Friday, October 17, 2008

A www holiday

Simple - along with my wife & son, we set out to Munnar in Kerala and got what very few can get - a holiday with home food. Yes, we happened to stay at our friend's house in Munnar and at the same time enjoy the beauty and nature of Munnar. It was such a huge bungalow and going around it seeing the plants, trees, flowers, mountains and smalls streaks of waterfalls was a separate holiday in itself. The mist covered mountains and the carpet-like tea plantations were a delight to watch. Before getting into the actuals of our holiday, it was really a much-needed break as I had really worked for almost 9 years now without a real long break. Needless to say, I was extremely excited. More so because, I was going to be driving my SX4 all through the kilometres we cover. I compiled a lot of song collections, hindi and tamil, and got them ready on CDs for the travel. Also, this was the first time I was going to drive in the ghats. More tension for my wife, but more excitement for me and it was all safe and fine in the end. Sid was also extremely excited about going to Munnar, though he had no clue of what he was going to see and enjoy - just a new place away from the routine for him. After a very good drive almost throughout the day, we reached my friend's bungalow towards the end of the day and had a good rest after a sumptuous home made dinner.

We spent the next four days at Munnar visiting various places which usual tourists don't get access to, thanks to my friend. We drove to the Kundale Gold Club amidst the picturesque tea-plantations, forests and waterfalls - more importantly away from the crowds. Enjoyed fresh carrots and the best part of the trip was yet to come. It came 2 days later when we drove deep into the forests, beyond Eravikulam National Park, on really very special permission to reach Gravel Banks. The drive was just fabulous - up and down the hills - sunny at times, misty at times, dark & shady at times - overall a superb experience to add to your holiday CV. Absolute solitude for the three of us as you could hardly see anyone. Infact, we came across more leeches and we had one getting onto each one of our legs. A scary place to go to, in terms of leeches, but worth the time and drive as the nature we got to see there was beyond words. Green grass, pristine waters, birds chirping, forests all around - I have seen these in movies and cartoons only before. This time it was all real, in front of our eyes and we couldn't even pinch ourselves as we were sure we weren't dreaming - we had to be alert to keep away from the leeches in the meadows. There was a hanging bridge too, though a small one, it was so nice to walk on it with water flowing below - again something I have seen only in movies until then. We also spent some time in the freezing waters and infact Sid even managed to catch a cold. We were lucky to catch hold of a tea-plantation employee there and got to know that bisons and ibexes can be sighted after late evenings there, even some wild monkeys and may be some elephants. Not a safe place to stay on and on, I had to drive back and I did, but honestly I did not feel like leaving the place at all. It was complete nature wherever we turned around, except for that little Sunlight Copper colored car which took us there. My soul still remains there, but the body is back to the concrete jungles to feed stomachs.

And I also had the privilege to visit the tea factory and saw the entire process of making tea from those green leaves. The shredding, fermenting and the various other processes were very interesting to know, but the overdose of tea smell was something that I didn't cherish much.

After Munnar, we drove through the beautiful landscapes watching more tea-plantations & waterfalls to reach Thekkady and enjoyed the exciting Elephant Ride and the boring boat ride in the lake to supposedly see a few wild animals, but just caught a few deers here and there. The Elephant Ride was worth every rupee spent, though you can argue better rides in Pattaya. Inhouse, this was fabulous and it was all the more exciting to see Sid enjoying thoroughly. We were taken for a ride on a male elephant for about half-an-hour and Sid also got to feed a pregnant elephant and took some photos very close with her. Spent the night at Hotel Ambadi after a delicious buffet at Cardamon County. Woke up for some shopping and
headed to Madurai to visit a cousin for a day, before we got back to routine at Bangalore. After a lot of nature, met some loving people and also went into the Madurai market area just for the heck of it and I was reminded more of my beloved Trichy as I walked through those crowded streets. Spent two nights and then fastened our seat belts for the drive back home - home is home always, wherever it is. The drive back was a pleasure too accompanied by rains for most of the distance. The car looks like a dust-bin inside which would be cleaned only this weekend.

Obviously, I really had to push myself very hard to work on Monday when my mind and heart were refusing to come out of those pleasant green memories, infact still is. Probably for the first time in life, I took a long break and definitely for the first time since 1999, I was away from emails for 9 full days. Life was very different as I was in a www - world without www.

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Blogger Shree said...

Wow Ganesh! Looks like a very relaxing trip! Nice pictures too.

Unwinding is 'good'. Unwinding in a place like Munnar is 'best' :)

10:40 AM, October 20, 2008  
Blogger Think Tank said...

Ganesh with Ganesh :) Haa Haa

1:31 AM, October 25, 2008  
Blogger Kamal said... seems to be a very nice :))I am also thinking to go there...but it is very hard to go from Mumbai :((..
Nyways i like all the pics :))
Btw ibexes is a Goat or Deer???
I just now heard the word and I googled it and find a deer like animal...

4:53 PM, November 07, 2008  
Blogger மணிகண்டன் said...

சித்தார்த் ரொம்ப பெரிய பையன் ஆயிட்டான்டா. ரொம்ப நாள் கழிச்சி ஒரு பிரேக் எடுத்து இருக்க ! ரொம்ப அழகா இருக்கு போட்டோஸ் எல்லாம்.

நான் ஒரு மூணு / நாலு மாசத்துல பெங்களூர் வருவேன் ஹாலிடேஸ்க்கு ! நீ தான் எனக்கு சுத்தி காட்டனும் சொல்லிட்டேன்.

இப்ப எந்த கம்பெனில வேல பாக்கற ?

இன்டர்நெட் இல்லாத ஒரு சில நாட்கள் நல்லா தான் இருக்கும் !

9:19 PM, December 04, 2008  

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