After a hectic Himalayan journey, not even a month earlier, I decided that I had to reserve atleast one weekend in a month to go and do some travelling, and so I chose the 1st weekend of November to explore the hidden beauties of Kerala.
Over an alcoholic conversation at a pub with a friend, I heard the place Kanthaloor, 55 kms from Munnar, lies a simple village with a handful of homestays, yummy Kerala food and pristine vistas, and thats when I decided, my camera needed some south Indian air.
Committed to Lorraine, a travel crazy girl, I started making plans for the visit.. and did my booking of the place first and then the tickets, but before doing that checked with my travel buddies.. Hanish and Shyam. Hanish was a Yes immediately and Shyam actually chose to come across some towns in Kerala to meet us in Munnar the next day.
So I was feeling set that I had made sure company wise I wouldn't go wrong... and thus the thrill rose up my spine to see this new place.
Basically you need to book a bus ticket to Munnar from Bangalore and get off the bus at a place called Maryoor. Here is where the homestay owner would come to pick you up. In our case we had booked the Dew Mount Homestay which is in the middle of no where.. surrounded by huge mountains..beautiful flora and fresh air. The man in charge is Mr. Liju, who was such a calm and a patient man, even though our french tourist had some very cut throat questions for him, he still smiled.
Day 1 was all about having a peaceful breakfast of dosas and appams with the typical kadle curry and sambar - chutney, just by a fresh flowing stream with hot tea.
All of us decided to spend some time in the property chilling by the stream with our feet chilled in the flowing water. Post which we went to a waterfall in the near by estate. It was a quite a slushy walk, and I call myself stupid for wearing chappals for it, but its better you carry a change of clothes and wear ur trekking shoes and go... The waterfall is clear and absolutely private.. and super cold water gushes down the cliff. We enjoyed the water fall to the fullest after which as a part of the tradition, I fell badly off a rock.. damn those slippery rocks!
That evening we just relaxed played Uno and warmed our selves up near the camp fire while we ate our yummy dinner.
The next day morning we had a slow start... which got us to the breakfast table with the anxiety of what our plans must be for the later. So we agreed on local sight seeing and ofcourse the Dolmens, which are burial stones of the " Stone Age". The place is so rich in its soil that multiple fruits and flowers grow there, we also had a chance to visit such a farm. After which we also visited a beautiful view point, I am sure must have been used in some films as back drops. The point was serene and covered with lemongrass shrubs every where.
The Dolmens, was an exciting experience, although I expected it to be very remote and under discovered. We took plenty of pictures..
Post that we rode back to the homestay, gobbled up some yummy lunch, and cleared our bills. The stay is very reasonable, 1000 bucks for a room which can be shared by 2 and breakfast also included.
It costed us only Rs900/- for stay and food for a day, which is great. The homestay has facilities like hot water and bed tea and coffee which is absolutely free.
It was almost 3pm, and we needed to catch a bus to Munnar, as Lorraine demanded tea estates...and Yes it was a good idea. The bus journey will cost you just about Rs. 65/- per person and the buses have very comfortable seats, and the view you get to see enroute cant be described. Its serene, green and misty.
As soon as we reached Munnar, we started looking out for Shyam, and I was all smiles. We quickly headed to a cyber cafe and called all numbers that we could find to fetch a homestay in the estates and not live in the city of munnar. We were lucky again with the homestay. We found this homestay by the name of THE SHADE, in the area of the power house at Chittirapuram. It was so beautiful, it had a terrace, two spacious rooms, with hot water facility, and food also. The room costed us Rs.1500/- and it did not include any meals, so we decided only to have dinner and breakfast there, which again was very tasty. We took a walk by the estate and visited tea gardens and river.
Our bus back to Bangalore was scheduled at 4:30pm, and we were told that Rapsy restuarent served the best food and hence we decided we must go and visit that place for lunch. So we quickly had a shower, called in for a rickshaw, packed and left the beautiful tea estates to the city of Munnar. Got our self some seriously tasty food and proceeded to the bus stand.
With this we concluded our quick 3 days trip to Munnar and Kanthaloor and back