A wild weekend in Wayanad

Nature travel

A wild weekend in Wayanad

“Sir! We didn’t know you’ll reach so early. Sorry, we haven’t prepared any lunch. There wouldn’t be anything available here, or anywhere nearby,” exclaimed the manager on the phone, when we asked him for directions from Kalpetta in Wayanad. I found that a little strange but nonetheless ate at a restaurant in the town.

“Ok! Can you give me directions now?” I almost shouted. “Sir! Drive across the town towards Calicut highway. Continue for another 15 km and stop at a shop named Sahara on the right side of the road. Once you are there, call me,” he said matter of factly.
I reached the point he had explained and called. A guy in a jeep was in fact waiting there. He asked me to park the car and board the jeep. “So, my car cannot go till the resort?” I asked. “No, sir,” he replied. The next two kilometres, I was struggling to just sit on the seats. Jumping, bumping, ducking my head to avoid the thick vegetation. After crossing a few tea estates and a coffee estate, I finally reached the resort. A small waterfall was emptying into a swimming pool and then further down the hill. To one side was the view of a huge valley and to the other side a staircase leading to a hut-like structure; the reception, hidden behind thick vegetation.

Another few metres of climb took me to my cottage. I immediately put on my walking shoes and headed towards town. After a leisurely walk amidst the tea estates, past a secluded lake, I finally reached Old Vythri, a small village.

Next morning, I woke up to the sounds of chirping birds. I came out and a gentle breeze caressed my face. The mountains in front were covered in a mist constantly moving over the peaks. I had to head to the Hanasura Dam. The road was lined with tea estates. I eventually reached the dam, and soon, hunger pangs kicked in. I found a quaint roadside eatery and ordered fish curry and rice. First bite of the fish curry sent smoke from my ears and water from my eyes and nose. Though I still persisted, I reached for the banana from a bunch hanging from the ceiling.

Next day, I headed towards Irupu Falls in Coorg, passing through the beautiful Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary. Amidst the thick forest, the steps leading to the waterfall proved to be more inviting than the actual waterfall.

There were more surprises before I could end this trip. While passing Nagarhole, I moved the car to the side of the road and switched off the engine. I saw a tusker grazing by the road. Then I spotted two more, and a baby elephant.

It sure was a memorable trip.

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