The resort - Misty Mountains is on the main road side, hardly 500metres before Kuttikanam junction in Mundakkayam - Kuttikkanam route. This is an estate doubled up as a resort and its sprawling campus is enough to keep the visitors entertained for 2 days. Our plan though, is to stay for just one day.
As soon as we rolled into the parking lot in front of the reception, the resort staff promptly attended to us. Lunch was ready, but the moment the kiddoo gang touched their feet at Kuttikkanam, they had other plans and we could see only some rockets flying criss cross. We thought of relaxing in the lounge before plunging into the food stuff.
The tree house right in front of the reception had a special charm and attracted the attention of all.
Kids were busy climbing up and down this beautiful structure.
Below the tree house, there was a small pond like structure, but not filled with water. This terrain reminded me of one of the pictures in the social studies text book of school days, depicting the mohenjodaro civilisation.
The grass cover helped us not to have any injury concerns in our kids speeding along the uneven terrain as they found a way to reach the centre part of this structure.
Check in process was smooth as they had kept everything ready. We had to just enter the names of all the members, thanks to 26/11 (terrorist attack in mumbai) for necessitating this rule .
Went to have a first look of the rooms, 4 of them, one per family. All the rooms were nearby, with a beautifully maintained lawn in the front, something which attracted the kids who had come prepared with flying discs, cricket kit etc. They were literally flying here and there and seemed to cherish each others company and the ambience which they don't enjoy too often.
The rooms were pretty neat and was stuffed with all bare essentials.
Overall the first impression was good and we were happy that we chose this resort. After all we came here to relax our minds and a clean, uncomplicated environment is what we longed for.
Finally it was time to provide some relief to already burning stomachs and we moved on to the dining area near the reception.
Yummy !! the aesthetic appeal of the traditional cuisine was good. :)
The food was tasty too and we had enough.
Resort staff told us about the activities they have and we chose to have only the trekking to a view point for the day as we don't want to exert ourselves a lot after the journey. Before the trek we thought of having a 1 hour rest. But I was attracted by the flora and fauna and soon I found myself amongst the flowers and the thick vegetation.These two trees presented quite a beautiful view in the backdrop of clean blue sky
I did not spare any of the flowers present in that area, as they found their image etched in the CCD sensors of my camera.
All flowers seems to have more depth in their color, may be because of the cool climate and protein rich soil.
One hour rest didn't happen at all, thanks to the excitement of all, we found even the seniors indulged in a running race along with the kids.
A guide appeared on the scene and the trek was soon to happen. The view point is 1 km away and he estimated a time of 20minutes considering the size of group. So the trek started.
The trekking route was well laid and could easily be covered in a SUV/Jeep. But a walk or a stroll through this route is well worth coz we can enjoy the nature more closely.
See the beautiful roads
As we proceeded further in the upward direction, we were in the midst of a coffee plantation. These plants looked like a green mattres over the mountain
The view which we get on this path kept differing and this water body added to the diversity.
This building presented a neat look
Meanwhile we were climbing up higher and higher, but the cool climate ensured that the fuel levels in our body is not drained out completely
The view of the coffee plantations just got better and better.
A peculiar shaped building was under construction on top of one of the mountains which we could see on our way up, this might be a resort or just a view point. In any case the entrepreneur is going to get return of investment pretty quickly. This was found in a mountain, a huge distance away from where we were stationed
A car was seen parked in one of the hills and I captured my favourite shot of the day. The size of the car gives an idea of the span of the picture.
The view point was in sight which was ofcourse a kind of a peak with a steep incline. The view which we got from here are mountains, mountains and mountains only
The inclination from this point was pretty steep, but not clearly evident in this photo.
We kind of a settled at this point, relaxing in the wooden benches amidst the huge trees, enjoying the gentle cool breeze, and tasting all the knick knacks which we had brought from home, the favourite one being the egg and pepper. Good fencing on the edge of the ridge, made us pretty confident about the safety of the kids, who were running around the trees, in a subdued manner, since most of them were a little tired after the long trek. Overall the trek up here took about 45 minutes, thanks to the nature lovers in the pack and the leisurely stroll, which we all enjoyed.
Soon the color of sky was changing rapidly as the sun was getting ready to set, setting up a nice visual ambience on the clouds.
The return trek started and to keep our interest sustained the path chosen was a different one, albeit a more dangerous one too.
See a pile of coffee seeds, all plucked from this estate, which also looked like a moutain of sorts
The roundness of the sun was getting more and more clear as the intensity of light began to fade and enjoyed capturing the curves of our main "light source" between the trees, the only time of day which it is possible
This path seemed to be quite dangerous, as the path was really narrow and there was pretty steep incline on one of the sides and we had a busy time ensuring the safety of kids, who wanted to run away.
We reached a dam sort of a thing, which presented a pretty awesome frame even in the fading light.
