India (Kerala)

| | Comments (0)
On Saturday we flew from Pondicherry to Cochi (or Kochi or Cochin depending on where it’s written) to spend a few days in Kerala. Almost everyone we’d talked to about our time in India told us that we had to go there. Immediately upon landing it was clear we were in a completely different place. It was almost ten degrees cooler and everything was so green. We kept chuckling that we were now those people who just couldn’t get over how different places like Maine and Texas are at home. We spent that first night close to the airport before planning to leave early the next morning. Since Kerala is an entire state, and we wanted to see a number of different places within it, we decided that going with a tour company would be the easiest. Our driver, Dilleep, picked us up and we started the three hour drive west to Munnar. Among other things, Munnar is home to more than 60,000 acres of tea plantations and the highest point in southern India (Anamudi) The drive there was a bit nerve wracking (narrow mountain roads, Indian drivers and the beginning of the Monsoon), but Dilleep was an excellent driver and our surroundings were absolutely gorgeous. We spent two days in Munnar. On our first day we toured a tea museum set up by one of the oldest tea plantations in the area. Fascinating story and one of the tour guides seemed extra enthusiastic about our being there and took us to some of the off-the-tour places too. We also took a bus (that we were convinced was about to topple off the side of a cliff) halfway up a trail into Eravikulam national park in hopes of seeing Nilgiri Tahrs (a rare breed of mountain goat). Just as we reached the end of the ride though and reached the trail that would take us further up it started to rain and visibility dropped significantly. Alas no mountain goats for us. The next day, however, started out bright and sunny and Dilleep took us to more of the local sites including a botanical garden, the honeybee tree and some of the large dams in the area. Honestly, around every corner seemed to be a view more incredible than the last with one of our favorites being from the top of Top Station where we could see for miles into the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu (also where Pondicherry happens to be located). As we were passing one area he told us that wild elephants had been seen there yesterday and that we should keep our eyes peeled just in case. Sure enough, we turned another corner and there was a small group of people standing outside their cars by the side of the road. Dilleep confirmed with one of them that they were looking at elephants and we too got out of the car to see a group of five including one calf standing less than 100 yards away happily grazing. The following morning we set out on a five hour drive to Alleppey (aka Allapuzza) to tour the backwaters and spend the night on a houseboat. The boat was even better than we’d hoped and again since it was the beginning of the Monsoon the canals were less crowded with other houseboats than usual. Besides a short canoe ride that took us through some of the smaller canals, we spent the afternoon and evening just floating along and relaxing. A great way to end our time in India and someplace we’d love to go back to!* *There’s a flower named Neelakurinji that blooms in Munnar only once every 18 years and apparently blankets the region in tiny blue flowers. Kerela in 2018 anyone?!

Leave a comment

More trip photos on Flickr…
Where we've been…
View Around the World 2013 in a larger map

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kat published on June 17, 2013 7:15 AM.

India (Pondicherry) was the previous entry in this blog.

Jordan is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.