You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place. – Miriam Adeney
I felt quite awkward when I entered the bus that should finally take me away from my second home Pune and bring me all the way to Bangalore instead (14h bus drive). It left a strange feeling when I said goodbye to my new friends after my last day in office, and I was glad that I didn’t have to wait for the bus alone. Honestly I felt kind of paralysed once I was sitting in the bus, trying to realise what just happened. Those six full months did pass by just like that, way too fast as that I could understand how it happened. How this fabulous time I had in Pune could be over so quickly.
Maybe this was also the reason why I didn’t give Bangalore a chance to convince me as a city. When the rickshaw driver were asking horrendous prices for transportation and while I was stuck in traffic for hours, I couldn’t refrain from thinking that I miss my little scooter, which would have brought me from A to B in much shorter time for less money. I missed the freedom it gave me, and even though Bangalore is a comparatively green city with probably some nice spots to see, I settled on visiting the M.G. road and the botanical garden only. I was surprised by the size and the beauty of the latter, and enjoyed a night out with my friend Ayan (who I got to know when I visited Jaisalmer) and some of his friends, playing badminton and singing karaoke, and felt totally at home at my host’s place, who always provided me with nice chapatti, but overall I was glad when Ayan and me got in the sleeper bus heading towards Munnar.
Munnar – picturesque tea plantations all over the place, waterfalls, hills and spices and trekking as if there was no tomorrow. Ayan and I stayed at a really nice guesthouse in the middle of the tea plantations on a small hill, hardly 2km away from the city centre, from where we could enjoy quiet nights with hundreds of stars in the sky. We went on two hikes, both guided, one through the tea plantations with breakfast on top of a hill with a beautiful view over the valley, and the other one climbing up one of the biggest mountains in the area (2400m) for which we had to start at 5am in the morning in order to witness a beautiful sunset while hiking up.
Both hikes were equally nice, however if in doubt and if there is only time for one tour, I would recommend the “easy hike” through the tea plantations, as it focuses more on the main attractions of the place, which are next to the tea plantations also the different spices growing there. Apart from that we also met another traveller, Paolo, who joined us on the walk and with who we spent the rest of the day with, as he turned out to be an amazing guy with loads of interesting stories, point of views, and remarks. Thanks mate, and see you soon again! 🙂
Ayan and I also did one tour by rickshaw that brought us up to the top station, with some stops for photoshoots and boat tours on the way. On the drive home we were even lucky enough to spot some women working in the plantations, dressed with a thick skirt made from rubber in order to protect them from the nasty hard branches of the tea plants.
After all, Munnar proofed to be a complete success and when we took the bus to Cochin, our next destination, we had a big fat smile on our faces (although the many turns in the road made mine disappear quite fast, haha :D). Felt good to be with a friend, especially as I was homesick after Pune already… 😉
PS: Credit for the majority of the photos displayed here goes to my friend Ayan, who is also the reason why you get a picture-overload of me this time. 😀