Sunday, October 29, 2006

DESTINATION WAYANAD -THE XPERIENCE

[The etymology of the word Wayanad is Vayal (paddy) Naad (land); 'Land of Paddy Fields'.]

So on behalf of all of us, [Vijesh-srihari-pranay-gopal-santy-vijay-sethu-karthik] I would like to retake the Wayanad trip, back in time, through those amazing moments that we have experienced together.

A trip that was being thought of for a long time. All it took to arrange were a few local phone calls, With a hope that the trip would give the holiday buff an experience to remember we loaded our belongings in a four wheel drive and by 8 30 a.m. We are on the road to Wayanad via palakkad to explore God's own country. When it comes to appeasing our hunger Karthik lives in nobody's shadow. With Karthik displaying his culinary talent making sevai for all of us great taste came as no big surprise. What more can you expect – the sevai was all over in a flash.

As we wanted to reach kozhikode(a pit stop to Wayanad) as quickly as possible we didn’t stop anywhere else and instead munched on potato wafers and snacks. A special mention of our tour navigator Srihari Namboodhiri (the suffix was added after the trip) for his endless enthusiasm in organizing this journey and reliving his kerala experience. Speaking in malayalam and saving all the others of embarrassment. Any trip to kerala would be incomplete without a visit to its pristine backwaters and so the next destination of ours, a beach, came as first choice en-route to kozhikode(if my spelling is right). A completely unexplored part of the country promising to give its visitors an experience not common in this part of the country. All the boys with a sense of urgency jumped into the backwaters of the Keetungal beach. Plunging, pushing, diving.........basically having the time of our lives. After about an hour’s time we had to move on with our trip and had to reach the pit stop as early as possible. Blinding roads replete with greenery enveloped us. We reached our destination - Kalpetta, Wayanad at about 9.00 pm and landed at PPS tourist home. A nice, calm, spacious and cozy place for makeshift travelers like us. It had a nice restaurant where we tried most of their delicacies before going back to our rooms for a shower. Once all of us were done (with the Herculean task of cleaning ourselves....!!!...) PPS had something more exciting than the ambience they offered us.

We had all set our alarms for 6:00 in the morning to go on a trek, but not one of us could pull ourselves out of bed till 7:00. After a quick cup of hot coffee and arming ourselves with a bottle of water, packets of maggi and some other basic amenities, We set off trekking with Mr.Pavithran a trekking expert. We are a very over-enthusiastic bunch of people, the previous night when discussing about the trek, all of us jumped with joy at the thought of doing the tough and treacherous trail. Before we could get to the base camp a visit to the Soochipara falls is worth mentioning. Nestled between mountains and rocks , the boys jumped in again. Freezing cold water and the thrill of splashing water on everyone left all of us nostalgic the minute we left the place. The base camp of the trek was about 18kms from PPS. Hardly five minutes on the trail and all could we hear was our own breath moving like ant files in the thick jungles of Kerala setting our eyes on the chembara Peak (2100 metres above sea level!) - Our destination. It poured cats and dogs on the way. None of us were anywhere close to prepared for this adventure of a life time. Vulnerability to snakes (another term that scares Mr.pranay, you can ask everyone why?) wild dogs, sambar deer, wet t-shirt and no woolen clothing for the night made it all the more adventurous. Once we got to the camp site (about 5-6 kms from the start) everyone took a deep breath to be with nature not having the slightest clue of the fact that we had to live Neolithic lives for the next 12 hours or so. Despite our breathlessness (which went off in a few minutes) we were all unanimous in the thought that the view was worth the climb. After spending another fifteen odd minutes clicking snaps and just enjoying the breeze and view, we set off on a route less traveled by techno savvy people like us-one of collecting and chopping firewood. Gopal, Santy and Srihari bore the brunt of the leeches (that’s why don’t be too sweet!!!)

After the firewood was ready the tent were pitched like two pyramids within 30 mintues.Santy and Vijay went to fetch a pail of water from a lake nearby called the love lake(we could not have chosen better people for it dont you think.!!!.). A real Stress remover. The endless stretch of the lake Calm, quiet filled with strange peace that fills your soul. The culinary expertise in karthik and vijesh came handy once again... cutting vegetable to add to the noodles... Mr.Pavithran lit the bon-fire like the way he lit our lives up by bringing us to this place. Once the maggi was ready the plates sprung up from god knows where... It was like a hunger strike....After satiating our taste buds we sat around the bonfire, moving closer and closer to the word G-H-0-S-T. conld'nt get eerier than this.. With cold winds blowing us away it was truly and discovery channel experience. Worn out legs and tired bodies forced us into our tents but we kept the "Royal Challenge" alive (pun intended). With no drinking water anywhere in the vicinity we had to finally hit the sleeping bags with a promise of getting up and reaching the base camp by 8 in the morning.All of us were up by 6 in the morning.Anwering nature's call ......

I would'nt want to say anything more...it just happens after all. Soon we were on our way back.

The hill had more grass and was more slippery and steep. Some parts were easy going and some scary, especially when I could see rocks go hurtling down to the foot of the hill. Slowly and steadily all of us made our way back down and we sure were glad to finally touch flat ground. We reached base camp at 7:45. We were all famished and another delicious breakfast did all of us a lot of good.

With another round of cold river water bath in the hills of Wayanad we set off for the Edakkal caves. Even if it did not offer much entertainment it was worth a visit. We set off again to the Mudumalai forest on an adventure ride in search of the wildest of animals. With not much luck on our side we still got to see a few elephants and deers...(Watch them up close they are quite exciting!!!). Musinagudi which was scarrily unscary (situated around 7 kms from Mudumalai) wont even give the local people a run for their money. From then on it was our "old is gold" OOTY.. all the way. We had somethin like dinner in charing cross and through kothagiri were back in coimbatore by about 8:30 in the night.

On the whole if you beleive that aquaintances made in college are meant to last a lifetime then walk straight into PPS in Wayanad and ask for PAVITHRAN.!!!!

4 comments:

SushMira said...

That was a nice travelogue ..Upload all the other snaps and send invite soon !!
PS : noodles paninadhuku indha bandha jaashi :-)

Revathi said...

hey.. its really a nice trip.. especially photos - its different and good.

Alan said...

This is a very interesting blog and so i like to visit your blog again and again. Keep it up.

Alan

http://holidaydestinationinindia.blogspot.com

deane barlcays said...

your snap recollected me andhra meals which I tried on my visit to hyderabad, early this year.

looks like, you didn't have a chance to visit the waterfalls. it is one among the places to visit.

we booked our room with http://www.tropicalforrest.in/ and got down after reaching wayanad. we too had the same experience- calm and spacious.