Saturday, January 27, 2007

6 Welcome to Panagudi

We arrived in Kanyakumari by overnight train at around 7am Tuesday morning. We headed over to the large tour vans waiting to transport us from the station to the hotel in Nagercoil, about two of hours away.

After we freshened up in Nagercoil, it was back to the vans for another short ride to Panagudi where a huge welcoming party was awaiting us. A band, photographers and countless well-wishers were gathered there. And of course, I shouldn't forget the garlands. This time, everyone got one, but the biggest ones were reserved for me and Vivek.

I got to meet the staff at Vivek Hospital. Everyone was incredibly nice and genuinely happy for us.

After lunch, we took a trip to Kuttralam, the local waterfalls, where the water is said to have healing powers. It was amazing how cool and refreshing the water was. I hadn't originally planned to dive in, but I couldn't resist. Actually, Vivek couldn't resist dragging me in. My mom, aunt, and Vivek's parents were way ahead of me.

We had an audience for all this, by the way. A cute, furry, and very mischeivous audience.

Panagudi is located close to the Western Ghats, a large mountain range in India. Without any big buildings to obstruct our view, we were able to see some amazing vistas on our road trip. It made me realize that there are still some incredibly beautiful, unspoiled places in the world.

After the long day, we headed back to Vivek Hospital. It was hard to believe I'd only be in Panagudi for another four days.