I was worried when I heard the word “hike” but with the promises of a view that would take my breath away, I was sold. After all, I was in Munnar one of the most beautiful places on earth, how could I say “no” to more beauty?
We had escaped to the highlands of Kerala, to the mountains in Munnar where the temperature dropped in the evening and embraced the cold.
Suppressing giggles at my fellow bloggers wrapped up in coats, (being Irish I was very used to 12 degrees!) we spent the night camping with Kalypso Adventures who had a base surrounded by the Western Ghats.
It was time to go tackle the Phantom mountain.
Armed with the support of my “short-legged sister” Claire from First Time Travels, we pulled our way up the mountain.
Barely 30 minutes into the walk I felt like my legs were going to fall off but with gentle reassurance from our guide Francis, we took our time.
Through the rocks, the grasses, the slopes and trees, eventually the peak was in sight and in the end, it really didn’t matter that we had been last.
What can only be described as a wave, it came over me. It seeped through my body and made me choke in delight.
“If there is a heaven on earth”, I thought, “then this is it”.
The sky spilled out across the horizon with breath-taking blue, and the grey rocks on the peak looked like they were slipping down the slopes.
Nearby was a cross, erected by locals and as we arrived they were in prayer, gently chanting their hymns. There was a spiritual breeze in the air. There was incredible peace.
I opened my arms and stretched them as wide as I could, keeping in the joy I want to exhale. This was a place that deserved nothing but silence.
On our way down, I remember telling myself that what I had felt up in the mountains, gazing out into the wilds, was special.
When we arrived back at camp, I glanced back up at the Phantom head that loomed over me. I pulled off my runners and noticed the socks had turned the colour of clay. They stuck to my feet, clinging to the pebbles of the paths that we took.
You’ll probably hear me repeating this over and over but India has changed my life. I’ve discovered a peace within myself that I didn’t know was possible.
That experience was pure bliss. There was no other way to describe it and I don’t think I’ll ever experience that moment again.
It was heaven.
Want to see more of Munnar? Check out The Life of Jord aka Jordan’s video from our trip!