#Munnar Diaries: The Magic Continues…

When night falls, the stars come out. There is no other word for it except spectacular, you can see them all around bright and sparkling and breathtaking. The cresent moon looked like it was caught in the branches of the tree outside our window and the cold, clear night air was like a balm for the soul. Once inside however the picture was quite the opposite, the warm glow from the lamp by the table and a blanket to get cozy under and a good book to read. The combination ensured that I was dozing off within minutes. Waking up in the morning to the bracing air was heavenly. Since unlike my brother and mother I am not very fond of the early morning walk, I decided to drink in the views from the balcony; everything looked fresh and clean as if someone had worked their magic with a mop and broom overnight. The rolling hills covered in green all around and the white clouds floating lazily in the sky and the sun shining down and lighting everything up. The entire day was spent in lazing around and doing nothing, except reading my book and listening to music, my idea of the perfect vacation.

The next day we ventured out on a trip to the Eravikulam National Park, the tour bus took us up to a point beyond which it was a hike up the mountain with the zigzag pathway offering a different breathtaking view at every turn and of course the greenery lining the path on both sides was a definite bonus. After the long and leisurely walk up and down the trail with plenty of halts to click endless photographs, it was time for a very belated lunch of steaming maggi at a roadside stall accompanied by hot coffee, absolute heaven! Afterwards it was a trip to the Madupetty dam and a speed boat ride with the cold wind whipping at your face while the boat seemed to just skim over the surface of the clear as glass water. Breathing in that rush of cold air was so stimulating, it left you wanting for more. Back at the resort, the misty grey light of twilight hung all around as it slowly gave way to darkness and the warm glow of twinkling lights with oceans of black night in between. Just to watch this change without a worry in the world, with daily life so far away was just the most fabulous feeling. Vacations rock!

Until next time..Cheers!

#Munnar Diaries: Above the Clouds…

Getting away from the city is always refreshing but when the place you are getting away to is God’s own country it is positively heavenly. Of course it was not as easy as it sounds since the getting away part had a lot of obstructions but once up in the air, all of it just fell away leaving you in a state of bliss and anticipation. Arriving in Kochi, the first thing you notice is the greenery all around interspersed with gorgeous red thatched roofs, a prettier picture I have rarely seen. Even in the midday sun, a cool breeze played around a lovely change from the heat and humidity of Mumbai. The drive from Kochi to Munnar took about three hours and the sights and sounds that kept us company will remain etched in my memory forever. Once outside of the city limits, the climb uphill began. The narrow roads, flanked by green on both sides, the gentle patter of the rain on the windshield and the ever changing sky above all made for a breathtaking spectacle. The views kept changing as we circled our way up the slope, the defining moment being when we found ourselves above the cloud cover looking down upon it. Fields of white cotton stretched out in every direction and through the breaks in the clouds we could see the patches of the green valleys lit up by the sunlight that forced itself through. There were tea gardens all around now, with signposts marking the properties of one and then another and yet another company. Somehow when we look at packets or boxes of tea leaves, this isn’t the picture that comes to mind is it? Just goes to show that we should broaden our horizons every once in a while. But coming back to the journey, we now passed forests full of tall trees I know not the names of and calls of birds which were just as elusive. The rain continued to beat down, just enough so that a few drops found themselves inside the car but not so much that we had to roll the windows up. A short break in journey near a waterfall offered yet another delightful view to capture in our memories but the monkeys that roamed around freely we could have done without. We clicked the typical tourist pictures and were off on our way again. The climb was steeper and at every turn we were treated to yet another fascinating view of the valley beow. When at last it seemed like we could climb no higher, we arrived at our destination. Our room has a balcony from where you can almost reach out and touch the clouds, there is an envelope of trees all around and still more tea gardens on the sloping hills before. This is where I sit as I try to put in words all the pictures in my head, but since a picture speaks a thousand words, I guess this is the best I can do. I think I shall be spending a lot of my time out here in this balcony ­čÖé

Until next time.. Cheers!