Let’s find some beautiful place to get lost… Unknown…

Quite often, my niece wants an escape from her Bangalorean concrete jungle. We were seven, decided to take a short dive to Munnar. Rented a Crysta, off we go at 8 in the morning. Stopped at Sree bhavan, Ollur for our breakfast fuel, masala dosa being the ultimate choice.

We further took a break when we drove for an hour, all the back benchers were fast asleep, for a tea at one of the Saravanabhavas you see at every corner, and to use the wash room!

We stopped at  Cheeyappara waterfalls, between Neriamangalam and Adimaly, a scenic delight by the road side, cascading like a layered white  bridal gown. Had tender coconut, the sun was relentless at the top blinding the summit view of the falls.

Almost lunch time, dropped in at   Farm Yard Hotel, Adimaly, looked like an ancient palacial house with tiled roof, long verandah, a bit under maintained, with a large front yard/parking area, lovely garden, a fish pond with sculpted cows in various poses overseeing the fishes! The meal was simple and homely.

As we were climbing up, got down at a few spots, endless tea gardens kissing the sky, white humongous clouds resembling cotton bundles, a passing jet leaving its white tread against clear blue was lovely! A photographer’s charm, everyone busy  with cameras, cell phones to still moments … Amidst the beauty, the human greed revealed it’s true colours, stripping nature ruthlessly, camouflaging the felled gigantic trees with acacia and other invasive species,  building precarious resorts on hilltops…

It was not very cool, missing the hill station ambience, it was not dark yet as we entered the Tea Valley Resort nestled in a valley guarded by misty mountains, navigating steep winding roads, it seems seeing the Ooty roads and Munnar roads, Indians have a tendency to reach the goal in haste unlike the colonialists. The building in red and white looked majestic with cool greenery and tiered architecture. Offered us a soothing masala black tea, as we were again posing for pictures, our rooms were ready. All of a sudden it started raining like hell and the real hill station ambience crept in dampening anything and everything.

We chose to take the buffet for dinner as we had nowhere to go. The dinner was not an elaborate affair, and the dessert spread was disappointing. We had a round of cards, retired early foreseeing next day’s travel.

Next day, all were on time for the complimentary breakfast, it was a scrumptious feast, the poha and honey glazed banana was a hit, everyone happy, our intention was Mattupetty dam. We stopped at a spot, made our way through the steps to  the emerald green water. A valley of wild mauve flowers, tall slender trees touching the sky, we scowled like jackals , the voice boomeranging on us….

Lunch time, again it was pouring, located a restaurant called Noor Giri, had a simple filling meal, the garden was awesome in all hues and shades. We decided to walk to Kundala dam with umbrellas, it was a refreshing walk, raining all through, reminiscing childhood walks, the dam and water looked lovely in the downpour.

On the way we saw children of all ages from the High Range School owned by TATA, campaigning with banners saying ‘no plastic is fantastic’ in full joy, jumping and dancing…. Plastic is a giant  intruder, overtaking our eco system, weather conditions, our life style, even our emotions!!

Visited Horticultural park, with all sorts of plants and flowers, Jacobina yellow, Camellia, Impatience, Salvia, Fuchsia, a walk through a commotion of colours, a board displaying a tree for every malayalam star was enough ground for humour…

Stopped at Chaai Bazaar from Ripples Tea, for an instant shot of fuel, offering a wide range of products, picked up leaf tea, strawberry preserve, pink guava jelly, passion fruit sauce, white iced tea, to name a few…slurped rejuvenating lemon grass tea!!

Wound off for the day at Blossom International Park, an awesome place with well groomed lawns, purple melastoma hedges and welcoming promenades. My niece wanted to take a ride on the Zipliner, Sreehari motivated her, adventure loving type, took the plunge! He received her with a warm welcome, as if to get the first interview, then my grand niece attempted, she looked cool and fearless, came out a winner. Now it was my turn, acrophobic, climbing the steep spiralling steps was scary, my grand niece was beside me cheering, as I inched closer, to heaven or hell?, the gregarious half of mine voted for hell😂,  instructor asked me to step on a podium, oh! Dear! my heart skipped a beat, as  my head nudged the sky, then zoom!!! It was like a bird flying!!! Great! Landed head high, it seemed a group of college girls underneath were cheering each other ‘if that old woman can, why not you?’ they were applauding as I was going up, had it not been for the trio, I would have missed my Oscar! “Bravery is not the absence of fear but the strength of going forward despite the fear”.. Paulo Coehlo.

It was pitch dark when we finished dinner from a Gujarati restaurant and manoeuvring the winding road was an uphill task, one slip, gone!! Pindrop silence, holding our breath, somehow reached our resort. My grand niece shouting Hats off to Kunjappooppa!! As soon as we reached, it started raining!

Next day morning, after breakfast, we explored in and around the resort, treehouse, trekked up, and it was time to pack up. Missed so many places, Rose Garden, Marayoor  Sandalwood Forest, reserved for the next trip. My niece had to catch the evening train to Bangalore. Eagerly waiting for her next escape…

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