Wayanad - Entering The Land Of God's Own Country
Wythiri resorts at Waynad have been elluding us for quite some. We didn't get the booking during our last trip. We had tried to get it a while back with a condition that we'd go to Kerala only if we get Wythiri resort. It looks like we need to wait a little more.
Not deterred by this bad luck, Meghana had found a very good resort - banasura island retreat. The pictures were so beautiful that we weighed it more against the other resort - upavan resort.
Photo Credit: iExperience.in
The water till the horizon with green islands in between were calling us and we got ready to reach Wayanad on our third day of the trip.
And our fellow driver did it again...
Once again he got onto a wrong road costing us good 30 odd KM. This was the tipping point. Meghana called up the tour operator and literally blasted them. And in few minutes, we were getting calls from South Tourism - the company which provided us with the car and the driver. In the meanwhile, I had turned on the GPS on my mobile and had started guiding driver on the way to Wayanad. GPS being power hungry, Ambrane Power Bank helped!! That was a real saver and felt really good to have power bank handy.
The resort is far inside from Banasura Sagar Dam and if it wouldn't be the resort person taking us along, we would have spent another hour in finding it. It was close to 3 PM. Due to the lost way, we had not got a chance to halt for lunch and when we were hungry, there were no good restaurants in sight. So we just called up the resort and requested him to keep something ready. The manager was a good fellow. Upon reaching he simply requested us to finish the lunch before doing any formalities!
This was first real South Indian lunch - Rice, Rice and Rice and some chapatis. Rassam and Papadam gave good taste and we filled our stomachs with whatever was available!
After lunch, the bellboy guided us to the room. The room had a beautiful view, well almost as was seen in the picture above. Except for water. Being a Summer season, there wasn't enough water in the dam backwaters and it kind of disappointed us. But the calmness and the breeze brought a good smile on our faces and we relaxed in the balcony.
As the sun set, light faded off and we got to see the magic of nature. Something that I hadn't seen in my entire life - Jugnu - काजवे - fireflies. I saw one, and then second and then third and then there was a huge number popping from everywhere!! What a scene it was. Splendid! Tried to capture it in a video as photo would have been extremely difficult. See it here.
Once we got used to it, Meghana, Mrunmay and I indulged in a lot of chit-chat. While telling Mrunmay about fireflies, I remembered the story of Shivaji Maharaj's escape from Panhala fort. While escaping from Panhala fort, they had seen something glowing in the dark and the soldiers were not sure if those were fireflies or the eyes of some spies. It was fun...
In the meanwhile, South Tourism had informed us that they are sending a new driver who knows the language and the area where we're headed for next 10 days. New driver arrived sometime early morning next day and he turned out to be a good fellow, with knowledge of language (he was from Cochin) and also knew the area.
There's nothing much in Waynad for sight seeing as such. The manager of the resort told us about two places - Pookode Lake and a Jain Temple made of glass.
Pookode Lake is a man made lake with some activities for the visitors. Paddle Boat, some toys for kids and a small garden. All this was exciting enough for Mrunmay and we ended up spending about couple of hours here. Mrunmay wanted to do paddling as well, which of course wasn't possible because of his age, but he enjoyed steering the direction using the steering rod. And then spent a lot of time on the toys outside.
This was the day of Zero Shadow. It was claimed that the shadow will be exactly below one's feet and hence will not be visible to self. The timing given was something 12:31 hours. We waited for the moment and after few minutes realized that probably it was already past!!
Beautiful construction around the tree in the shape of an Heart!!
|Mrunmay Enjoying swing at the Pookode Lake|
Disappointment...It was time to grab some food and then we proceeded to find the Jain Temple. We were told that it's a private property and may not be allowed to enter. But visitors can see it from outside the property. We thought it might be a good view so directed our new driver to find it out. With lot of struggle, we reached the place, only to find that the property has been closed and the temple couldn't be seen from outside as well. That was a huge disappointment. It was like roaming around all day and finding nothing. Disappointingly we decided to head towards Banasura Sagar Dam, where there were boat rides. We reached the entry of the dam area well in time. It was a good 2-3 km walk from the entry point to the boat ride facility. And as we reached the ticket counter, we found it closed!! Upon inquiry, we were told that there is already overbooking and quite a few groups were waiting for their turn. Mrunmay was so excited to get the boat ride. But it looked like a day full of disappointments. There was a garden right next to the boat ride facility. We headed there and to our surprise, we found lots of swings - rope swings hanging down the tall trees. And everyone was enjoying the swings - right from kids to teens to adults. Mrunmay got so excited to see a swing on which his mom-dad could sit and he could push the swing!! What a moment!! It washed off all the disappointment that we had through the day.
When we reached the resort, a massagist (masseur) was waiting for us. Head and Shoulder massage was part of our package. Initially I was reluctant but thought to give it a chance. Massage lasted for about 25 minutes, I wasn't super-relaxed, but found it to be okay.
A Relaxed Moment on a lazy morning!!
It was then time to pack bags and get ready for the next leg of our journey - Palakkad - a stay at Silent Valley National Park followed by a Jeep Safari!! Gosh!! You should have seen how "Photographer" Meghana was excited!!