It's half past six in the morning and it's still effing hot! When does this place cool down? We're on our to way to Munnar, supposedly the worlds highest tea plantation, up in the lush mountains of the Western Ghats for an overnight stay to see the tea and spice plantations and to hopefully find a cool breeze. We've been in Fort Cochin a couple of nights already and have been sweaty and sticky since we arrived on the overnight bus from Bangalore. We had a little respite last night when the heavens opened and huge big fat cool drops of rain pelted down for a half hour, but as soon as it stopped the stifling muggyness returned. So yes, we are very much looking forward to a bit of cool weather tonight and to some spectacular views over the plantations, all while being driven around in an old white ambassador. I feel like I should be wearing a flowing dress and wide brimmed hat rather than my tatty travellers clothes.
We've booked a couple of overnight trips with Stanley Wilson tours and so far am impressed. Stanley is very eco-conscious, his houseboats have solar panels, biological loos and are non-motorised, he's passionate about his homeland and he's honest, for once we got straight answers. 'no you wont see any tigers in the national park' and 'no, there is nothing to see in Alleppey'.
We've had to be quite astute about our time here in Kerala as we lingered a tad longer than we thought we would in Goa and we have flights booked to the Andamans in a few days time. So basically we've based ourselves in Fort Cochin at Oy's cafe, which is a fantastic place to stay by the way and run by two very helpful, friendly brothers and are just doing overnight trips to the backwaters and tea plantations. We'll have to give the beaches down south a miss unfortunately, but with the Andamans round the corner, I'm not feeling too sorry for myself.
I think we're just about at the river now to see the elephants from a nearby training camp being washed. So far, I haven't been at all impressed with the treatment of elephants in India, so am in two minds about stopping to see this, but one can only stay positive and hope that I am proved wrong. Will report back my findings later when my brain is more awake.... I am so not a morning person!