Munnar 15 | bellsandtrance's Blog
So Jobie Shumaker got us out of Cochin at breakneck speed and what a drive it was. We are on our way to Munnar hill station (about 200km south) what a stunning place this is! We drove up a mountain pass, the highest I've ever been on I think. The mountains are covered on either side by beautiful, lush green tea plantations. The trees are tall and the bush is quite tropical. As we cling on for dear life we take in the waterfalls and dark volcanic rock cliff faces. No wonder they call this Gods own country. There is a single tar road winding and dipping, luckily for us we ascend without a hitch as Jobie isn't too concerned about....a) on coming traffic b) pedestrians c) animals d) waiting to overtake any other vehicle on the road whatsoever! His philosophy apparently is...just blow horn, just zip past, truck,bus, oil tanker...NO PROBLEM! [die pad hy draai en draai...]
We arrive at our hotel (Windermere estate darling!) nestled in the middle of the mountains and it is such a fantastic feeling to be out of the city. We have a very colonial looking bungalow with a patio overlooking the whole mountainside. There is a bit of mist but the air is so clean...I actually lie on our huge soft bed with a view of the mountainside and I have the most fantastic sleep...Garth joins me and the cool thing is that the kids are having a fabulous time playing in the stunning gardens.
We wake up later and we are served a delicious dinner ( still eating, think I'm on 4 kgs now oh dear! ) our dinner consists of ...creamy fish curry, peppered lamb, Kashmiri mixed vegetables, curry chickpeas, yoghurt and mint beet root, roti bread, Kerala rice,coffee cheese cake and chai. My Goodness we roll back to our rooms like barrels and pass out from pure indulgence( I need a gym when I get home!)
What a sweet sleep! We see the fantastic view from our patio when we get up as the mist has settled. The mountains are called the blue mountains and they are breathtaking. Our driver takes us to the national park about 6km away. We climb on another bus to get to the top, the whole area is tea plantations and it's unbelievably green. The tops of the mountains are misty and there are gigantic cliffs all around us. I don't look at the road as this furthers my fear of slipping off the one meter gap we have from the edge. When we come across another truck we promptly reverse a couple of meters to make way. At the apex of the mountain is a path you can walk up to the summit. Simply beautiful.
After an alarming drive back down we visit a tea farm and we watch as they crush and dry the leaves for all sorts of teas. A very simple process actually that sifts the leaves through a succession of rollers, crushers and ovens.
We return to the Munnar market and buy a few things, shopping is different here and there are many interesting shops with all sorts of spices. Spiced soap, spiced candles, spiced facial packs, even spice drops to spice up your tea. There are dried chillies, vanilla pods cinnamon sticks hanging from the ceilings in the various shops and when you are down wind from the shops and up wind from the river it smells marvelous.
Ma is still getting pain after she eats and she will definitely be needing a specialist when she gets home. She is taking it easy where she can though and basically lives on antacids. Shame poor Ma! We are doing what we can to make her feel more comfortable! We have a much slower pace now and the rest is doing everyone some good.
The moon is full tonight and the whole garden is filled with fairy lights. This is a magical, charming place!
Namaste! ( goodbye)
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