A leisurely rise and breakfast before we set out up the big lake and across to the western shore where we docked at around 10.00. We wished farewell to our crew who had looked after us so well and climbed into our tuk-tuks which brought us back to the main road. There’s coach was waiting for us to take us north to this beautiful eco-resort.
It is rare that one starts a hotel stay with an examination of the sewage disposal facilities, bu that is what we did and very interesting it was too! Our guide, a trained naturalist, took us through the finer points of settling tanks and anaerobic digesters. We looked at diagrams and understood the issues raised in maintaining a functioning plant. He could not be accused of just ‘going through the motions’!
He took us to the ayurvedic oil manufacturing workshop where herbs and spices are added to oil to produce massage oil. Then we went to the see rainwater harvesting and a biodigester that provided methane for electricity for the staff quarters. Finally we went into the hot water plant for the hotel which is generated by solar power.
I should explain that we had arrived early so our rooms were no where near ready and we had to wait for them to be serviced. Eventually after a couple of hours we were brought to our chalet, which is delightful. Entering we came into a sitting room cum bedroom cum kitchen. Outside was a bathroom, entirely private but open to the air. There is something very special about open air ablutions in a hot climate. Everything was strewn with levees and petals.
Our bags arrived and we unpacked a bit, deciding not to go to lunch as we had a late breakfast. Instead we polished off 1.5 fruit and nut bars each and then went for a walk to the beach. It is beautiful – your typical coconut palm finger sandy coast, but the beach was deceptive. We paddled, our visit in the Arabian Sea, but noted that the beach shelved rapidly and there was a serious undertow. The flag may have been green, but we were not going to be swimming here! Instead we headed for the pool. Mark was already in residence and so we joined him. It was lovely and we lounged around the pool until Christine decided to go on the village walk that the resort lays on for its visitors. I remained supine while she toddled off.
Back at the bungalow, some time later, Christine said that the walk wasn’t worth it,but thought she’d go to a sari tying workshop at 5.30. I was continuing to lounge, this time on the porch.
Dinner was at 7.30 and so we decided to go for a drink first of all, expecting some of our number to be way ahead of us on that front. But,no, the bar was remarkably empty. We ordered 2 Mojitos and settled in. Another couple came in and immediately the staff turned on the muzak at a volume which precluded conversation. Why do they do that?! The other couple moved away from the speakers so we took the hint and asked them to turn it down, which they did but only by a few decibels. We finished our drinks and left for the restaurant.
An excellent meal followed in the buffet style and I was able to get freshly squeezed pomegranate juice which was wonderful. On the way back to our bungalow, Christine spotted a Little Spotted Owl (so now it was double spotted!). We had seen it on the way out, but I didn’t have my camera (a rare occurrence) and by the time I’d gone back for it it had flown away. This time it sat obligingly on a Frangipani and waited for its moment in the flash. In fact it waited for some time as I tried various settings to avoid using flash. None worked so I went for broke and flashed at it! It seemed unperturbed, so I took two more. The result is a triptych with it looking right, left and straight ahead. What an obliging owl!
Lovely as our room is I didn’t have that good a sleep, partly because of the hard pillows. I was all for going to receptions and asking if they had something softer for me to rest my head on, like some granite or a block of teak. Christine advised against it, but then she slept well!