Five hours after leaving Fort Kochi, our bus pulls into Munnar town. The town itself is the central hub for all business and trade in the area and consists of a few winding streets lined with the usual pop up shops that seem to wrap around the constant flurry of organised chaos.
Looking a little less fresh faced but running 6 hours ahead of schedule, we were happy to stretch our legs on the small hill out of town to our guest stay. We quickly discovered that after a short walk up the hill and away from the town, you could chose from a number of small resturants and cafes that had all of the charm of those in Town but seemed seperate from the madness.
On our first full day in Munnar, we hiked 20km across incredibly beautiful tea estates towards Mattupetty Dam. The road was never straight for more than 100m at a time and each turn posed another breathtaking view.
We cheated a bit and jumped in a passing rickshaw for the last few Km, thinking we’d need some legs for the walk back. The dam was pretty good as dams go, big wall and lots of water. The view was pretty amazing too except for the rusted wire fencing on each side that stops tourists stumbling over the edge as they try to get that selfie for Facebook.
The walk back was filled with more amazing views and lots of people wanting to have selfies with the white kids. We bumped into a really nice couple from Yorkhire on the path who complemented our efforts based on how dirty our feet had gotten and of course, played our first game of Where’s Ella?
After a much needed sleep , we set off the next day for the nearby tea museum, bumping into a lost woman from Germany who joined us for the day. For £1.50 we had a guided tour of the plantations processing factory and a brief history lesson on Munnar.
Fact of the day – The eucalyptus trees seen all throughout the valley that fuel the plantations and support the regions eucalyptus oil export, started off as 5 seeds smuggled into Munnar in a woman’s sock. Sneaky!
Having been told numerous times that green tea will literally fix anything (move over NHS) we headed back to town and had dinner with an English couple who are retracing the adventures they had when they were younger.
Let’s hope tomorrow’s 5:40am bus to Ernakulam is as good as it sounds! 🙂