Our first full day in Periyar started with a 3 hour nature trek in the Wildlife Sanctuary. We shared a car with a Swiss lady and thus formed a group of 5 for the walk. After several places where different sums were paid and the usual bit of misunderstanding between as keen as mustard tourists and still sleepy officials we thought we were ready. We waited patiently by the shore (we now had a 6th member of our group - a birdwatcher from Bombay) for our guide. Other groups were beginning to set of and we enjoyed the entertaining spectacle of too many overweight westerners nearly sinking the little bamboo raft used to cross the neck of the lake and then getting stuck in the mud. Much hilarity and shoe removal later they arrived moistly secure on the other bank. Still no guide. We were beginning to think the oiled machine had thrown a cog when he puffed up to us. (Traduire ca Patricia!) After our little pep talk and a tut-tuting about our inappropriate clothing we set off to follow the other bands of intrepids along the well worn paths along the shore. Thankfully the groups spread and we were relatively alone when our guide spotted something. We crouched and followed thinking about elephant. Over the slight rise and through the trees we could see a large herd of Guar - Indian Buffalo. Not elephant but magnificent beasts nonetheless. Our guide was most happy that the other groups had not seen them and sat down for a celebratory cigarette. The next 2 hour passed and we saw magnificent scenery, gigantic trees, can now recognise several wild herbs and we ticked of giant squirrels, 2 sorts of monkeys, wild boar and many birds in our little trekkers guides, but sadly no elephant.Next day and a hair raising drive sees us on the coast in Fort Cochi. We are back on the coast and the mercury has climbed considerably. We have just spent the first night in an OK place but despite assurances we have been plagues by the little blood suckers. A solution will have to be found! May the force be with you.