Monday, August 14, 2006
The Blue Mountains
An exhilarating drive uphill on a beautifully laid out picturesque route, and at the end of it, a place high up on the hills where it rains eight months in a year, and white water rushes out of every orifice in the skyward rocks. But it wasn’t the scenes that surprised me. It was the mutiny of smells - Of eucalyptus, of tea, of cloves and cardamom. Eucalyptus – not eucalyptus oil, and spices not dried and packed in plastic bags (which have to be kept out of children’s reach as there is a choking hazard); but fresh, and green and yellow. (I had come to believe that fresh air had gone extinct.) Tea - not the kind that you brew at home, not of the dried and rolled black leaves. This is a fuller aroma. Of green leaves being washed / ground / sorted (I don’t really know what they do in a tea factory) on the other side of a moss-covered wall.
And it keeps coming at you almost at every turn you take; and turns are plenty in this part of the world, and so are moss covered walls of tea factories.
It is a world painted in shades of green and brown - Green of tea, green of the grass, green of the moss on the walls, green of the rock ferns; and shades of brown – brown of the soil, brown of the flaking eucalyptus crust, brown of the Tamil tea-pickers.. And the greens and the browns had a blue tint.
The rain would flush these colors down the car’s misty window, as if colors from a painting, and when the rain cleared, the clouds would cast shadows on the blue mountains, and before you know it, the same clouds would pour down on you.
The rain ruined my plans for a debut wild life shoot, but the trip was quite an experience.
Check out the drive to munnar collection here