A Travellerspoint blog

The Spice of Life

sunny 32 °C

Variety is the spice of life, and it’s difficult to imagine a journey more varied than the one we are on. From some of the world’s most populace cities to the pristine snows of the Himalayas; from the beaches of Tamil Nadu to the tea plantations of the Kerelan heights; and now to the tropical tip of India, we have already experienced sufficient diversity to spice our lives for years to come. Our recent excursion from Kochin to the tea estates in Munnar in the Western Ghat mountains is a perfect example. We left our luxurious Kochin homestay at 7am thinking we would avoid the city’s morning crush, but an hour later our driver was still fighting traffic. Kochin and its suburbs have spread deep into the countryside and we were beginning to wonder if we would ever escape urbanization when we came across this chap enjoying a jumbo bath...
Elephant_bath_time.jpg
Now, with the city finally behind us, we found ourselves in the lush lowlands where every inch of available land is carpeted with rice, tapioca, coconuts, bananas, papayas and pineapples…
Pineapple.jpg
Rubber is another important crop. Here the latex is being tapped from the tree…
Rubber.jpg
And these coffee beans are ripe for picking...
Coffee.jpg
But, as in all of India, the line between city and countryside is becoming blurred. Enormous mansions are springing up in the fields as the wealthy escape the pollution and chaos of the cities. However, it is difficult to understand the thinking of those who build monstrous mega-homes in the heart of peasants’ meagre tin shacks and concrete block hovels.
The scenery and the air changed as we left the lowlands and began our ascent into the spice fields of the foothills. Vanilla, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, ginger and lemongrass all grow here in abundance. This is the long pepper which is known here as the King of Spices…
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And these are vanilla pods…
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And finally, above four thousand feet, we came to the alpine estates where we found honeymooners from all over the country. It’s wedding season in India and it seems that all newlyweds want to spice up their lives with a trip to the tea plantations. We just came for the tea.

Posted by Hawkson 07:41 Archived in India

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Comments

How well you capture the diversity and the awesome sights, sounds and smells of India. Harv and I are in Winnipeg until Sun. am, when the temp. is dipping to -25C. Ah well, such is life. We have been warmed by the joy of being with Sam, Ally and Heather..
luv
Sharron

by Sharron

I am following you in all your travels from now on.
You both have a family of admirers in Cochin.

by Jenny Jose

I'm so pleased you are in a place that does sound like paradise.....Sop it up and keep sending us missives to ward off the rain here.....Love Joyce

by joycieB

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