An archive of stories and photos from our family trip to South India.

Location: Seattle



We've just spent two days in the cool hilltop eucalyptus forests of the "Hill Station" of Kodaikanal. Founded by American missionaries to escape the heat of the plains, Kodaikanal is a beautiful forested place town at the literally breath-taking altitude of 2100 meters, with the smell of eucalyptus in the air, and stellar views in all directions.

We sped across the plain from Trichy toward Kodai in our Toyota Qualis with the ever-attentive Mr. Mani at the wheel, and then spent two hours winding up the hills, including a hilarious stop at a small roadside refreshment stand where we stopped to stretch our legs and admire the monkeys. As we stood there peering at them, a huge bus pulled up behind us, fresh off the hairpin turns, and several men and boys stumbled off and started retching around us, somewhat spoiling the moment, but providing yet another cherished memory...

Steps from our sweet little hotel in Kodai was Coaker's Walk, a half-mile path that circles the hilltop, providing an awesome panorama of the valley. During a very pleasant day and a half we enjoyed walks in the woods, wandered the little town, and Claire was astounded by the number of monkeys we saw along the roads, trails and even streets. At night (after Tom wrestled with the maddeningly slow internet cafes) we curled up under blankets, with a hot water bottle, and enjoyed the novelty of being chilly in India.