One of the most beautiful and relaxing parts of our time in Kerala was heading up the mountains to the tea plantations and spending a night in the hill station of Munnar. The cool mountain air was a lovely relief after so many sticky days. We were pleasantly surprised that the state-run hotel was quite nice, and a few of us got to eat french fries! Most importantly, since we arrived before sunset, everyone had some free time to themselves. This all came at the point in the trip where people usually need a break–from the hectic pace of travel, from the parade of foreign buffets, from the formula of a group trip, and from the inside of our (admittedly swag) bus.
I went for a walk with Gaia and Meruschka, eventually coming across about half of our group at one time or another. I enjoyed moving at our own speed and in such small numbers. It always relaxes me to be able to shoot without a group either waiting for me or constantly suspicious that I could possibly find a shot they didn’t. The results aren’t exactly stellar, but shooting always helps to clear out the cobwebs, which is exactly what I needed after a long day on the bus.
Like everywhere else in Kerala, multiple major religions were present at every turn. As we moved farther north, the increasing influence of Arabs and Islam was comforting. I love hearing the call to prayer, especially at sunset, and I found the influenced version of Kerala food to be fantastic. I think we all found ourselves wishing we could stay in Munnar longer, but perhaps the reality is that we were just starved for some sunshine and free time off the bus.
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