A Travellerspoint blog

I chose the cool mountains over the backwaters


View Nolan's Eleven Heaven meetups & South India 2016 & Philippine Post Easter Islands Meetup 2016 & Kuala Lumpur meetups in January 2016 on NT01's travel map.

large_1840343_14561518323152.jpgDRAFT:

We were originally supposed to book a floating houseboat for Allepey instead of Kochi/Ernakulam. However I am not really a fan of water but I do like lazing around in a well appointed place moving at a slow pace. But I prefer the cool weather far more than the warmth and sun of a beach or the backweather. So we hesitated booking a houseboat until about less than 2 weeks to go before the trip, and still we didn't book any other place in Munnar [Munnar-travel-guide-489257] which was the main option vs. the Allepey houseboat. Jai had recommended a nice place with a tree house, yet the timing didn't feel right. Until Divi came along.

Divi had privileges of being a member of a time share which included a property in Munnar, the Munnar Terraces.large_1840343_14561518713411.jpg It was up there in the tea plantations of Munnar halfway between Ernakulam [Ernakulam-travel-guide-480820] in Kerala state and the capital of Tamil Nadu, Madurai. He said there was a nice suite available which had two beds. However the price seemed a bit cheap for a big area, which prompted us to request for a second room so we would get single occupancy. That was a very good decision we made. Despite Divi being on the train back to Karur, he managed to call and have the property confirm us and send an email. And so we were set - thanks a great deal to Divi.

On the day of departure we walked over to the bus station, and looked for the popular Volvo buses. The orange bus of the KSRTC was similar to any city commuter bus in major Asian cities, with losts of room for commuters to stand.large_1840343_14555561192657.jpg It also had a harness system for handicapped passengers on wheelchairs, which ended up being used as a hook for somebody else's backpack. On the bus ride up to Munnar we met a lovely British couple named David and Victoria (no, not Beckham), who we immediately struck a conversation with. They had just started traveling since November 2015 and were on an adventure, doing teaching jobs on the side. I eventually recruited David to TravBuddy (http://www.travbuddy.com/dav1dedwards) although David is yet to get out of enjoyment mode while traveling in India for the forseeable midterm range.

The bus drivers in India are crazy, but they are also very skillful. They overtake everyone else like a madman and yet don't get as many scratches on their vehicles, even passing by others within 6-12 inches head on! Occasionally they will miscalculate their approach path so we end up getting slammed by the breaks hard, but that occurs probably only once or twice during the whole trip because the oncoming vehicle miscalculated the width of the mountain pass road, or there is a hug bomb crater sized pothole on the road. Overall I felt safe, not as dizzy (I don't get carsick as easily as most), but the ride will surely be a hair raising, high blood pumping moment for most who are used to orderly driving back in their home countries.

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Our pitstop after a long overnight train ride from Goa


View Nolan's Eleven Heaven meetups & South India 2016 & Philippine Post Easter Islands Meetup 2016 & Kuala Lumpur meetups in January 2016 & India January 2016 on NT01's travel map.

DRAFT

15 hour train ride from Madgaon station

Walk over to the hostel, just 5 minutes away

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Sugar Plum Baga, Goa


View Nolan's Eleven Heaven meetups & South India 2016 & Philippine Post Easter Islands Meetup 2016 & Kuala Lumpur meetups in January 2016 & India January 2016 on NT01's travel map.

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The UNESCO Heritage site of Hampi


View Nolan's Eleven Heaven meetups & South India 2016 & Philippine Post Easter Islands Meetup 2016 & Kuala Lumpur meetups in January 2016 & India January 2016 on NT01's travel map.

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South India 2016 - Mahabalipuram Photos


View Nolan's Eleven Heaven meetups & South India 2016 & Philippine Post Easter Islands Meetup 2016 & Kuala Lumpur meetups in January 2016 & India January 2016 on NT01's travel map.

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