RT, Appu and I had planned to go to Kerala after placements but it didn't work out ('coz I had dropped out). I have wanted to visit Munnar since then. The first time RT went there she called me and declared what a beautiful place it is.
It was decided then... KC put Lakshwadweep on the list but I campaigned for Munnar and took care of the details. The plan was to stay at Club Mahindra (which is the best resort in Munnar) for 3-4 days... next 2-3 days we could go to Thekkady, Backwaters and Cochin. But RT insisted that I travel less since it will be terribly hot and humid in Kerala.
We took an early morning (6 am) flight from Mumbai to Cochin and hired a cab from Cochin to Munnar. Munnar is 2.5-3.5 hrs away. The drive is amazing... greenery everywhere... I was reminded of Mt Abu and Manipal. I missed Manipal terribly and kept repeating over and over again; "Manipal is this beautiful" which irritated KC... don't know why. I forgot to ask.
Here is a pic of the first view of Munnar:
Everything is green as far as the eye can see. When we arrived there was fog/mist everywhere. Our room had a huge living room; bedroom; dining room cum kitchen with utensils, microwave etc; bathroom and a balcony with a view of the lake. Right in front of the window was a tree house where you can have your meals (at a higher charge, of course).
Day 1: The stress of the last months got to us and we slept all day after lunch. The food in the resort is freaking expensive and there is tax on bloody everything. We woke up to rains splashing on our window and the evening was spent playing Scrabble... I am bad at Carrom, Chess bores me to death (My sis used to make me play Chess for hrs as a kid... she didn't have anyone else to play with... I would lose asap to end the game), badminton was not available, kids were playing snooker and air hockey.
Day 2: We went early morning sight seeing to Munnar. The resort is 20 kms away from Munnar. We headed to Periakanal falls, Mattupetty Dam for a ride on speed boat, elephant ride (didn't do that), flower garden (totally avoidable), echo point (avoidable). We didn't get the opportunity to go to top station. It is the highest peak in Munnar.The evening was spent playing Scrabble, Pathwords and watching IPL. It was raining again and the weather was so good.
Day 3: We headed to Gudampara estate which is a private estate. From the top of the hill we could see Kerala and TN border. There were lot of opportunities for clicking pics. There is a lake where we went fishing. Obviously, we didn't catch anything. The last stop was at the hanging bridge. As soon as we reached it it started raining. The evening was spent playing Scrabble, Pathwords and watching IPL. This is the first time in my life that I am watching cricket. Cricket is so boring. It should be banned.
It rained again but now it was warmer... the fog/mist had lifted. We spent the evening playing Scrabbles, Pathwords and watching IPL.
Day 4: We skipped Night Safari... there is no point going to a jungle from 11 pm-6 am. If we don't come across animals also we would get irritated. We skipped the tea plantation tour... everywhere we looked there were tea plantations anyway. We headed to Thekkady for a visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Thekkady is 2-2.5 hrs from Munnar. There is a boat which takes tourists into the sanctuary. The view is breath-taking. There is a cool breeze blowing and you can easily fall alseep. But our eyes were wide open on the look out for animals. We spotted elephants, wild buffalo and deer. There is a resort in the middle of the jungle and trekking is regularly organized. We decided to come here again just for trekking. Thekkady mein ek aur trip banta hai.Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Day 5: A week earlier I had a discussion with KC and his friend, Rohan.
KC: She likes to plan her trips to the dot... there is a time table as to when to wake up, have b'fast, sight seeing... it is so tiring. Trips are meant to relax and sleep.
Me: Why the hell go all the way to a remote location just to sleep? Why not just take leave and sleep in your house?
Rohan: Obviously, you have to sleep on trips...
KC: You won't understand... you have stayed in good places like Mt Abu and Manipal... I have only been in Mumbai where you can hear traffic even at 3/4 am. The undisturbed sleep that you can get in remote locations on trips is blissful.
He is right. We decided not to do anything that day. We clicked pics, took a walk and generally chilled.
Day 6: Last and final day in Munnar... I wanted to shop a little in Cochin. We left at 4 pm thinking we would arrive comfortably at 6 pm... shop at M G road and reach airport at 8.30 pm. We had miscalculated. It took us 3.5 hrs to get to Cochin. M G road was an hour farther. We shopped at the airport. Thank god, there are shops at airports.
All in all a wonderful trip... relaxing and fun. If I had to do it again, I would visit back waters first... then head to Thekkady... go trekking there and then head to Munnar to chillax... 'coz once you are in Munnar you won't have the heart to leave.
We reached Mumbai with a leaden heart.
- Munnar is covered with tea plantations owned by Tata, RPG, etc. You can stay in a cheaper resort/hotel and still enjoy the view
- There were mostly families staying at Club Mahindra which shows that their business model is very successful. And these families were middle class. It shows that the people find the membership economical and affordable. We were tempted to take up the membership but have decided to wait a few months.
- A bike ride around Munnar would be divine