Munnar is a very lovely spot high in the Mountains of the State of Kerala in southern India. The town itself is the highest point in Kerala and it is at 6000 ft above sea level. Once known as the High Range of Travancore, it is now the commercial center of some of the world’s highest tea growing estates. It is very green and does remind one a bit of Ireland with its rugged terrain, many shades of green and goats aplenty.
We landed around noon the first day meet our driver Mr. Saji loaded up the van and drove four hours up into the mountains. The tea plantations, waterfalls and scenery were unbelievable. The pictures do not do the place justice.
We stayed at a very remote retreat called Tree Top resort. It was very quiet but not the most ideal place for kids. The “cottage” we stayed at had one bedroom, which was down stairs. There was a spiral staircase leading up to the sitting room. We had to put a dresser in front of the stairs at night to keep the kids from attempting to come and visit us during the night.
The meals were served buffet style and 7:30 am and 7:30 pm and the food was surprisingly good. We were told it was all Indian food and the kids would not like, that was not the case.
The next day we set out for Eravikulam National Park. This park fulfills two important functions it protects the endangered Nilgiri Tahar, which is a very social sheep. The second function of the park is to also protect the Neelkuriniji, which is a purple flower that blooms once every 12 years, and it is sight we are glad we saw!! We took it as a sign that the flower is blooming the year we are here (but then again, maybe it blooms every year and the 12 yr thing is just a marketing ploy. We'll never know....)
We arrived at the entrance to the park and the lines were incredible. It was a holiday and we expected to have to wait however we were whisked right into the office and charged the foreigner rate which was 100 rupees per adult and 50 rupees for the kids and then put on the first bus! The rate for locals is 10 rupees but then you have to wait in line.:(
We went to the top of the mountain and walked up about a mile and ran into the sheep. All the people wanted to take pictures of the kids, which happens all the time here. The flowers were awesome the views were beautiful.
All the way to the park we kept seeing these vendors selling carrots and these carrots were the most incredible orange we have ever seen. We bought some and they were great, Kay ate them down to the nub!!
We then drove on to tour some tea plantations, which we found very cool. We had no idea what they would look like and they are a lot like a winery and very well maintained.
We then traveled off to this man made dam which is called Kundata Dam. It is quite large there is no swimming as it provides all the water needed to power the area. There is a spot called Echo point which if you shoot you can hear a multitude of echoes and all the people we having fun with this. The kids were sleeping when we announced it was time for the elephant ride, as you know from previous blog only Billy liked it.
It was back to the hotel to get packed up so we could be ready to leave the next morning, and to have dinner. It was the feast of Diwali, which is the celebration of light and a very big Indian holiday. The hotel had a celebration but failed to tell any of the guests about it. Everyone should up at 7:30 for dinner and people got a little put out that we had to wait for the “program” to be over which would be about and hour. It started off with a local group doing an interpretive dance and went down hill from there. Our kids needed to eat and so did some other kids and by 8:20 everyone was in the restaurant eating dinner. We felt sorry for the performers and don’t know if they finished the program or not.The next morning we had breakfast let the kids play on the giant swing and then got into the van for our four hour drive to Kochi ( Cochin) .
We would HIGHLY reccommend Munnar. There was a Reki "spa/training center" right next to our resort and it is an incredible relaxing and beautiful get away!
Our next blog is Cochin, stay tuned!
was in the restaurant eating dinner. We felt sorry for the performers and don’t know if they finished the program or not.The next morning we had breakfast let the kids p[lay on the giant swing and then got into the van for our four hour drive to Kochi ( Cochin) .
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