Through rolling tea plantations, I follow a small road to the highest mountain in the area. Soon the plantations give way to an impenetrable mountain jungle, in which flowering orchids can be found now and then. At the very top, moss hangs in thick bulbs in the trees, so that the sunlight barely penetrates. I follow a steep path back down, at times climbing through a network of roots, at other times fording a deep swamp. Up here, the climate is pleasantly cool (a little rainy), so the British sought respite from the oppressive heat. In contrast to other hill stations such as Munnar or in Sri Lanka, however, the landscape here is now blighted by a number of ugly buildings – and the primeval forest is slowly giving way to housing estates, roads, vegetable plantations and greenhouses.
Otherwise, I would like to know why the bus drivers here always set the air conditioning to “freezer mode”. I still feel comfortable with my fleece jacket, but everyone else seems to be freezing.