There is a saying by Mr. Nirnimesh ( former system admin at IIIT , Google star employee for five weeks running and a good friend of mine )
The more you plan for the trip, more are the chances that the trip will never happen
The Goa trip, that was planned initially, never happened .. since none of us could arrange for a stay there. So, after referring to multiple people and getting inputs from various sources we decided that Wayanad might just be the perfect place to spend the Christmas Weekend.
The guys from Hyderabad ( Rocky, Maddy, Parivesh, Nirnimesh and Nitin ) arrived in Bangalore on the morning of 23rd and we started for Wayanad at around 10:30 AM in the morning. The place is about 253 Kms from Bangalore, which is about 5 hours of cab driving. We stopped at multiple places on the way, either due to the traffic, or due to nature’s call or due to lunch breaks .. and we finally entered Kerala at around 4:00 PM. We crossed a couple of elephants on the way which looked sad and hungry ( lethal combo .. I am sure if I was outside the cab, they would not mind eating me either ). We finally got to Wayanad at around 5:00 PM and we stopped at Sultan’s Bathery which is about 17 Kms from the main Wayanad center ( Kalpetta ). Bathery did have a couple of ok-ish places to stay, but everything was booked ( Christmas Weekend ). Finally Rocky and Parivesh managed to find a decent enough place to sleep for the night. We all were pretty tired trying to find a place to stay and we took to beds like fish to water ( or something less desperate sounding ).
Next morning, as expected, Maddy and Nitin were up early morning ( that was 5:00 AM ) and started waking up everyone. The last thing you want to do when you are in a place like Kerela is waste time sleeping .. but the bed seemed to be offering much more. Anyway, you can hardly expect to sleep once Maddy wakes up. And all of us were up and ready by 8:30 AM.
First stop Edakal Caves : The drive to the place was as nice as the place itself. Since it was early morning, we were enjoying ourselves totally oblivious to the road ( or lets call it, the mountain ) ahead. The car was stopped about a kilometer from the place where the caves were, by a group of money hungry parking lot people. We could have actually driven right up till the caves, but … anyway .. this at least gave us a chance to flex our leg muscles to prepare them for the ordeal ahead. It was about a kilometer that we had walked up the mountain, but it was not tiring .. it was just exhausting .. and since we were not carrying water bottles, we had more trouble trying to keep pace. But anyway, we managed to get to the caves .. and in my head I was hoping that this was it .. but others had other plans .. It seems there was a little hike ahead .. which took you to the top of the mountain. Maddy is always the first to find out such things and shout “lets go .. ” and I am always the last one to listen to such things and I always shout back “Are you kidding me .. up THAT way ?? ” But since, everyone was going .. I followed suit .. and very soon we were pretty much doing MI-2 stunts without duplicates and without any safety equipments. My slippery shoe didn’t help the cause much and everytime i stepped upon a rock I felt like this would be my last step. I scolded myself for not getting the roaming activated so that I could call my mom and dad and bro and tell them “I love you guys” .. but since even that involved taking my arms off the rock ahead .. I don’t think it was really advisable. There was a part of the mountain for which we were supposed to take the help of a rope to go up … looked easy, was a bit difficult to do initially, but soon I got a hang of it and it all seemed easy again .. but even that was not the end of it. Four of the group made it to the top of the mountain (Rocky, Maddy, Nirnimesh and Parivesh) while Me and Nitin were catching our breath about 20 ft below. We came back from there, because it was adventure enough going up all that distance :). The way back seemed easier and Maddy REALLY enjoyed himself on the way back ( ask him what that means .. I am told to be cautious of what I post on the blog ).
Second Stop Muthunga Wild Life Sanctuary : We went straight to the Wild Life sanctuary hoping to catch the sight of some Wild Life. I was told by a office colleague that the sanctuary is the most boring thing at Wayanad. Still, I didn’t tell my friends about this … because Wayanad is famous for the sanctuary and if I we didn’t go there .. it would be like going to a girls college and not checking out the hot babes there. In the end, I didn’t want to be blamed for what the sanctuary MIGHT have been like .. 🙂 .. so we went there anyway. Our driver was the more scared thing I have seen in a really long time ( and I have seen myself in the mirror after the movie Bhoot ) at the idea of going inside the jungle. His fear actually got me thinking that there just MIGHT be a chance that there are wild animals inside. But all we saw were a bunch of deer from different angles and a couple of elephants. But the fun part of this visit , for me , was the drive , because I was standing at the back end of the open jeep on the door , and it was fun to be able to see the wild life from a distance and the bumpy road and the fast drive only made the task a little more fun 🙂
Third Destination Chethalayam Falls : We didn’t actually find the lake .. but we had a good time trying to find it .. because every time we talked about tigers and lions on our way to the place we noticed that the speed of the cab increased a bit. Our driver was mighty scared driving into the jungle and since the way to the falls was blocked by a fallen tree we could not get to it .. but we did see the part of it where water was falling .. and we also saw a wild boar .. which ran off as soon as the cab doors opened 🙂 .. poor thing .. !!
But the good thing was .. the little stop here woke up everyone ( including me ) and we were back to our hotels in forty five .. hoping for a even better day when we wake up.
