This is yet another travel tale! This time from Thekkady, Idukki district - Kerala, India.
A trip to Thekkady is incomplete without visiting the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Inspired by my husband’s induction to the wonders of the jungle, we signed up for a night trek / jungle patrol in Thekkday. I sheepishly enquired about how large our trek group was expected to be. “10 including the guards”, came the reply. Taking comfort in the numbers, I decided to give it a shot.
It was 7 pm. As luck would have it, none of the others turned up! So there we were, two of us, two from the patrol team, armed with anti-leech powder, boots, torches and rain coats; inside the Periyar wildlife sanctuary.
It seemed like a cake walk along the fringes of the forest, since there was some kind of lighting from nearby settlements. As we went into the thicket, the rain gods decided to make things slightly more adventurous. Picture this – rain lashing down on us, pitch dark, sounds of the jungle and sudden flashes of glistening eyes of animals. There was this one particular moment, when 4-5 pairs of eyes were too close for comfort. My heart was pounding and it felt like my temples would explode. “Deer”, announced the patrol leader.
My husband helped me a great deal by narrating an incident where he got chased by mad elephants in an earlier forest trip!!! The guys in the patrol nodded in agreement and confirmed that was commonplace. Wait, this was not the part where I freaked out… Read on…
For some reason I stopped and happened to look down at my feet. That is when pandemonium struck. Leech!!! All over my boots, crawling up. That was it. I could take it no more. I had enough adventure for a night. Slimy, bloodsuckers on my feet is not my idea of adventure. Anti leech powder came to my rescue, not for long though. Within a few minutes, my boots were back to square one. Since it was just us, I took the liberty of cutting the trek short and ran back to familiar surroundings. Phew!
This was one of those trips that I was very glad to have done, but I know will never repeat.