There is seriously something magical and healing about tea plantations. From far away the shrubs look like a quilted blanket of crushed velvet and from close up they smell like, well, tea, which is nice. The tough roots bind the soil and prevent erosion, so tea can grow on an alarmingly vertical plane. The tea pickers need to have mountain goat-esque balance and footing to negotiate these plantations.
Since tea grows at over 3000 meters, tea plantation are also blessed with cooler weather and fresher air than the coastal villages below. Scary winding mountain passes prevent excessive speed (or at least they should) and it’s a challenge to get up here, making the plantations less crowded.
All of these factors make Munnar an excellent place in India to escape India. Our lungs were so happy there. Our legs, although put to work through miles of trails, had a chance to stretch out. Our noses were able to smell the full spectrum of air without choking on bodily odors and other pungent miscellany so common to India . Our eyes were able to scan the horizon without the need to scrunch up and avoid unpleasant and difficult sights in the foreground.
It wasn’t all sunshine and roses: Mandy was beat up by a sadistic Ayurvedic massage therapist. But overall Munnar was a nice break from India. Now back into the fray!