Struggling with the Indian summer, we escaped to the much cooler hills of Kodaikanal in the Western Ghats.
As we climbed the hairpin road on the mountain in a two hour white-knuckle bus ride, the air became refreshingly cool. Coming from the 38 degree heat of Madurai, it felt like home when we go off the bus in 15 degree, mountain air!
As we were staying slightly out of Kodaikanal itself, our first day was spent wandering into and around the popular hill station. It was a Sunday and was full of Indian tourists also escaping the heat. Like many of them, we ended up on Kodaikanal Lake in a pedalo.
We had been expecting a quiet hill station retreat town but being a Sunday, Kodaikanal was anything but this. Not only was it packed with Indian tourists and honeymooners, Sunday is also the day of the market where people come up from the plains to sell their products to the Hill people. The town was packed with tourists and locals buying their weekly groceries that they cannot get in the hills.
On our way back to our accommodation we went via Coaker’s Walk - a mountain side path with incredible views of the plains, ruined only by the incessant requests of strangers to have selfies with us!
The following day we visited Vattakanal, a small community perched on the steep mountain edge with a number of impressive English named viewpoints - Mountain View, Dolphin’s Nose, and Echo Rock. The green and cold mist felt very much like we were walking through a British forest.
The only downside was that the Lonely Planet restaurant nearby, which promised Sarah hummus, was shut on both our attempts, so we resorted to a roadside omelette.
The views from Vattakanal were so impressive and far reaching we decided it would be amazing to return on our last morning for sunrise.