Kalpetta is a busy town surrounded by coffee and tea plantations. We followed our local guide on a tour of local villages to learn a little about local life.
Our first stop was to see women working in the rice paddies and then we moved onto a small farm and rubber plantation. Here farm workers were climbing the tall palm trees to harvest Betel Nuts. Their agility in climbing and jumping between the trees was really impressive. I also got to see haw Loofahs grow, yes the thing you use in the shower grows on a tree as a green fruit and when it dries out you are left with the Loofah.
We then visited a bamboo workshop to see people making blinds, flooring and furniture and had a quick stop at the local tea house for a fresh cup of chai.
In the afternoon we were in for a real treat, luckily for us we just happened to be in the right place at the right time as our guide heard that a Theyyam dance performance was taking place in a nearby village and so we changed plans to go and see it. This was amazing, there were no tourists here and you got the feeling this is something that most outsiders don’t get a chance to see.
The dancing is part of a folk ceremony and the dancers represent mortal incarnations of the gods themselves. Here is a link to a wiki page that explains it.
It was a fantastic end to a nice day of exploring village life.