Munnar : The Thorns & Bombs

Okay people, so let's get right down to it. In the post that I previously published, I waxed eloquent about how perfect the whole thing was. And while I agree that some trips were worth every penny and every second, not all of them are. Especially the ones you take with your parents.

I will split this up into various topics of interest. I might even use some of the quotes from the previous post.

1. The Journey
When we traveled to Ernakulam, we travelled by train. Could I just take a moment to rant about how friggin idiotic those things are ? I HATE TRAINS . Nothing makes me more mad than those boxes of horror. There's absolutely no sense of hygiene. It gets either too cold or too stuffy. The washrooms leave much to be desired. Woe betide you, if you had the misfortune of getting the upper berths. Their algorithm is so useless that it gave both of my parents ( who are in their 60's ) upper berths. Right next to the door / washroom. As if that wasn't bad enough, there was the incessant screaming of children. And then there were the people who just decide to sit on your spot, without a ticket. Yay. I weep for joy.

2. Munnar
Now you may think : whaaaatttt ??! It's a lovely place ! You said so yourself DragonRider! Calm down people. It is a fair land to look upon. But I , misguidedly thought it will be pleasant. But nooooo my body decided that it felt cold. So there I was in Munnar , hauling my trusty jacket ( that has started to resemble bear skin) everywhere, huddling miserably in the cold. My friend P , suggested we go to Pondycherry on a vacation in may. I guess that would have been more agreeable to this useless hunk of flesh that I call my own. Then there was the rain every evening. God I hate rain. I hate getting drenched in it. Give me a cup of hot chocolate and a nice book any day ! And then there were the vehicles. The city is always crowded with all the tourists and other folks coming in or going out of Munnar. The smoke emitted from these vehicles doesn't dissipate and pollute the air up above. No, it decides to stay right there, so that we people who stupidly go on walks can breathe in the fumes and revel in the marvelous nature around us. overrated.
There is also such a thing as too much of a good thing. There were waterfalls everywhere. One soon would pass a tiny spout gushing on the side, and say ' oh another one! I wonder where does it come from ! ' and move on without a second thought. The folks who own the lands in Munnar are HUGE fans of tea. So much so that they cut down their forests, ruin the lives of fauna , and plant the tea shrubs, which are useless for the soil since they are too weak , and consume loads of water. Go figure. This is what we went to photograph and admire. Behold the emerald parasite that shalt bring thee many profits ! ' mom I want a great photo for Whatsapp!!'

Where do I end? It felt so wrong. Everything is commercial now. Everything is a business. And your doom is written in stone if you aren't useful to the moronic bipeds. That, sadly applies to the other bipeds as well.

3. The room
Staying in Munnar is an expensive affair. For the money we did give , the returns were sad. We didn't have lovely lush views of the forests or mountains. We just had a window to look at more roofs and construction material. The room was cold and damp. The sheets and pillows were cold and damp. (this should be Munnar s tagline - cold and damp. That sums up everything). Nights (The only time we actually spent inside the room) were miserable. The in -house restaurant was getting renovated, so paint smells were abundant. The staff were rude. Everyone spoke in Malayalam. (Even though they knew other languages).

4.The Washrooms
Travelling in India is a serious issue, since finding decent washrooms are a nightmare!
I mention the clean railway station. Perhaps you think that in itself is a bonus! Well yeah, it was. But there were no good washrooms to speak of. The guy in charge of the paid washrooms had a weird principle. If you are a woman go to the physically disabled guys room. From where guys were coming out. Go figure. My mother was so terrified at this point, it's a miracle we didn't book a flight right there and run away. Then I went around looking for a washroom. Finally we found one in the women's waiting room, which we sneaked into with our expired ticket ;)

After this , we went to the ksrtc bus stand, where no proper facilities were available. So yeah we decided to not consume a thing till we got to Munnar.

Seriously though, the number of times a washroom was a problem warranted its own subheading.
Reaching Munnar, we thankfully had our room and it's washroom to make do. Nothing fancy mind, but atleast we had something. This wasn't the case the next day, when we planned to move around for the whole day. We went out to a waterfall (of all places) and the need to use the facilities was getting urgent. My father, cool as you please, suggested the plenty bushes in full view of everybody. However, me and my mom put our foot down (collectively. My dad was so mad at us). Finally we requested a local to kindly lend their washroom to us for a couple of minutes. Did I tell you that washroom also had no door?? The resident hen looked quite indignant at the invasion. She clucked away and called all her friends too, so that all the resident animals could see me for themselves. *Sigh*

The lady was awfully kind though, and this was another opportunity for me to interact with the locals! Except for the fact that this was a really awkward situation, and we had nothing to talk about. She was like 'So... you new here?' and I was like 'Yeah! Totally sorry to drop in uninvited!'

The problems were the same after coming back to Ernakulam. The only thing to do was to go to a mall. The only mall we saw was 8 km away. Although kudos to the traffic! there was barely any,, and we managed to reach there in half hour. After roaming around and using the facilities, we went decided to get back and catch our bus. Then it began to rain. Which brings us to the next hot topic :

5. The Rain

It rained, pretty much most evenings. And the rains would thankfully not clog the drains or make the roads untraversable. But I do not like getting wet, so getting drenched, and then looking forward to travelling in an AC bus the same evening was hardly my idea of fun. Of course this is exactly what we did. To add on to our woes, KSRTC had this wonderful bus whose AC was faulty, so all the water in the bus would pour out through the led lights. It was magical. (I wish we did book that plane back home)

6. The Fauna

Or the lack of it? We went to the Eravikulam National Park. This Park is well known for guaranteed sightings of an animal called the Nilgiri Tahr, which is a primitive ancestor to the domesticated goat and the wild antelope. Basically it's a huge goat. And we did not see it. This was also when I had a bad cold. (I still have one. Thank you for asking!) So we couldn't see the goat. And this also implied we couldn't see any other animal as well. Plus there were a lot of human children and annoyingly loud adults, yelling at the top of their lungs. I wonder which animal would feel like approaching us at all? We couldn't spot elephants at the Elephant Arrival Point. So what we did do, was go to the Elephant park. For fun rides on tamed elephants!! You must think me a hypocrite for suggesting you not to take this ride when I took it myself. But my hands were tied. My father told me "You cannot come to Munnar and then not take this ride." So up we went, on the poor Pachyderm, which must have been tortured from a very young age to agree having turds like us ride on it's back. To say that I felt miserable was an understatement. If I could go back in time and not sit on it, and kill all the handlers with those horrible spears, I would.

7. The Flora

Don't worry this is the last one. Word to the wise : Never go on a trip to a place filled with plants, with a pair of botanists. Sadly most of my trip was about stopping in a leafy area, and listening to my folks gush about the sort of plant life they found there. There were latin names thrown around a lot and much marvelling at the stuff like leaf shapes, colourful berries and the like. It was boring as hell.

There's a lot more I could rant about, but I am way too lazy to write more. All in all, this was a good life lesson of sorts. Try not to travel with your parents being one of the top lessons learnt :p

PS:Apologies about the unreadability... Thanks P!

Until Next Time,


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