We flew into Cochin early on the 20th Dec morning .Thankfully there was no fog at the Delhi airport and we reached on time .The next day we read of massive fog delays so the Force did take care of us ;even on the way back as we again left on time. A cab was waiting for us at the airport and we drove down straight to Munnar after a bite at a nearby restaurant .
It’s so sad to see the poor state of infrastructure for Tourism in our country .Munnar or should I say the Kannan Devan Hills was truely beautiful and so much more could be done to boost tourism .Our first halt was at the Tea Museum in Munnar .Every thing there was handled so very badly .It’s a shame we had to pay a hefty entrance fee of Rs 75/- per head !! There was no one to guide us or to tell us what to do or where to wait for the guided tour .The place was in shambles .The tea offered was lousy and from a vending machine , imagine that for a tea museum .The documentary film produced by Tata Tea was outstanding but even that coudnt take away from the poor experience we carried of the Tea Museum .
Likewise the Boating rides and the Speed boat experience was far below par. After we purchased tickets for the speed boat ride we had to hang around with no place to sit waiting for our turn and there was no organised system of letting us know when our turn would come .A simple sitting area serving soft drinks and snacks at a reasonable cost would have been just right for this place.As I said the sheer beauty of the place got to you , it just so sad we are not capitalising on the opportunities available to us .
The stay at The Sienna Village was comfortable and the staff were very friendly and helpful. They rustled up a picnic lunch for us which we had at a beautiful spot picked for us by the driver of the vehicale.It is obviously a popular spot , but again no effort has been made to cultivate it as a campers site for day picnics.
Corinna wanted to spend time at a tea factory but this was not possible as Sunday was not a day for visitors and we didnt have time on Monday morning as we were heading off to Allepey to get on to a house boat .The experience on the house boat was reasonably good more so as we had hired it through friends and so we were clearly well looked after.Again one felt that our tourism department hasnt taken full advantage of the natural beauty of the place.A night halt in a no where place is not what the doctor would have ordered .The least that could have been done was to provide a decent jetty and have an area of entertainment .A little imagination could go a long way here.
The bird sanctuary at Kumarakum had no birds at all in it .Or rather we managed to see just one which I managed to photgraph .The staff around the place seemed incompetent and uninterested in bringing life to the place .Having nothing else to do we drove into the Radisson Plaza which was like an oasis in the desert .This is a beautiful resort to spend a leasure weekend in .
We were flying back to Delhi before to long and mulled over the loads of photos we had taken .The beauty of the place is fully captured in the photos some of which I’ve posted here but the nagging discontent caused by the infrastructure and factilities lingered on .