Tuesday, 13 December 2011


See the stunning scenery of Munnar and enjoy the quiet village life and tasty local food.

As Munnar is colder during the early mornings and evenings you will want to wear more layers, so generally covering up won't be an issue. I did see some girls wearing shorts/sleeveless tops when walking as it does get much warmer throughout the day especially if its sunny. This didn't appear to be a problem but maybe cover up if you head into the town.

Tea (obviously), spices, honey and home made chocolate.


Take a jumper and jeans/trousers as it can be quite cold. Also don't forget trainers/comfy/walking shoes as the ground is uneven and hikes are the main thing to do around Munnar.
After 5 very lazy days in Varkala we finally decided to head to Munnar where Rosie would also join us. We booked a rickshaw for 8am and paid 80Rs between us to take us to the train station. Our train cost 190Rs between 2 of us and took us from Varkala to Kottayam where we then caught a bus from Kottayam to Munnar. The train was packed and we were squashed in like sardines, it was also very hot. The 3 and a half hours we were on there for were most definitely more than enough.

We hadn't checked out the bus times and presumed/hoped there would be regular buses to Munnar. Our luck paid off and after paying 30Rs for a rickshaw from the train station to the bus station we boarded a government bus within 10 minutes. The 5 and a half hour bus journey wasn't too bad and the higher into the mountains we climbed the cooler the air was, which made for a refreshing change.
The scenery from the bus was beautiful, with picture perfect pastel colours in the sky, towering mountains poking through and local workers walking home following a hard days work in the tea plantations.

We paid 30Rs for a rickshaw from the bus station to JJ Cottages, which we had been advised to stay at via the LP and a guy we met in the Chillout bar in Varkala. It was a 10-15 minute walk away from the main town and located in a quiet area next to a village. We hadn't booked beforehand and fortunately there were two rooms available. Rosie had the smaller of the two and paid 500Rs per night and we had the slightly larger for 600Rs per night. Once again i tried to barter on price but the owner wouldn't budge.

Our room had a huge bed and hot water. It was the cleanest room we had seen so far with the bathroom being immaculate. It was a family run business and the owners were extremely friendly and helpful, even offering us a beer for 100Rs each upon arrival, which we most definitely appreciated after our long journey.

The next day We found some breakfast and decided to call the rickshaw driver who had dropped us off at JJ Cottages and arrange for a tour of Munnar. We paid 200Rs each for a 6 hour long trip. Our driver 'Mani' arrived within 5 minutes and we stopped off at many beautiful places, admiring the scenery, exploring the local markets and tasting the tea.

Rosie and I with our driver Mani

Ian, looking like your typical tourist at the market

The high-light for me was the honey that was sold at the roadside. This guy had a large metal pot with honeycomb on the top and some sort of filter device which then magically made honey. The honey was then transferred into empty whisky bottles and then sold to tourist and the locals. The friendly honey seller asked us to hold out our hands whilst he poured some honey into our palms for us to try. Had i not had to travel for the next 4 and a half  months i would have immediately purchased one of those dodgy looking bottles of honey.

Rosie and I with the honey man

Due to the cloud settling in the afternoon we missed out on some of the more spectacular views we had seen the night before and wished we had snapped some shots whilst we were travelling along the bumpy roads on the bus.

Once we arrived back from our rickshaw trip we headed into the shabby little town of Munnar to have a quick look around and then embarked on a mini hike of our own from the village we were staying in. The rain had now eased and the sun was trying to push through which enabled us to get a few good shots from the top of some of the smaller mountains.

Ian and I walking around the tea plantations

 Local selling flowers in Munnar town

For dinner we headed back into the main town but due to a 'holiday' most places were closed. We decided to eat at a roadside market directly in the town, which had the nicest, freshly made parotta bread we had ever tried. It was also very cheap, between the 3 of us we shared two curries, 8 Parottas and 3 bottles of water which came to 120Rs.

We had planned on staying here for 2 nights and embarking on a trek, but due to the cloud and slight rain that had crept in we thought it would be a waste of money to pay for a hike only for our views to be spoilt by the clouds, so in the end we all decided to head back to Kochi. Rosie was heading to Fort Kochi and we wanted to get from Kochi to Goa via the train.

The bus down from Munnar was not the usual government bus that we normally used. I had wondered why our helpful rickshaw driver in Alleppey had advised us to only get a government bus (white bus not red/green) and i now know why.

Once we boarded the crowded bus and got going we noticed how the bus driver seemed to be on a suicide mission. He careered along the steep, zig zagging, uneven roads as fast as he could. It was like being inside an old tin can on the back of a roller coaster. We actually had to hold onto the bars of the seats in front of us even though we were sat down.

It was a really hairy ride and i kept bracing myself for an impact. The brakes were slammed on a couple of times and there were a few near misses but we finally made it to Kochi in one piece!

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