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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Munnar

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At Sadhana, on the taxi ride to dinner one night, I overheard Diva telling someone that a certain place was her favorite in all of India. Right away I wanted to know more about the place she was speaking of, because if Diva loved it then I knew I would too. And Munnar did not disappoint!

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Tea leaves. I expected they’d smell like a cuppa, but there’s no scent until they’re processed.

I did have a bit of a rough time getting there, but I’ll skip most of the details and just tell you a cool little story. My calf was hurting so it was difficult to walk, and I was contemplating taking a taxi the rest of the way there (instead of standing for who knows how long at a crowded bus station, which I knew I couldn’t really handle at the moment), but I balked at the price. I was having lunch at a hotel restaurant and trying to decide what to do (it was the hotel manager who was arranging the ride for me) when suddenly I heard my grandpa Ted’s voice in my head. His voice would strain in a certain way when he got exasperated (which was anytime we were talking politics, of course), and I heard him in that tone of voice I remember so well: “For Chrissakes, honey, order the taxi!”

It doesn’t matter if it was really him or not. That taxi ride was worth every rupee, and I felt much better in the morning.

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These photos are from a glorious day trek through tea and spice plantations (established by the British in the 19th century), which we finished off with an utterly delicious vegan-apart-from-the-raita lunch prepared by one of the guys from Green View. Highly, highly recommended.

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No matter how beautiful or enjoyable you can find a place on its own, it’s even better when you can experience it with new friends. I tagged along with Candice and Sophie, both from England, on the plantation trek, and we got to hang out for a couple days afterward. Sophie shared her knowledge of vegan baking, and Candice gave me loads of travel tips for Turkey (August 8th!!) and elsewhere. We sat on the roof patio at Green View drinking the local teas, eating takeaway samosas and talking for hours. They made me miss Sadhana less.

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(As my friend Rich reminded me last night, life is a series of calculated risks, and this one was so worth it. You can get a better sense of the drop in this photo.)

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Coming upon a bunch of guys building treehouses was another highlight. I want to live there SO BAD.

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More Munnar photos soon–too many good ones to fit in one post!

3 Comments to Munnar

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    June 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    You’re right! I can totally hear Grandpa saying that. 😉 I hope I was in your other year saying: “For crying out loud, Mealey, don’t be a wimp. Take the bus and SAVE THE MONEY!”
    Also, that flower shot is amazing!

  2. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    June 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    *ear

  3. June 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    You WOULD say that!
    As for the flower, I finally figured out how to use the macro setting, thanks to Sophie!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.