After checking into Michael's Inn we carried
on to the Abraham Spice Garden located about 5 kms away from Thekkady.
The Abraham family created this garden over 60 years ago on 20 acres of
spice land. It contains many rare species and has been featured in a BBC
TV series: Around the World in 80 Gardens.
We spent a fascinating hour-long tour wandering through
the garden guided by Mr. Abraham who was extremely knowledgeable. Along
the way we got to taste many of the different spices, flowers and fruits.
The natural habitat of the spices is a actually a tree plantation and involved
walking along narrow forest trails and up a series of mud and rock stairs.
The gardens were beautiful, like a mini jungle bursting with colour, smell,
and taste, with a stream running through the middle.
During our walk through the dense growth of trees and
undergrowth we saw so many of the spices that Sue-On stocks in her pantry
and uses in so many of her dishes: nutmeg, nutmace, tarragon, cloves, chillis,
cardamon, pepper, cinnamon, tumeric, and ginger. These spices have been
exported for centuries and the trade routes have brought riches and culture
to everything they have touched.
There were many humming birds and tiny bees from small
beehives that produced unusual types of honey that we got to taste. We
also sampled rare Ladies Fingers Bananas and we were shown giant lemons.
There were many rare blossoming plants such as wild orchids and nectar-producing
flowers, and everywhere were giant trees, bushes, vines and spectacular