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07 November 2005

an incline perfect for resting

today was a wonderfully relaxing nothing day. i ate some delicious breakfast in the morning, made a brief stop at an internet cafe to do some research, and then proceeded directly to the beach. i scrambled out to a series of isolated rocks along the coast jutting out into the water and found a rock with an incline perfect for resting and reading. spread some sunscreen on, laid back, and read a book cover to cover. i haven't bought one book during my travels... all the books i've read have either been given to me or discarded in a hostel or hotel. the latest... michael crichton's 'eaters of the dead'.

my plan had changed slightly. yesterday i'd planned to stay longer in arambol but this morning during the research i'd found what i'd been looking for... a place where i could potentially go out with guides to watch them catch poisonous snakes in the wild.

the irula snake catcher industrial cooperative was conceived in an effort to help the irula people of india. prior to 1972, these people had been very active in the snakeskin industry. when an indian law went into effect which among other things banned the killing of snakes, the livelihood of the irula people was threatened. the cooperative now employs the people to capture snakes to extract the venom for use in antiserum. my goal was to get down to mamallapuram (south of chennai) to see if i could hire a guide to go out into the field. chennai was already on my itinerary; i'd just be heading down sooner than expected. i knew going out was going to be a longshot which would most likely require a little baksheesh... and i didn't even know if the season was right... but i figured i'd give it a try. if nothing else, mamallapuram was recommended highly in my guidebook.

i booked a bus ticket for an overnight trip to bangalore departing tomorrow afternoon with plans to continue to chennai and then mamallapuram soon after.

posted by paul on Mon 07 Nov 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)

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