We were told that canoeing facility is available here, but only till 6pm, so we have to wait till tomorrow for enjoying that. Well the ambience is good, silent and cool place to be more precise and a boat ride will be pretty cool,so all were charged up with more excitement as we walked back to the reception building
It was completely dark by the time we reached the lounge, where we sat together for a refreshing cup of tea. Meanwhile some one switched on music in their music edition phone and what followed was a scene, akin to the one we see in one of those mobile ads, when a long queue of people waiting for something started dancing to the tune of music from a mobile phone. The kids were the first to tap their feet and roll their hands, first from their seats and later on moved to the centre of lounge, which was soon converted to a dance floor and the way they danced even with no sync or coordination was fun to watch and soon some of the parents too joined the party and it was pure exhilaration for the next one hour when the mobile DJ had to put all the dance numbers, the most favourite one being "pappu can't dance saala".
The whole team moved from the lounge to the lawn in front of our rooms. The resort staff nodded negative to the idea of camp fire giving the excuse that they should be intimated well in advance for setting up a camp fire, something which we sorely missed.
But we soon arranged a lot of fun games and all the parents and kids participated. No one had any fatigue of sorts, even though the day contained around 6 hours of road journey, 3 kilometere of trekking through the hilly terrain etc. The atmosphere was getting more and more chilled and this ensured that the adrenalin levels are kept pumped up. We had a pretty late dinner and the games continued even after that. Kids were enjoying all this so much that it was really difficult to persuade them to stop the activities and make them sleep.
The day seemed to be a very long day and we enjoyed each moment thanks to the brilliant company and a cool place. By this time we were already experiencing the unexpected thing to the utmost. With more activities in line tomorrow we went for a good night sleep.
The cold climate was ideal for a good sleep and most of slept till 8 in the morning. The kids were the first to get up, thanks to their excitement, and soon they were seen playing in the lawn.
My camera also had an early morning work out when I saw a beautiful spider resting on his web just outside our room.
This was a very small spider, but the body graphics is nothing short of awesome.
We had the most exciting morning walk when we took a stroll around another part of the estate, where there were lot of guava trees. The dew in the morning is pretty evident from this shot
We had fun climbing up the guava trees for plucking out really tasty - ripe guava.
This huge plantain also attracted our attention.
We found an area which was ideal for a camp fire and we could see the remains of a camp fire here, something which we missed last night and the resort staff seemed to have given a lame excuse for not arranging it for us.
The guide assigned to us told that we can have a visit to a nearby location - Parunthumpara, then come back and enjoy fishing/ canoeing etc, but we chose not to go to parunthumpara, since kids just cannot wait to have stint of fishing. After a quick breakfast we were off to the dam site inside the estate.
The walk way was again filled with all kinds of spices too. Seen here is the pepper which is found aplenty.
Cardamom plants also was abundant here.
The route which we took to the dam
We reached the dam site and was warned that the water depth is 30 feet and were instructed to wear those saftey jackets before embarking on a canoe ride.
Kids were not allowed to canoe, but they were not complaining, since fishing was what they were eagerly waiting for and two of them caught them alive too. With the help of resort staff, those fishes were put in a bucket of water and the kids were jumping up and down in joy seeing their achievement.
The canoeing session soon started and the cool and calm ride, it offered attracted all who ventured into this and we had an extended session here.
I just walked down the road further ahead to explore more. Found out that the resort has 2 or 3 waterfalls also inside, 2 kms away and some more sight seeing spots, but we did not have enough time to visit all those spots. Also we were not quite interested in covering all the parts, instead we liked to spend at a single place relaxing and enjoying the ambience.
A view of the dam after I started walking down
The road side scenes in this route also is exquisite
As I walked ahead, the sound of my team mates who were enjoying at the dam subsided and I was pretty alone with only the nature for company. Continued walking further up, afterall how can I stop when I am provided with such a visual treat in front of me.
Took a small turn to a road through a coffee plantation
After about half an hour returned back to the canoneing site where everyone was still busy. I found a beautiful snail here.
It was already 1pm, when we decided to stop canoeing and our check out time of 2pm means we had only time left for a lunch. Wonder how time speds away so fast.
Another lunch session followed and we were back in our rooms packing our stuff, when the kids were telling that we need to extend our stay for one more day, which we also wanted, but our other committments some how won the battle and somehow convinced the kiddies that we will be coming here again, which we also wanted to. The check out process also was smooth as the efficient resort staff had already prepared the bills. A total of Rs.1000 per person for food and accommodation is absolutely cheap considering the services on offer, combined with a good ambience and excellent service, we bookmarked this place for another visit.
By about 4pm we were ready to start our return trip. The resort staff had told that, we can either go to Parunthumpara for which we have to take detour of 12 kms from our return path or to some other location on our way back, which is not popular but worth a visit. We decided not to go to Parunthumpara, but decided to check out the other place, if we could find it.
We thought the fun had ended, but it was not to be.......
Continued in Part 3 - Panchalimedu, Heaven so close !!
(watch breathtaking images of this divine location)
(watch breathtaking images of this divine location)