A life long ambition to meet an elephant and enjoy a dream trip to India came to fruition for Tommy, thanks to his SLSW carer Dawn Soloman.
Tommy, who lives with Dawn in Cornwall, has enjoyed a ten day break and had a wonderful time experiencing the culture, food, beautiful scenery and much more.
“I have always wanted to see elephants,” said Tommy.
“We booked it four weeks before we went on a guided tour.”
Dawn worked hard to get the best price, sort visas and currency on behalf of Tommy.
“We flew from Newquay to London and stayed in a hotel overnight to break the journey up and then flew from Heathrow,” said Dawn.
“We only had cabin luggage so jammed it all in but managed really well.”
There was lots of travelling involved in the trip, but Tommy coped well.
“We had a six hour flight and then an hour and a half stop and then another four hour flight to Kochi,” said Dawn.
“We stayed two nights in Kochi and had a cookery lesson with a local family and enjoyed a tour of the harbour.
“We then had a five hour drive in a minibus and saw sugarcane being crushed into juice and saw rubber trees and tea plantations and wild monkeys.”
Along the way they went to Munnar heritage site and saw an endangered species of goat.
“The views were amazing,” said Dawn.
“We also visited a tea plantation and saw the rolling, drying process of tea.”
From Munnar they went on to Thekkady and this is where Tommy’s dream came true.
“He didn’t want to ride the elephants or do anything like that, but he got to feed her breakfast,” said Dawn.
“The elephant was a 28 year old female and was the gentlest thing.”
“I got to feed her sliced mango and I touched her,” said Tommy proudly.
Along the way they also enjoyed a boat trip at Periyar Tiger Nature Reserve.
“We could have seen tigers and elephants but the rain kept them away. W
e did get to see monitor lizards, eagles, turtles and monkeys,” said Dawn.
“We got to know all the other people on the trip and they all adored Tommy.”
The Alleppy waterways trip was also a highlight where they saw rice fields, plenty of wildlife and local families enjoying life by the river.
“A house boat was where we stayed and Tommy got to sit in the captain seat,” said Dawn.
“We had our own chef who cooked for us. We said we liked spicy food, then one night he made us a really spicy dish, so much so we struggled to eat it!”
Their trip continued with three nights on the coast at Poovar in a lovely hotel complete with pool.
“Tommy loves the water and tried to swim, which is something he’d like to do in the future,”said Dawn.
“He also had a massage for the first time. Although he wasn’t keen on it, it is good that he tried something new.”
The dream trip was a great holiday for Tommy, who loved the whole experience.
“I’ve been to Florida before but this was completely different,” he said.
“It’s good to broaden Tommy’s horizons,” added Dawn.
Tommy has lived with Dawn for six years and says he is ‘really happy’ living there.
“I love Dawn’s cooking,” he said with a big smile on his face.
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