“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love”- Ernnest Hemingway
A trip is all about the experiences, the little memories you make all through the way & this is what my husband probably had in mind when our 1st wedding anniversary trip was being planned. Coz he loves me , to have planned this special journey with me!:)
Right now if you ask me, I have no recollection of how we came to agree on the bike trip but all I knew was that this was something he wanted to do and game I was for it!
There was nothing more exciting that I looked forward to than this trip becoz all I wanted it to be was a trip that both of us would remember and something through which we could relive 365 days of madness that our life has been:)
Being married to S was nothing short of an adventure and every trip that we undertook has been nothing less of it either. On a warm June we set out to explore Pondicherry, on his sweetheart (read Avenger)* & that trip turned out to be one of my best to the place coz he had booked us into a lovely resort close to Auroville, with all essentials for a night stay packed without my knowledge into a little back pack. I loved the way he had thought through the whole thing and never let me even get the faintest of idea of what he was upto…so now you get the drift of where the second trip is headed..;)
This month with our anniversary being the highlight, S wanted to make sure that nothing would spoil the journey… and hence the chosen destination Munnar. I haven’t been there and was looking to walk through the tea estates, enjoy the view of the lake, and a walk through the clouds. So all set we decided that our sweetheart* would be packed and sent to Madurai and us to follow on the night bus.
Bags packed, the phone calls home informing them about the journey, we set off, to wake up at the temple city of the south, Madurai. We weren’t quiet prepared for what awaited us in Madurai.. the fact that we assumed we would get rooms on arrival like royalty was soon broken into a million pieces. So the next best thing to do was to find the railway station and wait it out till we could pick up the bike. We freshened up at one of the relatively decent looking hotels and headed out for a quick breakfast, picked up the bike and headed to destination Munnar or so is what i thought.
This was the route that we took Madurai-Vadipatti-Batlagundu-Vatlagundu-Perumalmalai-via palani route-Ganeshpuram & finally reached Elephant Valley resort
All through the drive we passed through mountain, plains, fields, rash drivers, curious onlookers ( probably at the sight of me) and also ear marked the Dindigual Thalpakattu Biryani as a stop over luncheon spot on the return leg of the journey.
All through the ride on NH7 the mind was put to rest, there was no work pressure, there were no phone calls, no worries abt this or that.. what I didn’t know was that the Ghat roads would take my breath away.As we started the climb the curves kept getting better & with each climb the drive keeps getting better for the man behind the wheels and for the pillion rider a chance to take in the brilliance that nature had to offer.
We stopped for breaks that included stretches & photo sessions and antakshari.. which included changing the letters so that we could sing whichever song we knew.. all the while thinking a few more hours and i would reach Munnar.. as we kept finding our way asking the locals for directions, I came across this signboard which said Elephant Valley and that’s when S asked if i have any idea what it was… prompt came my reply, it’s probably a place where they keep people of my size 😛 ( so much for my ability to crack a joke on myself). this got S worried as he would tell me later he just assumed I had seen right through the surprise and played all along knowing where we were headed! 😀
Soon on the last stretch we stopped to ask a local about Ganeshpuram and he just rattled all the major landmarks and gave away the location of the elephant valley! S’s face said it all and then i figured out we were headed there and yet again S told me we were only halting for lunch. Soon we reached EV and I was told we were going to spending the next two days here and that too on the tree house. Seeing my shocked expression S thought I was unhappy about the surprise and didn’t wanna stay there.. but all that happened to me was that I was overwhelmed and was coming to terms with the situation.:)
The walk to the tree house was long..we trekked across coffee plantations, a hanging bridge and the sight of the tree house was breath-taking! the interiors were done up beautifully with the sound of the river adding to the experience of living in a tree house. tastefully done up without harming the environment , it taught us also not abuse nature and live in harmony with it! And the best of it all was exploring some of the property on horse back! 🙂 N S who on a regular day cannot wake up before 8 am woke up at 6:30 am to watch the sunrise and bugged me out of bed, that was the effect being in the lap of nature had on him! 😀
Once settled, we headed out to explore Kodai and to check out shopping and eating places that we had heard so much about.Slightly crowded but the ride leading upto the city was breath-taking.. for one it was chill and two the deep gorges, the tall tress, the mist. clouds all added to the beauty of the ride. We did the usual touristy stuff, walk around most of the place, go around the kodai lake which is huge and beautiful, Coakers walk which disappointed me as I didn’t get to catch a glimpse of the city that lay beneath. 😦 lesson learnt: never go there in the evenings when it’s all misty!
A sleepy city that Kodai is apart from the regular touristy stuff there ain’t anything much to do so we manged to cover most of it in a day and half.We discovered an awesome Tibetian restaurant & a pastry shop with awesome cakes, bun & what not!!
Both me and S were extremely sad that our two beautiful days of being so far away from civilization was coming to an end.. each hairpin curve down, all we could think of was why do good things come to an end so soon.
Our last pittstop was at The Gateway Hotel a sprawling property on a hill with a bird’s-eye view of Madurai, which again had a beautiful driveway leading upto the property making up for the view of the city that i missed at Kodai. 🙂 after a cup of steaming hot coffee and a light snack we headed back to parcel our sweetheart back to Chennai and wait for the bus home!
Indeed it was a well deserved break and a good one at that.. on this trip I learnt that driving the ghats/ Nilgiri stretch keeda in S would never die..how many ever trips we do and he prefers silence unlike me who would love the complete opposite . S would keep giving me surprises and I would never see thru it. N lastly I could never tire from having him as my better n bitter half 🙂
So this one blog is for us.. for this adventurous trip we took.. for days when either of us are low, for days when life hands us the lemons we’ll have this to read through and the millions of pictures i clicked! happy anniversary.. love you.. always! 🙂
I leave you guys with a few pics.. some of my fav from the trip 🙂 in no particular order
Hope you enjoy them