! How cool to see native animals in a foreign land. That hyena actually looked cute. And your spiral-staircase-lighthouse shot is worthy of framing. Good work. Love ya!