And you thought we couldn’t combine two experiences together
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is the highest organic tea garden in the world. It is also the highest tea estate in South India. In order to reach there, one must drive for about 30 kms from Munnar and then take a 4×4 vehicle and drive for another one and half hours at a speed not more than 15 kmph. We were (un)fortunate to get a vehicle that had probably donated its parts to the making of Jeep of Thesius. The three hour long ride also gave us a nice body massage that Kerala is probably famous for. It did not help that while descending, one of the plates of the rear suspension broke!
The tea estate produces a varietal of Orange Pekoe. We bought tickets for a guided tour of the factory.
Two other miscellaneous citings
There was some festival procession that had blocked our way for quite some time. Locals do something similar to suspension ritual of the body modification community. Our driver said that it was some puja of some Murugappa.
We also crossed the earthen Anayirankal Dam. The mist, that had built up, was a sign of a heavy downpour. The rain prohibited us from stopping at a (relatively pointless) viewpoint called Lockhart Gap.
Because of my mother’s health, I consciously chose places where we could comfortably move using a vehicle. I had also restricted myself to places that can be visited between 7 AM to 6 PM. We even avoided animal rides and safaris. One such avoided area near Munnar would be the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
There are plenty of other places that may appeal to the thrill-seeker or an avid trekker. If I was backpacking, I would have chosen a much different itinerary. That would have been a different experience altogether.