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Leaving Mumbai we fly south to Cochin in the long narrow state of Kerala. A new language and a new alphabet; such a shame as we had mastered two Hindi words. The people here speak the palindromic Malayalam and their written Sanskrit derived text is round and curly without the top bar line that makes Hindi so distinctive. They have a lilting sing song tone, a little like the nonsense one spoke as a child pretending to speak another language.
... to impress you with his knowledge and reeled off facts and figures like a mini Wikipedia!
He seemed to moan a lot about being ripped off everywhere he went and always wanted a photo of himself in front of every landmark. Which is fair enough - so do we but it was a bit more egotistical with him and it made the trip a bit quiet coz we didn't want to start him off again. He certainly didn't like it when we knew things he didn't like the fact ...
... shadows of the mountains. Mist still lay along the valleys. Gorgeous.
It was here that Alex made her stand. Refusing to move another inch she insisted we continue without her. We all made an attempt to assure her of her innate ability to conquer this challenge, but I think it sounded hollow to her as well. So we left her lying on a rock in the morning sun and trudged off. Heading through a small thicket nestled between the peaks found us at the ...
Just west inland from Cochin, Munnar is set in the Mountainous ghats carpeted by spices and tea plantations, home to wild elephants and exotic birds. The actual town is a scruffy Hill Station, but just a few km outside, it's truly picturesque. This is the commercial centre of some of the worlds highest growing tea estates. Engulfed in a sea of 1000 shades of green with orange, red and blue flowered trees lining the rural roads, Max and I set off on a 3 day adventure ...
... have a reservation and if you say no they take you somewhere else and say your place is closed/full/burned down. Then they get a commission for delivering tourists to the over-priced rubbish guesthouse.
Of course we answered "Yes, we have a reservation", to our driver so it was a bit embarrassing when we turned up and the place was full! To the driver's credit, he found us a really nice alternative; a cheap, comfortable and clean homestay on ...