Thursday 13th – the backwaters

I still wasn’t feeling too wonderful this morning so I skipped breakfast and joined C and M later. The boat stopped at an unusual Buddha – a half Buddha as it had been damaged by warriors in the past. Tuk-tuks arrived and we careered off to a very old Krishna Temple. Of course we had to take our shoes off. Not normally a problem but the courtyard had been baking in the sun for about 6 hours so the stones were red hot and we hopped and skipped into some shade. In the shade we watched a priest weighing a beautiful baby on some scales against a large bunch of bananas. The parents were given a banana each, but the temples kept he rest as an offering. The parents had been trying for along time to have a child so they were grateful when one arrived. Shock number two was that if we wanted to go into the holy of holies the men had to take off their shirts! Sagging white flesh is not a pretty sight at the best of times, but compared to the better toned and brown bodies of the local they were an affront to the eye! Mind you some of the locals could have done with shedding a few pounds as well! We moved around the shrine, encouraged to chant ‘Omraom’ as we progressed by our leader from the boats.

Arriving back at the boats, I returned to my bed, still feeling poorly while Mark went to visit Suki and Lucy so poor Christine had lunch on her own.

The boats docked again and we came off to see coir string being made. The grandson, who seemed over-eager to please, showed us around. We met his 99 year old grandmother who seemed remarkably fit, although a little puzzled by our presence. Then we watched as her daughter spun the coir into first a single strand then a double one. A grand-daughter seemed to be sorting out the coir into strands. The man was very ken to have my contact details, so I gave him my diocesan card. I look forward to the day when he phones Alison on the front desk at St Nick’s and tries to make himself understood! He was very kind, however and shinned up a coconut tree and twisted off three coconuts, sliced off the top and then dug his machete into the top so that we could drink the milk. Delicious!

Back on the boat, we lazed around and the gin and tonic came out. I decided I should have some for purely medicinal reasons, but I stayed off the food. It all looked delicious, but…… Everyone joined us for dinner except Judy and Janet. For some reason their crew seem unwilling to let these two ladies off their boat!

David completed the evening by telling us some of his risqué stories. He is a born storyteller with great comic timing and he had us all laughing uncontrollably.

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