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.
And we have darker green tea leaves. Or is it just my camera’s exposure setting!
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!’
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!
“Dinesh? What on earth is that?” .. “Pillows or bedding from a hotel?”
“No Sahib .. those are tea leaves going-to-market.”
“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.
“Dinesh .. what on earth have we here?” .. “That’s honey and honey bees Sahab.”
“Look up in the tree above you and you will see their nests Sahib.”
“Dinesh! HOW ON EARTH IS THIS GOING TO WORK OUT?”
Different bus in a different location same question!
IT WORKED OUT!
THESE CHAPS ARE EVERYWHERE!
SO TOO ARE THE BELOW CHAPS!
“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
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.
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.
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!
- I AM SAFELY INTO MUNNAR .. IN THE INDIAN STATE OF KERALA ..
- MUNNAR .. KERALA .. 3 MAY 2013 ..