Friday, September 21, 2012

A Trip to Munnar

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 Bangalore 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 non-stop!
 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.
The road for the most part was quite good. Then, we shifted to a jeep to go inside the forest towards the view point. Of all the tracks that I have traveled this one easily takes the cake for being the most bone-rattling trip ever. For about five kilometers, we felt like clothing probably does inside a washing machine.
The view at the end of it all was well worth the trip. The plains of Tamil Nadu were laid out like a miniature model in front of us and even distant towns could be seen. The guide said that, beyond a point at the view-point, it was Tamil Nadu territory – and, as if on cue, our mobiles chimed with SMSes welcoming us to Tamil Nadu!! We had barely spend about 10 minutes there when a sudden downpour caught us out in the open and we were drenched before we could race back to the jeep.
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!

49 comments:

  1. Nice description Sir. Have you enjoyed the Munnar-Tea??

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    1. Still enjoying it, Sayantini, since I brought some tea back home.

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    2. Enjoyed the trip report!
      - A quiet fan of yours from years ago

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  2. Nice capture and brilliantly described... a few day back you had gone to Yercaud and now Munnar, must be feeling great :)

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    1. Actually it was then that I went to Munnar and then Yercaud. Not much to talk abt the latter since we spent our time sozzled there! :)

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  3. A typically hilariously recorded post stamped Suresh allover! It made me green at your fortunes though!

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    1. Mmm! Uma! I am sure you will have better and greener tales to relate!

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  4. Thats Kerala for you...:) LOved the post!

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    1. True! Kerala is indeed beautiful! Thanks!

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  5. You've made me jog 10 years down my memory lane, that college trip where I actually got to know 'mine' better! ;O

    And that is a pretty good account of your trip, I was under this impression that the holiday clubs always overhcarge, but if you're left with a good memory then yeah it IS worth it! :)

    Do stop by my blog!! I'd love your visits & comments!

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    1. I would not know about that! R.Suresh is the member of Club Mahindra :)

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  6. Interesting to see a travel narrative after such a long time.You were wondering what to do for the 100th post of the year - what better than a travel post? Congrats on finishing a 100 posts in a year.

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    1. Suddenly noticed it was 99th only. But my tag is anyways there for the 100th. And it will be a good one to highlight your glorious blogging achievements to all your fan following.

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    2. Mmm! That is what I was planning :) My glorious blogging achievements??? Fan following??? Wish I had both!!

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  7. Wow ...that was some hilarious travelogue..:) Would love to visit Munnar some time :)

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  8. I quite enjoyed the trip to Munnar via your post. Looks like we share the same malady of "emptying the stomach through the mouth"(lol!). Maybe sometime I'll brave that trip to Munnar too...

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    1. Hope your journey will be pleasant, Ilakshee :)

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  9. A lovely, sweet, great, grand post Suresh!
    Thoroughly enjoyed!!
    Thanks a lot:)

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  10. You forgot our "spiritual" conversations about everything under the sun (which we couldn't see)!

    Venkat

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    1. I did, did I not, Venky! :) Too much hard work, I suppose :)

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  11. Nice to see some images from Munnar. Its been nearly two years since I visited Munnar. Its increasingly becoming crowded. Better to go during week days. Good to hear that you started liking flowers after visit to the nursery.

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    1. I always liked flowers - it was only that I started noticing them in detail now instead of merely as an ensemble :)

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  12. Suresh, honestly, these days one thing I am totally enjoying about blogging is the new places each of the bloggers visit and post. I liked the part where you were hanging at mid-point..:) Loved the pics too.

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    1. Mmm! Glad you enjoyed the vicarious visit :)

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  13. Looks like you (and your stomach) had a memorable trip, Suresh, :-P I haven't visited Munnar, so this was like a wonderful preview of what I will see there. Thank you so much.

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    1. The place is probably more wonderful than my words can ever convey, Sudha!

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  14. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I too want to visit Munnar. Have heard a lot about it. A suggestion, please increase the size of the photos so that we can enjoy the beauty of the place. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog.

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  15. Suresh your post kindles a desire to visit Munnar,it looks lovely-the very first pic is breathtaking.

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    1. The pics are all taken by my friend - R.Suresh! The credit is to him and, of course, to Munnar :)

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  16. Had been to Munaar with my colleagues once and we did stay in Club Mahindra. But heavy rains played major spoil sport to our trip. Your post was kinda nostalgic :)

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    1. It rained intermittently when we were there too. Thankfully not enough to stop us taking in the sights.

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  17. That's a 'humourous' travel post. :) Lovely picture, all.
    If those turns and bends make you sick, you might want to try out acupressure wrist bands. I love them because I hate the idea of medicines.

    (They look like this : http://www.dnambiartravelblog.com/2012/07/acupressure-wristbands-for-motion.html)

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    1. Know of them, tried them and they do not seem to work for me :(

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  18. Found this late, but glad I didn't miss it. Was caught unawares by the beauty and simplicity of the post. Kudos to R. Suresh and the iPad too for the visual treat.

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    1. Thanks, Subho! I suppose the beauty was in the photos and the simplicity in my writing :)

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  19. Thanks for the information shared....

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  20. Wow such beautiful landscape! My urge to visit Kerala has become stronger after reading this :)

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  21. Thanks for this informative post on Munnar. The pictures are fantastic. The name Munnar is believed to mean "three rivers",and there are many places to visit in Munnar. It is a calm and soothing vacation spot in Kerala.

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  22. Lovely reading your blog post and pictures are beautifully weaved. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiance in munnar

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  23. Its a very beautiful place.Loved reading your blog post and the pictures are wonderful.Thank you for sharing your travel experience. SRS Travels

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