I got up by 5.30 am or so and went out to get a couple of photographs before the sun came out.
By around 6.30 am people who had signed up for the morning walk (it is a stretch to call it a trek even though in some places it felt like it) had gathered and we started on our walk. The sun was already out and about and already quite bright for that time.
The guide who was accompanying us around the estate was explaining about the various Tea varieties, how it was first introduced, what other crops they plant around, how rainfall affects the area and other such things. There was a section which was very steep and was quite a test for me, but eventually I made it. It doesn’t look like it, but trust me, it was very steep. One of the woman in the group couldn’t make it through and we had to wait for her to get there slowly.
But what happened after that climb was a surprise. It led us to this beautiful view.
The guide was insistent on the photographs and had good spots for all of us and he made sure I had enough photos of mine in that place. He spent more time taking our photographs at this place and didn’t let us wander away (as I usually do) even for a few meters away. Made sure we all listened to him. Thankfully, no tests were involved.The path took us around our resort and came back to a very steep downpath which I was scared of ( I was thinking that it would be better if I lied and rolled down that path rather than try and walk there…it was that steep) The guide also explained how they get the autos and trucks to get materials for the buildings using first gear and reverse gear. Lots of constructions happening there (which was sad in a way actually). After that we went to get ready for our day long drive around the places we had chosen.
Our first stop was Mattupetty Dam, where we had our plans for doing the boating.But that day being a Saturday, it was crowded so much that we weren’t sure if we would be able to get tickets for the boating. And as it is the boating tickets were closed for lunch and even after that they would open up after 2pm and the tickets would be only for the whole boat. You cannot share a boat ride with others and no individual tickets. I thought that was not fair. There was already a big queue and after checking out the place (which also had children’s park and a small garden and they were doing some work to beautify the area more) we decided that it would not help to sit there and wonder if we want to do it and miss out on the other places. We had a couple of more places to see on the way and we didn’t want to miss because of time.
It was a beautiful place and a beautiful lake, but we had to move on. On the way we saw that other entries to the Mattupetty Dam were all full and the roads blocked with vehicles because people wanted to go to the lake without getting tickets. We had to skip the echo point because there wasn’t any place to park the vehicle and it was already overcrowded. So we went straight to Kundala lake, which is much smaller than the Mattupetty, but not too crowded even though people were on their way here because of the other overcrowded lake.
We got around to do some boating in this lake and since it was a two people pedal boat, C opted out to stay in the shade (it was quite hot). So V & I went on our way. If you are interested in horse riding for a small distance, you can do that too. You don’t have much in the way of eating out here unless you are OK with some roasted corn. Thankfully we did have some icecreams in Mattupetty to quench our thirst so we were good to go. Small and compact place nested in between the place, we were glad to have chosen this place for our boating. V was very happy 😉
Our last stop for the day was Top Station, at least unless on the way back we find some of the spots we missed to be empty. This route is a one way route from Mattupetty to Top Station and then back towards the Munnar City center. So that would mean, any traffic or vehicle breakdown can have a cascaded effect. So you have to be sure to have some extra hours in hand. The Top Station is kind of a dead end which is in the Tamil Nadu part of the place. And it has a couple of view points. The first one isn’t that difficult but the 2nd one is quite steep and can make you catch your breath. Here are some of the photographs of the same.
You can click on those photographs to see the larger version of them. Thanks to my work outs I was able to get there. But stopped at the view point. My fear of heights stopped me from going over the fence that is placed there. C and V went a bit further closer to the edge and as usual C was happy to take my camera and get some photographs for me. I can never go over to the edge of these mountains. Not happening any time soon. I rather sky dive 😉 By the time we were done in Top station and back to the entrance it was already close to 5.30 pm. It would get darker soon, so we decided to head back home. We had quite a trek for the day with the walk up and down the Top Station taking the prize. I loved that place. On the way back, we managed to see a wonderful sunset and stopped the car to get a click. I just love Sunsets. We managed to back to the resort by 8 pm or later. They were having some bonfire. Went out to try and get some photographs of the stars but failed terribly. Not one came out well. But the view was great. It was slightly cooler at nights. We were walking around the resort a bit (V and I) and talking and went to bed around 10 pm. The next day we had our breakfast packed (instead of having it) and then started our drive back to Bangalore. And that proved to be a good decision. This time we came via Udumalpet and the hairpin bends were quite a lot and I was almost getting giddy by C’s fast driving. There wasn’t any traffic at that time (I guess we started at around 6.30 or 7 am). On the way back, close to Chinnar, the tempo before us stopped suddenly (he was driving at a good speed) and immediately C said that there will be elephants. We got so excited that V and I got down without our slippers on and had to check out what was happening. And there they were, a herd of elephants. One mama and 3/4 young ones. They were playing around and on both sides of them were vans, scooters and other vehicles waiting for them to move into the forest. One small one was running from one end of the road to another. I did click one photograph using my phone but had to zoom a bit. One old lady from a car behind us started to scold us for being out and about. There were people in two wheelers close to those elephants and they were all OK. It is mostly a lone elephant that is dangerous and with young ones as long as you keep your distance the mama will leave you alone. We were so happy to see those wild ones out there. Once they all moved to the other side of the road, all of us continued on our way. We made good time and stopped to have our fruits and sandwich after we reached the plains. Even after making a early start we managed to reach Bangalore only by around 3.30 or 4 pm. Thanks to the traffic closer to and inside the city.
V had to take a very early morning flight to her home town the next day so we got around to getting her ready and packed (She was staying with me). We wanted to visit Chinnar which was unfortunately closed due to the animals being out and about a lot. The rose garden was closed for renovation. Echo point was too crowded. So yeah, there were some places we did miss and the weather also was quite hot. But otherwise we did enjoy our quick and short trip to Munnar, my first time to this place. And as usual, thanks to C, who ends up driving the most part of any our trips and to V for being the navigator.