Day 1 : The overnight bus dropped us off (my sister, my son and me) at Kalpetta. This is where I realized how inadequate my grasp of Malayalam was. All the Dulquer and Nivin Pauly movies seemed to be lessons that were lost on me! With broken or should that be minced Malayalam, we found out that we had to take a local bus to Sulthan Bathery and then hop on to an autorickshaw to reach our hotel Vedanta Wake up located near Edakkal Caves. That is exactly what we did. For a budget hotel, the amenities were decent. The common room left a lot to be asked for. It was unkempt and looked more like a storeroom for the hotel staff. The room was well equipped with a soothing view of the surrounding hills. We also discovered that they had no restaurant and we were provided with a breakfast of bread and omelette from their kitchen after making a request. We then proceeded towards Edakkal caves. The walk up the steep hill was enjoyable and the view from atop the hill was completely rewarding! Personally, the inside of the cave was unimpressive. What drew my attention was the rocky boulder wedged between two steep rocky faces, allowing light to stream in through the gaps. This natural structure is what lends the name to this cave - Edakkal or stone in between. After our return, we had Kerala meals at a mess situated near our hotel. The food was extremely delicious and nominally priced. Since we were on the outskirts and had no dedicated transport, we decided to take a nap and visit the town in the evening. What shocked us the most was that by 5pm the whole area resembled a ghost town! All shops were shut, including the mess - our source for dinner! By 7:30pm, the hotel staff called for an auto which took us to Ambalavayal town, about 4 kms away. We had our dinner in a small restaurant, purchased fruits and returned to the hotel for the night.