We were on the 9am bus to Munnar, a hillstation in the Western Ghats populated with tea plantations. It was a winding journey and to our dismay the bus’s horn was like an air raid siren inside the carriage and the driver used it with WW2 enthusiasum as if ze germans were bombing the hell out of the place. Ear plugs made the trip just bearable. As we rose up the mountains, plantations of pepper and cardamon gave way to Indian tea. Oddly one of the towns prior to Munnar was loaded with large buildings that sat out of place with the landscape, perhaps some hilltop boarding school where rich students from the cities were sent by their parents either out of hatred or compassion for escaping the summer heat.
Arriving mid afternoon we had a late lunch in a nice cheap Indian restaurant before setting off to find our accommodation at Hotel Aida. With a tv in our room I painfully watched Sri Lanka remove New Zealand from the Cricket World Cup semi final, it was a deserved win, our boys did not show up. We arranged a walking tour for the following morning and relaxed for the evening as
there was little to see here other that tea.
The walking tour set off at 6.30am after tea and biscuits and we made our way over and along the river and then walked up through a hilly tea plantation with the summit in our sights. Our group included an older Indian couple who returned to india every year for holiday and some your English girls doing the backpacker thing. At the peak we were treated to jam and banana sandwiches, boiled eggs and black tea. On the way back down we passed through the spice plantations were our friendly guide showed us the aftermath of pesky wild elephants trespassing on the plantations for a tasty meal. After the walk finished we slept, and I watched the other Cricket World Cup semi final, a powder keg between India and Pakistan, the streets were empty, and when India pulled through jubilant shouts could be heard in the streets.
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