Jumped on the bus to go to our homestay in the Kerala backwaters. On the way, we stopped at a spice plantation, where the guide pointed out cocoa, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee and other spice plants. We also stopped at the Connemara tea factory for a tour. The guide spoke quite fast, with a strong accent and mumbled, which made it difficult to understand him. But I found out the reason you use the young tea leaves is because the enzymes required to cure the leaves disappear as it ages, as does the caffeine. We parted with our luggage and the bus, and took a canoe to the man-made island for our homestay. It was a charming old house with a steep staircase. We enjoyed lunch, and then afternoon tea at 4pm, while our CEO helped us organise our onward plans, calling hotels and airlines to confirm. The father of the family took us on a walking tour of the wheat fields, and the village, explaining the local industries of coconuts and rice. At sunset, we took a canoe cruise down the river, listening to our guides sing in the local language. It was really pleasant, very relaxing. Dinner was prepared by the family, and was delicious water buffalo curry, with rice and paratha, and a banana pudding for dessert. Our CEO also had a sampling of toddy, a raw coconut liquor, which most people found undrinkable. I didn’t mind it, so I offered to polish off other’s unfinished glasses. It had a slightly sour coconut taste. It was fine to swallow down, but not something you would sip for the flavour. I get an involuntary squirm when I shot tequila, so this was nowhere near that bad.