If you’ve glanced at Facebook/Instagram recently you will have seen we’ve been by the sea. Relaxing, resting and finally eating some fresh food – fish bought from the fishermen that caught them and barbecued to your taste at a local restaurant. It’s really given us a boost and help Fran lose her protruding rib cage.
We unfortunately had to leave the security and peace of Fort Cochin as we’d heard there were other things to see in South Injaah. So out came the Lonely Planet once again and we plotted a route…
Anyone who said the sound of rain pitter patting outside whilst you’re tucked up and cosy inside was peaceful or relaxing clearly hasn’t spent a night under a tin roof in the monsoon. Relaxing it is not! We weren’t going to let a little (read: all day and night) rain get in our way, we’re bloody British. So we hopped in a rickshaw and headed out to explore the delights of Munnar, a town known for its rich tea history (see what I did there – and if anyone fancies sending a pack of the aforementioned biscuity treat get in touch, we will be forever grateful).
We’ve created a brief montage of our lives travelling through the monsoon from the videos we’ve taken over the last few days. There’s busses, bumpy rickshaws and the one hour of sunshine we managed to take advantage of as we roamed the tea plantations.
After our time in Munnar we moved onto a place called Periyar Lake, famed for the most popular wildlife park in India. So we booked ourselves onto a jeep safari that left before dawn. When we barely slept due to the hammering rain we weren’t confident that it was going to be a particularly comfortable day. But when the mist descended as soon as we entered the park it became clear that we were going to see next to nothing. In total we saw:
1 bison back
4/5 moving shadows on the top of a hill a long long way away that we’re supposedly bison
An Indian man walking round with a precious bison skull scaring the Indian children
One waterfall on a very misty boat ride
Many more leach victims complete with bandages and blood – including a man holding his head and when we asked him where he banged it his wife said a leech fell on his head and he didn’t realise until it had swelled with his blood
And the highlight: a northern lady telling us a leech had just fallen off her neck after “a good feed”
You know you’re at a new travelling low when you stop walking and have to shout “leech check”. We did thankfully opt out of the trek, but those who did go said they saw loads of
Here’s some snippets of what we saw (and didn’t) and just how unlucky we were with the weather.
Thankfully before we left Munnar when we were waiting for our bus to depart (that’s a one hour wait, for the next time you complain the next tube isn’t for 8 minutes) an Indian man began shouting at us from outside the bus “Ma’am, Ma’am” and then pointing at the hills. When we were finally sure he wasn’t trying to mug us or sell us anything we looked where he was pointing and saw in the hills a wild elephant. A bloody wild elephant as we sat on the bus. It was so exciting! Don’t get that on the 179 to Ilford now do you!
So in conclusion we’ve seen more big wild animals on an 85p public bus than on our private 20 quid jeep safari.
We’re gluttons for punishment so tomorrow we leave for Allepey to do a day – yes that’s right a whole day, apparently we haven’t learnt – on a covered canoe. We then take a bus, rickshaw, plane, another rickshaw, sleeper train and finally a third rickshaw to reach Hampi where (fingers crossed) the weather might be a little better!!
Lots of love
Fran & Gem xxx