Lounging lazily on the verandah in front of our wooden cottage at Club Mahindra and gazing out at the view in front of me, I could not help thinking that it was worth the tiresome and, for me, fearsome journey from
to Munnar. Fearsome merely because it involved a 130 odd kilometers drive from Cochin
to Munnar. My stomach tends to be considerate of the cars I ride in and tries
to lighten the load on the car by emptying itself through the mouth. Luckily no
such mishap happened – though R.Suresh, Venky and Meera may violently disagree
about the luck, because it meant that they had to listen to me singing
The play of mist and sunlight on the valley and the distant hill was endlessly engrossing. It had been raining in Munnar and how lovely greenery looks when it is glistening with moisture! The drive towards Club Mahindra had its entrancing sights too – with waterfalls and the orderly verdant beauty of tea plantations – and the destination lived up to the promise of the route. R.Suresh and Venky were almost coerced into clicking pictures every other second since every change in the light and mist play highlighted a new facet of the view (All pics in this post by R.Suresh on his IPad).
One of the things that I relish in any stay at Club Mahindra is the sumptuous spread – particularly for breakfast. I have never been known to be a frugal eater but, when I am here, I tend to outdo myself and that is saying quite a lot. An over-full stomach and a road trip do not normally go together – and it was one of those normal times when we went to view the Gudampara valley.
It is one of my idiosyncrasies that I constantly overestimate my own physical prowess. We indulged in river-crossing – which meant that we dangled upside down, harnessed to a pulley that ran on a steel cable across a piddly little stream and were expected to pull ourselves to the other side by the strength of our arms. Looked easy enough when R.Suresh did it first but, God, came the time for me to pull myself over it was pure hell. After hitting the middle and with my overweight body pulling the cable down so far that the angle of ascent seemed about 30 degrees, I was totally exhausted by the time my head hit the platform on the other side. When the chap asked me if he could pull me over I assented eagerly – mentally kicking myself all the while for not having thought of asking him to do so at mid-point!
Meera opened my eyes to a new world of plants. Hitherto, all I had seen was that they were mainly green and of various shapes and the little bits of color that dotted the landscape were flowers. Being a serious plant-lover and grower, she had insisted on a visit to a nursery. That is a visit that will live on in my memory. How endlessly inventive and beautiful Nature is in the shapes, sizes and colors of leaves and flowers! Being enraptured by a view is nothing new to me but getting engrossed in the minute details of the components of a view was an enthralling experience. (By the way, Meera bought about a dozen plants and was agonizing for the rest of her stay there about whether she would be allowed to take them back home on the flight. In case any of you are wondering about the same, they do allow you!)
By the time the visit ended, it seemed such a pity that it ended so soon. Well! There is always a next time!