After spending 4 nights in Kochi where I got frustrated by the noise, chaos and humidity, I decided to head to Munnar in the hills. There was no easy way to get there so despite it being a 2-3 hour drive I ended up booking an Uber. The area I'd be travelling to is incredibly green and lush, it is surrounded by hills, tea plantations and waterfalls and is one of the reasons Kerala is so highly regarded, so I figured I couldn't miss out on in while I was in India so I decided to just go ahead and book the Uber. In any event the Uber only cost me around £30 - not bad for a 3 hour journey.
It turned out to be quite a journey though, the weather took a severe turn for the worse as soon as we got up in the hills. There was heavy rain, at times torrential. The monsoons weren't due for at least another month but on this weather you'd think they'd already arrived. The rain even began to cause some slight mudslides on the roads.
The journey was taking far longer than I expected too. It was supposed to take approximately 2 hours but as we were getting closer to 4 hours and the roads were getting more remote, more rugged and narrower and didn't look as though they would lead to anything, I was beginning to doubt whether the place I'd booked actually existed!
Eventually I saw signs for Shamrock - the name of my accommodation - and pulled up at the only hotel that appeared to be there. A man kindly opened my door, another man immediately took my bag from the boot of the car and into the hotel, I was warmly greeted by about 3 other people. A woman painted a bindi (red dot) on my head. I had booked one of the cheapest places I could find, so all of this was quite surprising and the hotel looked much more grande and beautiful than I was expecting. 'This looks a lot nicer than the photos I thought!'
I was beginning to think there must be some mistake and this can't be the place I had booked, but it appeared to be the only accommodation in the area. I walked to reception and the girl quoted someone else's name, asking if that was me. I said no and gave them my correct name, knowing that it was too good to be true and that there was no way I could be staying in such a nice place. She asked for a booking reference and so I asked if this was 'Shamrock?' She confirmed that it was not Shamrock and that the place I was looking for was actually next door.
Sure enough, hidden and tucked away next door was the much more modest guest house that I had actually booked. The dream didn't last very long haha!
My place was certainly nice enough though and I made sure to book a room with a balcony so I could make the most of the views there and even do some landscape photography from the comfort of my room.
I really did enjoy the peace and quiet and being back in amongst the hills and nature again. It was such a contrast to Kochi and I was in my element. I should have known however, that nowhere in India stays quiet for long.
Not long after I arrived some music started to be played. I'm not entirely sure where it was coming from but it was incredibly loud, it was as though the hills were in fact speakers. It also went on for several hours although it was a bit of a novelty factor doing landscape photography in the hills while Indian music was being played so I didn't mind too much - heck I even done some dancing which is something I never normally do!
You can see all of this and more in my video at the top of this page.
For my next adventure though I will be hiring a tuk tuk and going around the many different sights and viewpoints in this beautiful part of India.
See you then!