Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Leaving Munnar on the Vomit Comet

Posted from Kumily, Kerala, India

Apparently going up to Munnar is a breeze compared to coming down. Despite my earlier description of the bus ride to Munnar, I have to say that the ride from Munnar to Kumily is downright scary at some points. This time our driver seemed to have graduated directly from those arcade games with the fake motorcycles that you steer by leaning side to side to a bus full of people careening through 180-degree switchbacks on tracks of road that might make a mountain goat squeamish. I thought for sure that we were going to die, tumbling over the side of the road and straight down. The fall would smell vaguely of tea and eucalyptus and, oh yeah, people dying. But we made it. Thank god, we made it.

Even though we arrived in Kumily completely intact, the conditions of the roads also made the ride feel like being on a roller coaster stuck inside a popcorn machine. We were bounced, jolted, and thrown around, as we sped along. For the family sitting directly behind us, it was too much. When we stopped in town to let a few passengers off, mom, dad, and baby stuck their heads out of the window and barfed into the street.

From now on, this is the bus ride by which I will judge all other bus rides. How does that saying go: "Any wreck you can walk away from..."

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