It was one of the most beautiful walks that I`ve had. The colors, the people, the beautiful sights and the absolute serenity of the place- these is all these pictures are about.
This lady called Ama owns a small shop next to the bus station where she sells coconuts together with her husband. She is eighty five years old, energetic as a twenty old girl and always smiling and asking a lot of questions. I once forgot my wallet on her counter; less than a minute later on the way to my rickshaw I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was her bringing the wallet and giving me a scolding look saying “You need to take better care of your belongings” . Needless to say she didn`t speak a word of English.
It is not the usual place where people in their 20ties would choose to go. For somebody who wants to do something cool and fun during a warm weekend in the Netherlands, spending the day in the park somehow does not sound that appealing.
Well, it is. Spending time in nature has numerous benefits such as increased positivity and improved outlook towards life; it also strengthens your immunity and boosts vitamine D levels (more info on these at http://news.health.com/2014/09/29/health-benefits-of-nature/ ). But what makes it really special for me is that I have shared one of the best days of my life with my friends in that park and spent some true quality time with them.
You can find free bikes at the each of the entrances and the 40 km of cycling paths are just perfect to cover for one day. In between you can take breaks and enjoy the various landscapes (the park can literally transform itself from a savanna lookalike into a deep cozy forest in a span of a few kilometers) and animals (there are a lot of deer walking around). A visit to the beautiful Kroler Muller museum located in the park is also a must, but if you would like to do that, I would recommend starting the day really early, as there are plenty of beautiful art pieces (both indoors and outdoors) to be seen. A perfect way to end the day after a relaxing bike ride is to have a picnic at the lake (you can easily carry the food at the back of your bike). Just make sure you carry enough food and drinks, as the only restaurant is in the center of the park.
More about the park can be found at: https://www.hogeveluwe.nl/en
The boat man waiting for the next passenger. He was taking people across the Peryar river charging ten Rupees for a one way trip. Whenever his helper was on the boat or there were passengers willing to do the rowing themselves he would chew his “Paan” and silently observe his surroundings. I enjoyed his quiet contemplative presence which was matching so well the calm river and peaceful ambiance. I took one of my best pictures of sunsets and skies from his boat, some of which you will see in the coming days of this photo diary.
It is a very interesting coincidence that this exact river is the setting of my favorite book, “The God of Small Things” which I read eight years ago never imagining that at one point of my life I would see the river every day. You can find more about the book at http://www.amazon.com/The-God-Small-Things-Novel/dp/0812979656 .