We, of course attracted no end of attention and it wasn't long before a band had joined us for a photo shoot, then pretty soon had Tim and the boys with drums roped to them as they sang and banged along. Once the ice was opened that way a whole line of people came up wanting us to take their picture (they never ask for the picture since there's no way to get it to them, just want the experience of having it done). See photos below:
After that we decided that we should actually see the temple since we were there so walked back up before heading out for MM Hills. Before heading up the long stairway we purchased a bag full of stuff for prasad and a fistful each of what smelled like copal that we put into a fire at the base of the steps. All three boys were encouraged to get the proper markings, we left our shoes at the base of the stairs, and then we went up.
No matter. A bit later we found the entrance and went in the proper way. I gave my prasad to the priests who smashed my coconut and gave it back to me along with a handful of flowers. The temple was beautiful, but, by far, the best part were Lord Rangaswami's giant sandals. There was a brand-new pair of golden colored ones in a case and a more used multi-colored pair outside the case. My understanding is that he uses these sandals when he walks around the mountains and that local people replace them when they feel they have been worn out.
When we got back we all forded a knee-deep stream and went over to a second set of falls where Tim stripped down to his skivvies (when I looked over and saw him standing in his BVDs I was horrified, but he did the equivalent of "look Ma, all the other boys are doing it," and it was true. A whole river full of men in their undies). A bunch of guys were sitting in the spray of the falls but Tim wanted to outdo them. He climbed up to the next water drop, hung out under the heavy spray, then leaped into the pool below. Everyone was suitably impressed. I was mostly using his camera so, you can see better pictures on his photo blog.
On the way back across the stream we got some help by a well-meaning local. As Kalani put it, "I was fallen into the river!" and that went for all of us who were helped. The help across the stream led to a very wet Mom, Kalani, and Kekai.
We stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch which had some delicious non-veg food (crazy how good chicken tastes these days). The kids, however, were most impressed by the table of drunk men who came in after us and started puking all over the place.....