Writeup by Priya Krishna Moorthy:
After an half –hearted half day at work, set off on Friday late evening to wild wild west with little clue on where we are heading. At udumalaipet, some more adventurous souls joined us. We soon off boarded from our bus and got into the Jeeps waiting for us and that was just the beginning of the entertainment unlimited. Soon enough, the cool breeze and the beautiful scene outside pushed those looking for seatbelts when they boarded the jeep to hang outside the jeep and on top of the jeep too.
The sky seemed so much closer from on top of the jeep; the beauty of the hills got augmented and looked right out of the heaven. We stopped briefly for breakfast and a quick trek down to Malaiyoor thoovanam falls. We lost no time in jumping into the waters, while the shutter bugs started clicking nonstop torn between the amazing waterfalls and the excited people. Strong currents didn’t let us swim closer to the falls but we spent some excited moments in the water and some in quiet contemplation. On getting back to our jeeps we exclaimed that it was just the beginning of Day 1 and more fun on our way.
We continued our onward journey to Munnar with some interesting expressions on our roof top journey and waving to the local people. Reached the camp site in bright sunlight and quickly set on camping, camp fire and cooking process. Three rounds of maggi and many rounds of antakshari followed. We snugged into our sleeping bags soon but conversations followed non-stop with photographers in their very own world of trying their shots at the bon fire and some light men helping the profile photographers.
Day 2 had a little de-tour and the mullai periar issue, upset our plans a bit. After 3 hours of negotiation, we were forced to take an alternate route to kodai. With unquenched excitement and our A team’s excellent ad hoc arrangements helped us reach Kodai at almost 10. 2 more hours of off-roading in jeeps lead us to our camp site. It was indeed amazing the way our drivers managed the roads (rather the absence) and the absolute lack of visibility due to thick mist.
Made our camps in bright moonlight. While most of us snugged into our sleeping bags swiftly and quietly, some sterner souls pursued the mission of feeding us with delicious upmas that were ready at about 3 AM.
Day 3 started with maggi and a trek to the nearby Palani view point in a trail that didn’t seem to exist. The best was yet to come when we hit the streams again with atleast 7 naturally formed slides, the afternoon went a huge roller coaster ride for most of us and natural spa’s too. The inevitable photo sessions followed esp the Billa 3 trailer. The photographers took some risky shots at last plunged into the pool themselves.
Lunch followed by a quick feedback session and pack up. ‘A team’ had more surprises to unfold at kodai bus stand when we were pleasantly greeted with some homemade chocs from chocolate Factory. Bid farewell to the Bangalore team and headed back home with memories of a breath taking holiday and the most beautiful Monday of our lifes.
Thanks Jothi, Joseph, Kaushik, and all the invisible hands in excellent organsing of the trek. Thank you photographers Balaji, Joseph, Ashish, Viji, Narayansamy, Bharathi for capturing the moments. Thank you Jeep mates – Kavitha, Bharathi, Ramaa and Vishnu for letting me ride in the front and top. Thank you midnight cooks (was too sleepy to note) for feeding us in the wee hours. Thanks George for showing the lead when required, Thanks Anushka sry Ashok for making our trips more manageable and the Gaana and joke kings for the TP.
Writeup by Kavita Reddy:
New years come and old years go but this one would be etched in my memory for ever. Just when concrete jungles, demanding bosses, reluctant parents , mundane life, crash dieting and ‘Voda voda voda dooram korayale’ type feelings were pissing me off, this trip came as a escape route and what an escape it was ;) A kickass start to the new year with adventurous souls and breath taking places. From taking the bus in koyembedu on Friday night to getting off the bus on Tuesday morning, the trip had ‘Sheer Happiness’ written all over it.
The high points of the trip :)
* All the fundo girls Getting on to the top of jeep and feeling on top of the world(litreally, physically and figuratively). We never thought we could do so and when we did, we got loving waves from the kids envious glances from others ;)
* Bathing in the ice cold water in the Thuvanam water falls. It was sooo cold (Thanks to venkatesh who suggested that I hold my breath and take 3 dips and would get used to the colds..Was a superb technique ). On the way back, a lucky few of us spotted a huge bison and a jungle squirrel :)
* The camping site in Munnar . Setting up the camp, cooking food , followed by anthakshari. A lucky few fell asleep, a luckier few enjoyed the moonlit sky, good jokes, bad jokes, campfire etc..
* The mullai periyar issue and the after affects. What was really worth appreciation is how quickly the team bounced back with an alternate plan. One could see how upset and morose the organizers were for a while. It showed their passion towards the trip and how much they wanted to make it happen. At the end everybody took it in their stride and carried on with warm smiles and great attitude. We were so overwhelmed with whatever we got to see that no one felt bad about not getting an entry .
* The awesome campsite near kodai. Waking up on a Monday morning to such beauty is a rarity . It was sooo beautiful and serene . The very thought of it brings a huge smile to my face. In the same place we trekked to get a scenic view of the palani hills. Found lots of ‘Mini’ tomatoes there. They were sweet and nice to eat :) . Ended up bathing in a beautiful stream.
* There was lot of talk about leeches n snuff power and organizers getting late night calls on how to use snuff power to counter the ‘blood suckers’ :D . We were pleasantly surprised to have a ‘Leech free’ trip :)
* Hearing the A team organizer and ‘Trail creator’ Ansar’s name 300 times in 3 days(Here , there , everywhere .. ufff), even though he dint seem to be physically present.
Whenever I go on trips I look forward to meet different people and interacting with them. In this trip also there were so many with whom I loved to converse and know about them. Ramaa and Vishnu gave us great company in the 4*4 jeeps. Hyper humorous jothivel kept everyone in good humour. Major shaheb George for his initiative , effort , insight and helpfulness. No wonder they say, once an army man, always an army man.:) Calm and composed Sahaya joseph for being on his toes always to set things right and imparting knowledge to us on 4*4 jeeps. Mayur and venkatesh for their jokes , stories and leg pulling comments. Narayana swamy , sashi, priya, viji and a hyderabadi guy for being warm , friendly and nice to talk to :) My best friend and school mate bharti,for being my trekking partner. We just finished another great trip.The ‘A’ team for their homework, effort ,sincerity and everything for no other reason but passion. And so many, so many others who made the trip memorable ..
There were so many moments in these 3 days , which made me remember these lines from the English movie ‘American Beauty’.
“it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst...and then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life..”
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