A Hitchhiker’s Guide to India and Nepal – Part 4

After our little Pondicherry scare, we got back onto the road and started making our way to Madurai. I don’t have much to say about Madurai; it was a nice visit, it’s a city that’s known for some of the oldest Hindu temples in India according to a friend we met along the way. The temples were beautiful but not much happened in this city.

Gopurams of the Meenakshi Amman Temple dotting the skyline in Madurai

A few days later we made our way to Munnar. Now as a general rule you probably shouldn’t hitchhike after dark because that’s when things go bunk. So as we were standing on the road desperately waving to passing cars as the sun was slowly setting, out of nowhere this brand new Mercedes Benz rolls up. Since my group had arrived second we let the first group get in the fancy car. We were left in the dark waiting, but we got a car shortly after.

We had planned on camping in Munnar since we heard about how beautiful the landscape is and had already planned a camping spot at a park on the outskirts of the city. However, when we got to the park we found the floor littered with empty alcohol bottles. Here’s another hitchhiking tip (general life tip as well) you probably don’t want to hang around places that have tons of alcohol bottles. It probably means that lots of people come out there for drinks and you know how drunk people can get sometimes.

So what did we do? We said screw it, let’s camp anyway and decided that we’d sleep in shifts. Honestly, I had no complaints, throughout this entire journey across India and Nepal, Munnar has had the best stars (I heard Jammu and Kashmir’s stars are also really good but I haven’t been yet). We lit a campfire, cooked some instant noodles and had ourselves our first wholesome outdoors group bonding moment. I still think about that night from time to time.

Camp by the lake in Munnar

What made the night even better was that we had only planned on camping for one night and then finding a cheap hostel to stay at. But it turns out that the driver in the fancy Merc owns a private resort and invited all of us to spend our next 2 nights in Munnar there. This was my second week of travelling, things were going pretty amazing.

So when morning came we made our way to this resort. It was beautiful – hidden away in the hills, tea plantations everywhere, waterfalls, elephants would walk through the resort at night and I had my first warm shower in 2 weeks. Now to end this with some sort of moral lesson, what I took from this is to always try and be open and expose yourself to new and potentially scary things. In my case – hitchhiking. That doesn’t mean someone is gonna drive up in a Merc and invite you back to their resort. But as long as you expose yourself, I mean who knows? That could happen!

Spot a wild elephant in Munnar

Anyway, that’s all I got for you today, see you guys in the next article.

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