Palakkad - Silent Memoir...

Silent Valley National Park was the only Jungle we're planning to visit in this trip and that had got Mrunmay and Meghana excited. Although this Jungle is not particularly known for any carnivorous animals (although it hosts variety of carnivorous animals, this place is not really famous for good sightings as compared to Bandipur, Tadoba, Bandhavgad etc), it was like "kuchh to dekhane ko milega!!".

By this time, we had got our new driver and he knew the way around the place. He also was diligent enough to find out the route in advance to ensure we do not get lost again. Travel to Palakkad was uneventful until we were about 5 KM away from our hotel - Tree Top Resort. Yeah, that was one more reason for the excitement. We had booked a tree house and were hoping to be a fun experience. 

The road to the resort - last 3 KM - were pathetic from a sedan perspective. The road was typical Jungle road and was not at all meant for a sedan to drive on. There were many moments when we felt that the vehicle is hit from the below or we can't proceed from this point onwards!! Somehow we managed to reach the resort. The manager was very prompt and he told us in advance to check out the tree house before moving the luggage. When we saw the tree house, it looked fantastic from outside, but as we climbed up and entered, it dawned on us that it was meant only for two persons. Even a kid as small as Mrunmay wouldn't fit in. No space for the luggage and it would have been very difficult even to move around in the room. Sadly we decided to let go off the tree house and settled for the other option we were given. 

Evening was spent playing some games, swing etc. There was nothing much to do inside the resort. The swimming tank was unclean. No other indoor games. But that also give us opportunity to play card games, for which Mrunmay has developed a good liking - "Seven of Heart (बदाम सात )", "गुलाम चोर " are the games which he can play comfortably now and wants to play more and more. He is also taking interest in learning "rummy" and "patience", But usually runs out of patience pretty soon :)

Painful Safari

The safaris in Kerala start a bit late as compared to those in Karnataka. We were told that the safari would start at 8 (as against 6:15 or so in Karnataka/Maharashtra), so we had requested for breakfast at 7. And there it goes.. boom!! Nothing was ready until 7:30 AM. The manager had told that there would be Dosa for the breakfast and apparently there was no dough!! The milk was not ready. We were given only Puttu (made of coconut and rice) which usually is fairly dry and possibly you can't eat stomachful if you are not used to it. Complaining and shouting didn't help and we had to force rush ourselves hungry to the starting point of the Safari - the Forrest Office. When we reached there, we were trying to hurry up the things so that we can leave quickly for the safari. It turned out that actual timing for the safari was 8:30 (which also meant we could have had our breakfast and still reach on time!! We had a time constraint as well, we were slated to travel to Munnar on the same days which is about 6 hours of drive. Considering the lunch, snacks and bio break, we wanted to leave for Munnar no later than 11:30 AM and these delay was making us anxious. Somehow got the formalities completed and left for the jungle at 8:40 AM or so. 

As we entered the Forest, all eyes were set on the surroundings, hoping to get to see something. Nothing was seen except for Malabar giant squirrel. Mrunmay fell asleep. And then we reached the middle of the safari. There was a huge watch tower erected there, open for visitors to climb!! We took pleasure to climb up and see the jungle reserve. Mrunmay also attempted to climb it - 2/3 of the height. The driver had told us that the animals, if seen, are beyond that point, where usually the tourists go for Jungle trail. How contradictory!! We realized that coming to SVNP was a big mistake in terms of time and money. We decided to return and headed straight to Munnar - known for Tea Estates!!
 The watch tower on the left and a spectacular view from the watch tower (above)
Shot captured from the running Jeep!!


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