Looking at past entries, (Kochi, Kollam, Kotayam, Kumily) you make think I went to Munnar just to prove that not everywhere in Kerala begins with a 'K'.
I got to the bus station at 13.30 for the bus to Munnar, turns out it didn't leave till 14.45 and took longer than I thought arrived around 19.15, another day gone!
I had phoned for some accommodation that George from Kottayam had given me, but they were full they seemed to think I should of turned up yesterday. George must of reserved me a room when I said I would of being going to Munnar, although he didn't tell me it was next to this. Still somebody jumped on the bus and approached me asking if I was Holly, nope, somebody else. I shooed him away thinking he was another tout, then he showed me his card for the homestay, aah, he means Colin. So I got off the bus with him and told him I had phoned and they had no rooms. He said "Come, come" I asked again about rooms and he said "No". Hmm strange. Turned out they were full but I could sleep in the living room. Met a guy from Toronto, Norm and a girl for Netherlands, Dieuwke (www.dieuwke.tk) also staying there and went for dinner.
The next day we went for a walk throught the tea plantations. We arrived at a small village where the kids were jumping up and down and shouting. Dieuwke was wearing a sari, which seem to amaze everybody we met. People would stop and speak and the only word we would recognise was sari. We were invited in for some tea, by the school teacher, We asked for a photo of Elizabeth (or Maybol, said Elizabeth was her company name?) and her husband. Her husband got changed, combed his hair, selected his best jacket, decided against it and then went outside for the photo.
Strangely when we left the children decided they no longer liked us and threw stones at us, Watch your back! Maybe because we didn't give them a pen? Or just up to mischeive, who knows?
We wandered on for some more and eventually spotted the road where we walked for a bit more past a temple where five guys were "gi'eing it laldy" on the drums. Some sort of small festival presumably. Passing a typical market stall.
Went back for dinner and had some beef which was like galvanised rubber, the chicken the night before was much tastier!
Next day we were going to go to a waterfall but there is no water (I guess it's relegated to being a cliff), so we went to Echo Point. This basically consisted of a forested lake where with lots of Indians shouting across it.
There was a film crew from Kairla TV station who gave us a lift to the end of the lake, after filming us and the rest of the tourists (Fame at last!) Then a large group of guys on holiday offered us a lift upto Top Station, so twelve of us somehow crammed into a jeep. The driver could talk English fine as his wife worked in Ireland. Some of the rest however appeared to have been drinking a bit and were in high spirits. Instant best friends! They didn't speak much English though.
One gave me a try of his sunglasses. I just said "Thanks very much!" which shut them up for a bit. I think only the rich Indians would have sunglasses. At the very edge of the cliff stood a gate where a man tried to charge people for looking at the view, seemed completely pointless as you could see the view fine from the path. Still anything for a quick buck, eh?
I saw the route that Aaron from the rafting must of hiked, he must be very fit! There goes that idea.
Know I now why the bus takes seven hours to go only about 60km. It's down one mountain and up another taller one!
We declined a lift back down in the jeep opting for the bus. As we crossed a dam the guard, as usual asked name, country and then excitedly showed us the dam gutter. When you shout along the wall you get a small echo. Echos seem to be a big thing in India? He then ushered us down to the bottom of the dam. He most of told another group of Indians my name as on the way back up, people were shouting "Colin! Colin!", "How are you, Colin?". Erm "Fine"
Waiting for the bus at 17.30 it turned up at 16.30 but going the wrong way. The conductor asked us where we were going, replied Munnar. He ushered us on the bus, "Yes, yes Munnar. Please sit." as expected it went off for half an hour in the wrong direction before looping back past where we were. Still had a quick look at a small village, Kovilloor. Seemed to be full of ruind jeep being cannabilised fir spare parts, I didn't want to even think about how they got in such a state. Eventually made it back and went for dinner with another Torontoian, if that's the word. Another veg banana leaf place but quite tasty.
I opted against going to Kodiakanal and decided to go straight to Madurai, so back down to the plains, which means get the suntan lotion on again!