We decided to go a bit of the beaten track and head to a few not very frequented (by toursits, anyway) places on our way to Madurai in Tamil nadu. First stop: a hill station at the bottom of Kerela called Ponmundi.
It was all Indian families and us at the KTDC (government) guest house. The culture of government run guest houses in India is fascinating. There is a huge variety of style and quality to these and they are scattered throughout India. The one in Ponmundi is a bit of a dump, run more like a prison camp than resort. Just about everhing in our cabin was broken. No hot water. No water every few minutes (like right when I needed to flush). Broken door and windows. The fans worked though, thank god. The one restaurant has a choice of veg or non veg meal, just one type each. We chose veg, assuming it to be safer. It was not bad, not great. It was pretty interesting that this hill station is supposed to be known for its trekking, but asking everyone at the resort only produced puzzled glances. “You want to do what?! WALK? WHERE? Are you insane?” We finally found a road that went up a hill to a windy rock face. The scenery was nice. The most interesting thing about the whole trip here was just how out of place we seemed. Westerners rarely come here. And the Indian families that come seem to just hang out on the grounds of the resort, although there is not much to do here.