MUNNAR .. KERALA .. 2 MAY 2013 ..

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It is very VERY fitting that the city sign is green.  The top script is in the local language called Malayalam .. which I am told is the language of the Indian State named Kerala. Munnar is located in the eastern-most part of Kerala.  I won’t ‘bet-on-this’ Malayalam language business but that is what I am being told.  For upwards of twenty two years now I have been told that the language of Kerala is Keralan.  What do I know? ** (see my note below).  The middle script is the language of India .. Hindi.  Of course the bottom script is English.

** Wikipedia supports the local people here!  Some 33 million people across parts of several southern Indian states speak Malayalam including Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu.

Why did I just write above that it-is-fitting that the city sign is green.  Take a look below at the area surrounding Munnar!

We have ‘light green’ tea leaves.

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And we have darker green tea leaves.  Or is it just my camera’s exposure setting!

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Today .. Thursday the 2nd of May 2013 .. I ‘took-a-tour’ of parts of the area surrounding Munnar.  A ‘tour’ usually costs ‘in-the-neighborhood’ of One Hundred and Fifty (150 Rs) to Two Hundred (200 Rs) Indian Rupees.  Today I paid One Thousand (1,000 Rs) Indian Rupees for my tour!

YIKES! Why on earth did I pay SO MUCH?

Have you all heard the phrase .. “You get pretty much what you pay for!”

I GOT ‘IN SPADES’ WHAT I PAID FOR TODAY!

I WAS MET AND PICKED UP AT MY HOTEL!

My tour was scheduled to begin at 9:30AM .. Oh yeah? Captain have you forgotten you are in India?

I walked out to the front of my hotel at 9:25AM .. MY MAN WAS PATIENTLY waiting for me!

It was myself and my driver .. just we two .. in a private auto. I did not have to wait on any other people .. I did not have to interact with any other people.  And I ‘called-the-shots’ .. 

AS IN .. “Dinesh .. please stop here for me!”  .. “What is that?” .. “Dinesh I am NOT interested in the Rose Garden .. the Dam and the Reservoir .. the Power Boating .. the Elephant Ride for 700 Rs Indian and a long wait .. the City Park .. let’s SKIP lunch and just move along here Dinesh! ” And we did.  My 9:30AM until 5PM tour was finished at 1:30PM giving me time to get going here on my two web sites.

DINESH PLEASE SHOW ME TEA PLANTATIONS!’

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Dinesh is age 31 .. has a son age 4 and a daughter age 1 (last Tuesday!) .. Dinesh ‘scripted’ the day and I ‘proof-read’ and ‘edited’ the day.  I rode up-front with Dinesh and he was 100% perfect!  “Please stop here!” .. we did! “Please wait for me awhile!” .. he did!

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“Dinesh? What on earth is that?” .. “Pillows or bedding from a hotel?”

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“No Sahib .. those are tea leaves going-to-market.”

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“Dinesh .. let me jump-out and watch him get around the turn.”  He did and I did. Now we all know that .. it takes two (2) Indians to get the tea tractor and tea cart around the hairpin turn!

Those tea leaves don’t just jump-into-the-cart.  Oh no. Hard labor and up-and-down the mountain-sides.

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“Dinesh .. what on earth have we here?” .. “That’s honey and honey bees Sahab.”

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“Look up in the tree above you and you will see their nests Sahib.”

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“Dinesh!  HOW ON EARTH IS THIS GOING TO WORK OUT?”

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Different bus in a different location same question!

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IT WORKED OUT!

THESE CHAPS ARE EVERYWHERE!

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SO TOO ARE THE BELOW CHAPS!

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“Dinesh .. you are due to pick me up at 9:30AM tomorrow morning the 3rd of May.  Can we make that 8AM Dinesh?”

“Yes Sir!  See you at 8AM in the morning Sir!”

I COULD GET-USED-TO-THIS!

Smiles .. Cap

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A photo above of our ‘Jeep-like’ vehicle and below a close-up of the tour company logo MAHARAJAS tours and travel on the windshield.

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A now just a little bit of THE REST OF THE STORY ..

Dinesh is the personal driver of the manager of MAHARAJA’s Tours and Travel here in Munnar.

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Ah-h-h-h these kind folks must have made a mistake in my personal identity! You’d think that I-was-someone special or something.  WELL!  They sure are making me feel very special!  That’s for sure!