Friday, 18 October 2013

Incredibly India - Munnar. Tea & Home Made Wine


We left Kochi & caught the six hour bus to Munnar which cost 86p each. I still can't believe how cheap things are here. Munnar is a hill station situated on a range of mountains called the Western Ghats. There are more than 50 tea estates in and around Munnar. It is one of the biggest centres of tea trade in India. Until 1790, Munnar and the surrounding area were forests. Now the whole area is covered by the miles and miles of lush tea gardens. The bus journey was a long one but once we started to get close to Munnar the scenery was unbelievable. Seriously! Unbelievable! Mountains and waterfalls everywhere! We climbed higher and higher & then we drove through the clouds. It may have been fog. I temporarily broke my phone due to the amount of use it was receiving taking photos. 





You would be forgiven for thinking I was talking nonsense but see! We did drive through clouds.

We had booked another home stay as our accommodation. It was lovely. Very clean & the family were very nice. The temperature up there in the mountains was very cool. No need for A/C or a fan. We asked the man of the house if there was anywhere good to eat & were told about a restaurant which was very close. Turns out Catherine had already read about the place & it was rated number one on trip advisor. The food was once again freaking brilliant. Served on another banana leaf. The restaurant had very basic décor & was informal to say the least. We were sat on a table made for 8 by ourselves then minutes before our food arrived we were joined by a family of six. We were getting some pretty strange looks that seemed to never end. It was a little uncomfortable but the food was so god damn tasty I hardly cared. The dosa's were excellent. I have been looking forward to trying a dosa for ages. Can not find them anywhere at home & these are the first I have found on our trip so far. We went there again the next night. 




Dosa is a lot like a crepe or very thin pancake. It is made from rice batter and black lentils. It's a crispy but soft brilliance.



We have previously mentioned that it can be difficult to find alcohol here in Kerala. We decided to have a few days off while in Munnar. Stay in an watch some stuff on the laptop. Knock knock! "hello would you like any beers or home made wine?" Asked the man working at our home stay. "erm yeah ok. Home made wine please" So much to not drinking, the wine was really good. Reminded us of our home brew cider. We bought extra to take back with us. 

In the morning the lady of the house made us breakfast. Omelette & toast. These tame foods once in a while are a nice little respite. We took breakfast in the garden. The sun was out & we were joined by some very impressive looking birds & butterflies. 






























So while in Munnar, where tea is everywhere, I decided I wanted to check out the tea museum. Walk around the tea gardens/tea plantations. Find some tea leaf pickers and pay a visit to one of the many waterfalls. A strange thing happened as we walked around looking for a driver. Not one of them approached us. In fact no one bothered us at all. The one time you actually do want something eh? Eventually we found a driver & we headed to the Tea Museum. The Museum was closed. Lots of things are closed on Mondays here. We lose track of the days. Often we only know its a Monday when someone has moaned about the fact on FB. As the museum was closed I did not learn how these humble plants are transformed into the worlds most popular drink. If I had to guess I would say that it is most likely something to do with chimpanzees.
































Tea tea everywhere but not a drop to drink






After all of the tea garden action we fancied a cuppa. We went on a bit of a Tea Bar crawl :D




So that was Munnar. As you can see from the photos it was very beautiful. Next we travel to Varkala. The beach yaaay!!

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