Meenmutty Falls : We were under the impression ( and were desperately hoping for it after the adventures day before ) that we would not have to trek to get to the place .. but as it turned out .. this one also involved some trekking .. the way down was tricky and very narrow .. I was VERY sure that this was not the actual way and many times during the trek we had to rely on the sound of falling water to decide the way to go .. the first sight of falling water was fun .. but it was water falling from a height of about 10 ft .. and definitely not what we had in mind .. 🙂 .. This was the place where we lost track of Nirnimesh and Parivesh ( unfortunately we found them some time later 🙂 ) because they started off from here a little earlier and the rest four of us were a little behind. Finally when we got to the falls .. it was a beautiful sight .. Water falling from such great height ( ok .. it was no Niagara falls .. but still it was a nice height ) and the sound of water made us forget the sweat that it took to get to the place .. and pretty soon we were all charged up again .. We didn’t click many snaps on the way to the falls ( which was rather sad .. but I guess everyone was more worried about surviving the trek and not about what to show for actually surviving ) .. but we did click many once we got there .. I clicked some snaps of a group of school kids ( these guys took the actual route, which was the one we took for our way back .. this one seemed lot shorter and easier ) who were there on a class trip or something and promised to send it to them because they gave me their address ( should probably do that .. nice enthu bunch , they were ) . The way back up from the falls shall always be etched in my mind as the day when Maddy told us a zillion times “Guys, I can see the tea plantations which means we have reached our cab .. must be hardly 2 minutes walk from here” .. and after every 2 minutes of such walk .. we would still not find even a single tea plant .. forget the entire plantation .. and every time the three of us felt like throwing him off the top of the mountain .. But actually we were too tired to say it .. so we three would just look at each and mentally make a note that once we are back on our feet .. “Lets kill Maddy” !!
We found Nirnimesh and Parivesh ( unfortunately 🙂 ) a little distance away from the tea plantations ( finally we did find it 🙂 ) .. After which it was actually a two minute walk !!
But Still .. “Lets kill MADDY”
Pookote Lake : We were tired .. definitely .. but once we got to the top .. near our cab .. we were actually so happy to have made it that pretty soon we had all forgotten the tired legs and the sagging spirits were back on their feet. Actually ( at least for me ) .. there was a cute girl near our exit .. and the very sight of her was pretty refreshing .. too bad we couldn’t click her .. because her dad kept coming in the way. After the trek, we decided not to go to any place which could make us walk .. up or down .. doesn’t matter … there should be absolutely no walking .. 🙂 .. So we went to the lake .. !!
This proved to be a wonderful decision .. and I must thank Nirnimesh here to come up with the idea of rowing and not use pedal boats. He and Parivesh started first ( and didn’t drown .. unfortunately !! ) after which me and Rocky followed suit. We actually did pretty well .. This was my first time rowing and I totally enjoyed it !! I had my favorite moments of the Trip while I was rowing .. ( actually it was just rocky who was rowing .. I was just sitting on my ass and enjoying the view 🙂 ) .. We clicked a little here too and then we saw the Microsoft employees ( Nitin and Maddy ) trying to sink a rowing boat .. they didn’t actually succeed .. but it was rather interesting to imagine how their moments on the boat could be mapped to their work life at office .. 🙂
Banasura Sagar Dam : This actually was a good walk … thats it .. nothing VERY interesting .. but we had a scenic view and we had the incentive that we got to the other end in time, we might get a chance to be on the speed boat ( which didn’t work out 😦 ) .. We clicked some nice snaps here too .. and We lost+found Nirnimesh here too ( again .. unfortunately 🙂 ) !!
The trip was more about enjoying the moments with Friends, having fun in spite of tiredness and the sinking spirits during the treks .. Although we did not see anything GREAT in the wild life sanctuary, although we did not get to speed boat on time .. still .. it was not disappointing to anyone .. At the end of the day .. It was the fun of being together in the group of Friends that mattered .. Somehow the fun side of us, that was lost due to the hectic work life and the work pressure and commitments, that came to the fore .. We all had a total BLAST on the trip .. !!
Quotes from the trip
A friend ( not ms employee, not synopsis employee, not oracle employee) on the proposal from a girl colleague that during their upcoming visit to the US, they should visit pubs everyday
“Saala .. Paisa Kaun Dega ?? ”
Maddy , during the trek up from Meenmutty falls
“I can see the tea plantations right in front of me .. must be hardly 2 minutes from here ”
Rest all of us in unison
“Lets Kill Parivesh ” 🙂
Nitin , On the second sighting of the elephants in Wild Life Sanctuary
“I think these are the same elephants .. They have just moved to a different position to fool us”
Nirnimesh ( to me , at the Chethalayam Falls .. on way to which I had fallen sleep and had just woken up .. He was about to click a snap of me )
“Khare .. Boot Ho ja”
Me ( about Parivesh’s suggestion to kill Murphy for coming up with Murphy’s laws)
According to Murphy’s law , when you try to find Murphy to kill him, you shall never find him and when you are not trying to find him .. you will find him everywhere
Shirsha ( for suggesting the place in the first place ) -> THANK YOU !!
Blogs ( from which we learnt about other’s experiences ) -> Keep going people .. you are helping more people than you can imagine.
The Numerous websites that helped us find the way to the place and gave us a snap shot of what to expect once we get there !!
Link for snaps from the trip is here