Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Munnar Town

Back in Munnar for the evening, we took advantage of the opportunity to buy some tea and spices grown locally. The prices for cardamom and masala were quite a bit less than what they were elsewhere. Ayurvedic medicines were also a popular purchase for the town’s tourists. While two teachers went to purchase a Communist flag, another teacher and I enjoyed a cup of tea at a small Christian-owned shop located in the market area. Just before we were about to leave, the lights dimmed and then the power went out in the entire market area. Calmly the store clerk lit the handy candle, anticipating the generator in front of the store to be started any moment. Soon the market was filled with the sound of generator engines and fumes of fuel.
For our evening meal, we ate at another restaurant popular with the locals. Our food was served on a banana leaf. Curiously, our waiter had coral-colored nail polish on his fingers – a bizarre sight.

Following an early breakfast of toast, jam, butter and oranges, we thanked our hotel hosts and walked down to the bus station. Our bags were getting heavier and bulkier. Thankfully this bus driver wasn’t as heavy on the horn on the same twisty narrow roads. Not wanting to slide into our seat companions at every turn, holding onto the bar on top of the seat in front of us became a habit. In the early morning light we could see kids walking to school, churches perched on top of hills, beautiful homes, and tall poinsettias lining the road. Waterfalls, both large and small were spotted as we passed by. After a short while, passengers began shedding their layered clothing, the temperatures quickly rising. By the time we arrived in Cochin 4 ½ hours later, humid heat was once again upon us.

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