India01-Trip and Arrival

by darribas

Last sunday, after a very hectic week in Barcelona at the SEA meeting and then in the Pyrenees, I got on a bus to Madrid Barajas at 3am; 4  hours later I was taking off to Munich where I had a great day visiting the main spots of the city. A day after we took a connection flight to Frankfurt and then took off to Mumbai. Seven hours later we tried to get to the hotel (1.5 Km away from the airport) and it took us good 20 minutes due to the moonson rain that was pouring. It’s 3am on a monday and all I can think of is getting some sleep because we are at the destination yet.

8am of wednesday, the wake-up call from reception sounds and gotta get on move again. Back to the airport (now in the domestic flights terminal), a few security controls, normal wait and we’re on the air again on our way to Coimbatore, where the airport is not more than a small building where you get your luggages out of the cart that brings them from the plane. There we meet Shankar, our host, who takes us for a great meal and then to the Valparai plateau, where we’ll spend the next four days. The drive goes through many small villages crowed with people, animals, small houses that seem about to crumble and big Vodafone signs. The landscape is amazing and I just feel like if the car window was a TV showing a wildlife documentarry. After a couple of hours of that, we start going uphill and nature gets wilder: the plain gets substituted by the jungle where only the road gives a little of open space. At the top, the tea plantation domains but I’m so tired I can just see the guest house where they are hosting us and the bed inside.

Ten minutes of drive from there is Valparai and the field station of the team we work with. From there you can see the tea plantation and the curtain of rain that seems to be part of this landscape as much as the trees or the tea leaves. There is where I write this piece of information from and, afer 10 hours of sleep, this starts looking much better…