We caught the bus at 8:30 pm at night, and unlike the buses we have in Canada, this bus is a ‘sleeper’ bus. There are seats down below and then upper beds. On one side of the aisle is a bed for two people and on the other side is a single bed. Jamie and I had the first top double and the staff member who came to join us from Maduari for the week, took the first single top bed. The temperature was SO hot and the only bus that goes all the whole journey without changing buses is a non A/C bus. They assured us that we would not need the A/C later in the night – we were hoping!
We lay watching (and sweating profusely) the city go by as we made our way out of Chennai. We made a 20 minute dinner and toilet stop after travelling for two hours…. Only 12 more hours!
The bus stopped only a few times – mainly for anyone who needed a quick toilet stop.
Jamie and I only dozed on and off the whole night. At about 6 am the bus stopped for a toilet break, and we saw that we were in the mountains. I got busy watching the monkey who began to migrate around the bus. I kept my eye on one who was looking intently at the bus. I snapped my few pictures and then I had the fright of my life when a monkey poked his head inside my window – right beside my head. I let out a scream and gave the military guys a good laugh. Apparently the monkeys actually ascend on the bus and try and grab things from those who are on the bus. The monkey I was taking pictures was doing his job – distracting us all! They are smart! The bus soon started again and we saw a sign that said we were entering a tiger reserve We were interested now!
For the next two hours we zigzagged through the reserve and half way changed from one state into another. The scenery was breathtaking and the only wildlife we saw was a wild bison with huge horns.
We arrived to our destination by 8 am and found out we are actually 30 km from Munnar – an hours drive away we are told. Munnar is world famous for TEA PLANTATIONS!!!! So can you guess what I’ll be doing while I’m here?!
So this will be ‘home’ for the next week. We are staying with YWAM who has a small work here. Most of the people here are tribal with tourism being the main industry. Although the humidity is still higher, the temperature is much cooler. We are also in the middle of monsoon, so we have daily rain (not like the monsoons of Lonavala though!). The sun comes and goes through the day – being joined by a cloud burst of liquid at times.
We went to a small village last night to see some families and let them know that we will be doing a foot care clinic and diabetes check later in the week. We will be going to more villages the next few days to let other villages know about the clinic we will be having as there is little medical care here.