|The view out the "windown" on the Munnar-Alleppy bus.|
Lucky for us, however, we met a new friend on the 6:30 AM Munnar-Alleppy bus, and Maggie Downs of GirlVentures joined me, Jesse, & Russ for this part of the Grand Tour. It was easy for us to meet because we were the only people who boarded the bus at 6:30. This was strange because it was the only bus that ran this popular route. And it was doubly strange because no bus in India runs with less than 95% capacity; indeed, a full bus by the first-world standards is approximately half-full Indian style. After confirming the bus was going to Alleppy we sat back, stretched our legs, and enjoyed a private Indian bus ride (which, as anyone who has visited India will attest, is a rare treat).
|I could have stared out that "window" all day.|
Actual seating in the Munnar-Alleppy bus. Three or four to a seat. One or two in the aisle. Good thing my seatmate was a tiny diminutive Indian man.
The remaining seven hours of so on the bus required much more physical effort than we expected. The windiness of the roads, along with the slick plastic seats, meant that each hairpin turn required both a full clenching of the core muscles, and a vice-like grip on the back of the seat in front of you, otherwise, you and all your seatmates would slide off your seat and into the center aisle. Or, be crushed into the “window” (there weren’t actual glass windows, there were just two metal bars to prevent passengers from sliding out, and thankfully, a helpful plastic accordion-like blind that would keep the freezing cold air, and all light, out of the bus). So, we didn’t really need to work out that day.
|Alleppy and its famed canals.|
|What does one look for when hiring a Kettuvallom (House Boat) for the day?|
|This boat was well-priced, but seemed small for four of us, plus three staff, for 24 hours.|
At least it came with a bottle of drinking water.