Nothing wakes you up quite like the early morning bus from Kochi to Munnar. Spiralling along the roads, tossing you from side to side and causing some light-headed passegers to stick their heads out the window to vomit. Aah, what could be more enlivening than the smell of fresh vomit in the morning?

During their colonial rule, the British had tried to establish the best crops to cultivate here, attempting to grow coffee, cinchona, sisal and cardamom. Before figuring out the soil was ideal for tea cultivation. When the local tea was introduced to the world, its production grew and more land was taken over for tea plantations. After independence, local tea plantations gradually passed into the ownership of the Indian corporation. And just a few years ago, the same Indian conglomerate bought the British tea brand Tetley. And so the slaves became owners. Today Munnar is a still place for tea, as well as tourism and artificial lakes, created to irrigate tea fields.