Monsoon - museums and leeches


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Asia » India » Kerala » Munnar
August 7th 2018
Published: August 7th 2018
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Stephen convinced there’s a path here somewhere....
Monsoon is back. After being very lucky with the weather the past couple of days the rain returned yesterday evening and hasn’t stopped since. Now we were warned about monsoon but I rather naively thought that meant short sharp showers in the relative warmth. Instead we have had continuous torrential rain with brief interludes of light rain. And it’s cold!

Aware of the poor forecast for the morning we decided to have a late breakfast. Our usually stunning views consisted of a white out as we were quite literally sitting in the clouds. We decided a visit to the tea museum was a perfect wet weather activity.

We meandered out of our hotel into the tiny hamlet at the top of the drive. There were lots of smart taxis for residents of the expensive local hotels and 3 tuktuks. No drivers in any of them. Spotting a small tea stall Stephen went in and asked ’tuktuk?’, being told to stay where we were a customer ran off leaving us in the pouring rain. He returned with a tuktuk, complete with driver (one of the few without plastic sheeting on both sides!). Delighted we arranged to be taken to the tea museum, forgetting we are supposed to negotiate prices! (In fairness the 25 min journey cost us about £2 and I think he needed the extra 50p we overpaid more than we do!)

The tea museum was very interesting, having lots of pictures of the early tea planters and a history of tea growing in the area. The video showed felt rather like propaganda for the company but we enjoyed it despite this. The museum has an example of a factory production line which was very interesting to see working (complete with local trying to fix it whilst it was still moving!).

On leaving the museum we were met by more heavy rain and a car park full of taxis waiting for their specific clients. Having failed to make any new friends with whom to share a taxi we walked the short distance back into Munnar city. It was very wet. And smelly - unfortunately despite how rural the area is the road side is used as a dustbin.

We had a little explore around the city, found some food in a very smart looking bakery (we have no idea what we ate but it tasted good!). We then continued on our soggy way, looking at the shops and bazaar. We were hoping the rain would lighten enough to go to a local national park. Admitting defeat on that front we decided to go back to the hotel. It turned out to be somewhat tricky to find a tuktuk driver who knew where to go!

Back at the hotel I was quite content warming up in a hot bath with tea and a good book. Stephen has the attention span of a knat and quickly got bored. The forecast had said the rain would stop by 12. We decided at 430 ish that it had paused and was looking brighter - we even convinced ourselves the sun was shining on the opposite hill (which was at least visible again). Changing back into our wet clothes we went for a short walk (it’s gets dark by 630 ish).

The walk started well, descending from the road into the edges of the cardamom plantation we walked through jungle and saw a giant squirrel. Very exciting. Then of course it started to pour again. No worries. Then something stung me. It hurt. Looking at my ankle there was a leech trying to eat me! (I know they’re not supposed to hurt but apparently they hurt me! This creature must have only just latched on judging by how skinny it was). Squeeling at my poor husband to get rid of it didn’t help remove it any faster. The little blighter was ridiculously wriggly and kept evading Stephens removal techniques. From now on the pen knife is coming with us!

First leech successfully removed Stephen spotted another crawling up my jacket. Initially I left it’s removal to Stephen but it could sucker onto my coat at either end and wasn’t interested in being moved onto a leaf or stick. As it appeared to be getting uncomfortably close to my face I decided to take matters into my own hands and half bludgeoned, half flicked the little blood sucker away with a stick. Relieved we continued.

There was then a very loud rumbling and crash. My first thought was a land slip (there have been lots) but Stephen spotted the top of a very large tree coming down. Onto the path where we had just been. I promptly demanded that we went straight home! Back on the road my
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Sign I agree with completely
ankle hurt again, there was another little leech trying to have a go! This time I manage to remove it myself in super quick time.

Once back in our room, after passing leech inspection, everything was made better by a lovely warm cup of tea...


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Outskirts of munnar

Walking back from the tea museum
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jungle walk

The tree that fell near us


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