Saturday, November 08, 2008

Bus Ride to Munnar

With no train going into Munnar, the only form of cheap public transportation was the bus. Arriving in Kottyam a few hours later, we took advantage of the layover time to eat and get a few provisions. Wanting to ensure we had a seat on the bus, we arrived plenty early back at the bus station but had to wait until the appointed time anyway. Thankfully we all got a seat, something we appreciated especially with the winding roads and long journey.

In typical Indian fashion, the bus went rather fast, liberally honking its loud horn at pedestrians and vehicles alike to pull over and make way. Patience was not a virtue. Even when a vehicle was spotted coming in the opposite lane, the driver still pulled out to pass, barely making it into the correct lane before colliding. I was amazed how the driver could share the narrow roads with logging trucks and other buses. Even in villages where there was a “no honking zone,” the driver chose to ignore the signs and continued blaring the horn.

Following a rather lengthy break to gas up the bus, the elevation suddenly increased and roads became very twisty and curvy. On top of the hills one could see churches. Near one church was a funeral procession. Other hills bore the marks of terraced farming. Along the way we also saw rubber tree tapping, an elephant, and a few waterfalls of varying sizes. Albeit later than expected, we finally arrived in the town of Munnar and its cool night air.

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