Trip Start Mar 11, 2012
Trip End Sep 28, 2012

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Where I stayed
Jj Cottage Munnar
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of India  , Kerala,
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

To gain some rest bite from the relentless Indian heat we decided to go up to the mountain town of Munnar. It was to be our first Indian bus experience and one we were told would be difficult for us.  It is funny, but the Indians we meet seem to think we (all foreign tourists) are a little precious and unable to rough it with them.  As it turned out this was one of our mildest bus experiences, apart from one thing….The beeping, it's loud, obnoxious and constant.  The beeping seems a way to annoy the other drivers so much that they get out of your way and our bus driver was ANNOYING.

As we got closer to our destinations we gained our first views of the 99,000 acres of tea fields.  We took a rickshaw for the first day to see the area’s highlights.  A guy called 'Selva’ was our driver for the day.  He took us to small local villages, tea shops and showed us some unguided walking routes.  Later in the evening I was invited to play football with Selva and his friends ‘the Decent Boys’ as they like to be known.  Not setting the bar too high with their choice of name.

I showed up to a football match that was a great representation of India….Crowded, unorganised, noisy and hot.   They were some 50, yes 50, people trying to play on a normal 11-a-side pitch, most in bare foot. This was the strangest experience I have had whilst on a football pitch.  I even had the honour of sharing the pitch with a guy called "Ghandi" and a guy who simply called himself “Taxi Driver”.   The match was great fun, and with me weaving my magic in the middle like a white John Barnes, of course my team went onto win the tie.  It’s always nice to have the members of your team saying “give it to James” and then have the other team do everything they can to stop you. Even the odd rugby tackle was thrown in there.…all in good fun; well until the cheating started. 

Due to my lack of ability in identifying a lot of my teammates, some thought it a good tactic to pretend they were on my side so I would give them the ball then turn around and attack our goal.  At this point I decided to retire from the game.  The “Decent Boys” however, were so happy with my performance I was asked if I was still in town at the end of the week to play in their cup final, unfortunately I had to decline their invitation as we couldn’t agree upon personal terms.    

The following morning we arranged for Selva to take us on a hike into the nearby peaks to watch the sunrise.  We were not disappointed, despite some aches and pains from the previous evening’s ‘big match’ we managed to drag ourselves up to a view that made it well worth the early rise. 

Munnar turned out to be more than we expected and was a great place to relax and cool off.
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