Fancy a cuppa?

Trip Start Oct 30, 2005
Trip End Jun 19, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

I hadn't realised how much I'd missed rain until finally I caught the smell of it on the air, as we made our way up into the Western Ghats of Kerala to Munnar, site of the highest tea plantation in the world. It was my first taste of rain in more than four months (126 days to be precise) and the freshness of it on the air was like a balm.
Laura and I came up from Cochin, on the Malabar coast, yesterday local-style (kamikaze buses), sweltering the entire way. But as we hit the hills, the the lush rain forests, the mercury dropped mercifully, and as we approached Munnar the rain a-came down.

It's lovely and cool up here, and a welcome relief from the oppressive heat of the south. And I feel totally relaxed, not only after luxuriating in Goa, but simply from the lasse-faire attitude of the South. It's easily the most laid-back part of India I've experienced so far, and without fail, a simple "hi" and a smile will elicit an enormous Colgate-esque grin from any local passing-by. I'm loving it here, and am starting to rue the fact that I'm soon leaving India. Even my head-wobble has come back, so at ease am I down here!

Munnar is much like Sapa, in northern Vietnam (substituting a few locals, and tea for rice, of course). A chilled-out mountain village, with epic green vistas, and cloud-shrouded mountains. Not a single person has tried to rip us off yet up here, and that, if nothing else, is enough to remind you that you're not in North India anymore!!

Namaste my friends.
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