It has been a while since I came back from my 1st trek and my feet were itching for another trip. Deciding the next destination wasn’t difficult as I have my long list of places to visit for this year. God’s own country, Kerala has always been close to my heart and I picked Wayanad from my list.
It was a long weekend as Ramadan (26th June’17) fell on a Monday and most of the people had their own plans (or no plans at all). So, after getting a NO from almost everyone, I decided to take this trip all by myself. Scared, anxious and with a mind full of doubts, I booked my room in a resort (as recommended by my Malayali friend) and my bus tickets just 2 days before the trip. Thanks to my close friends who gave me the confidence and encouraged me for the decision I took. It was my first solo trip. A few phone calls with the resort manager to know about the arrangements and informing him about my arrival, I was feeling much better and prepared for the solo venture.
It was still dark when the bus dropped me at the Mananthavady bus stop. The bus stop, which was actually a petrol bunk, was deserted in those early hours and I was the only passenger to get down there. Scary scenes of a girl being harassed etc etc started playing in my mind. Luckily the resort manager, Cleny reached within 5 minutes to receive me. There wasn’t any auto or cab in the vicinity. It was 4:15 in the morning.
The drive to the resort took another 30 minutes. Cleny was really friendly and kept talking throughout this short drive. In the light of street lamps, I could see the dense plantations on both sides. It had started drizzling. We reached our destination – “Mist Heaven Hill Resort“. After completing the check-in formalities, I retired to my room – a big, well-maintained room with a queen-sized bed just for me. I soon lied down to complete my unfinished quota of sleep. The running vehicles woke me up from my peacefully sleep (disadvantage of having a room by the roadside). When I brought this to the notice of the manager, he shifted me to another studio room with a lovely view of the tea-estate.
Pic : Room on the left was allotted first. On the right is the studio room with tea-estate view.
Pic : Tea-estate view from my room.
My first day started with a delicious breakfast at the resort, followed by some info-gathering session with the manager, Cleny. I had already made my list of places to visit and was discussing the same. Cleny informed that Kuruwa Islands, one of the main attractions of Wayanad, has been closed due to heavy rains. So, here comes tip no.1.
Tip 1 : Do a prior Google search about the opening season and timings for the places you want to visit else you might be disappointed.
A cab was arranged by the resort to take me wherever I wanted to go. It started raining as I left the resort. That made the place even more beautiful with lush green forests and tea gardens throughout the way. The Sun didn’t show up for the remaining 3 days. It was all rain and the clouds – the monsoons. Almost every view on the way was picturesque, some got captured in my phone while rest are etched in my memory forever. Below is the brief itinerary of my travel. I will let the pictures do the talking as I don’t want to write a long blog post (I don’t have that much patience 😉 ). About talking, I had a quiet time as the driver and me didn’t have a common language to interact. Few Tamil & Malayalam songs did fill up the silence though.
Day 1 : Banasura Sagar Dam > Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary > Thirunelli Temple
Day 2 : Soochipara Waterfalls > Pookot Lake > Lakkidi View Point > Chain Tree
Day 3 : Church > Local Market Visit
One has to walk for about 1 km to reach the waterfalls. Some part of the descend was narrow and rocky. Plus, the rush in crowd and the rains made the way risky & slippery.
Tip 2 : If you are visiting Wayanad and this waterfalls during monsoon, put on your comfortable clothes and shoes instead of long dresses and high-heels.
Long dresses and high heels do make you look pretty but it restricts your movement while climbing. So better avoid them during monsoons.
If you are planning to visit any temple, here is tip no.3
Tip 3 : Girls/Ladies : Please avoid shorts/ and 3/4th pants, one-piece dresses and sleeveless clothes during temple visit.
Guys : Please take-off your shirts/T-shirt if you want to enter the temple and wear a mundu. Most of the temples will provide mundus. **
(**Based on the experience from the Thirunelli Temple visit & as told by my Malayali friends 😀 )
Tip 4 : Do have your lunch or carry something to eat if you are going to the Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary in the afternoon (3-5 pm). There isn’t much option to eat except for a few stalls selling fruits and cold drinks/water.
Travelling solo was in my bucket list for long and I finally set my foot to live it, gain the experience and confidence out of it. It doesn’t make me a hero to the world but to ME, it does matter. It has helped me to know a bit more about myself, my limitations and strengths. Tucking all memories of the time spent in Wayanad, I bid adieu to the place and boarded the night bus to Bangalore. All I could dream was the lush greenery soaked in the rains and the cool, pleasant weather.
** Jamsheer, the cab driver did attempt to start a conversation on the last day of the journey. We had our little talk in broken English and Hindi. 🙂
My Next Solo Trip will be ………….