After the bustle of Fort Cochin we headed on South towards the very quiet Serenity hotel within the Kanam rubber plantation. The building was given over to the Malabar Escapes corporation by the previous family who used to live there.
The only condition was that the structure had to remain the same but they’ve done a wonderful job of introducing very colourful art and wall colours throughout the building.
It’s a lovely setting and very peaceful, there was only two other guests when we arrived. Sitting up in the trees you can’t hear any other signs of civilisation. Now we enjoyed our peaceful downtime and even had our free cooking demonstration of a beautiful prawn curry, but the main event for coming to Serenity is to meet the lovely Lakshmi their resident elephant.
Her previous life was in the circus but she was rescued and now lives down the road helping out in the plantations. Then when tourists stay at Serenity she takes a day off from the plantation and goes on a little walk with a few extra passengers.
The sheer size of her is the first thing that really makes an impact, being so close to an elephant for the first time is memorising. We were able to feed her full bunches of bananas, skin and all which she just funnels into her mouth. If her mouth is full then there’s a little ledge just above where she can rest the next bunch, very cute.
She bends down to let us on and then we’re off down the road. It was a bit off-putting to see the chains but she doesn’t seem to be in any pain and they are very lo0se, think they are precautionary measures incase she chooses to run.
Once we got down to the stream we were handed half coconuts and she lay down in the water so we could give her a big scrub.
It was a wonderful experience and I now have a great love of elephants, such beautiful creatures. Note to anyone who is planning to ride an elephant, make sure you wear trousers, Lawrence opted for shorts and there are rather a lot of spiky hairs that can give you a bit of carpet burn but worth every minute of pain!