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I dream of wandering wild, walking along the woods plucking fruits, laze around sublime landscapes. I feel alive when I'm out there basking in the sun, watching new horizons. I'm in search of little joys that keep me revived. I wish to belong in places where I can quench my thirst drinking from brooks, spend the day chasing butterflies, sipping honey, stopping by to coo with the birds. I am in love with cloud-kissed mountains and flowery meadows. Freedom is what I crave for! Set me free so that I’ll come back to you… I'm a dreamer. I believe that my dreams will take me to new places. This blog tells about my journeys and people who had been a part of them..

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Vazhvanthol waterfalls - a one day trek

The group!!
I had been searching for a travel group based in Trivandrum since quite sometime. Last week my eyes fell upon an article in Deccan chronicle about a trip organized by Appooppanthaadi, led by a smart techie named Sajna. Soon I had a chat with Sajna and immediately booked slot for the one day trek to Vazhvanthol waterfalls, Vithura. I'd never heard about this place before despite of being a Tvm-ite. I was ready for the experiences with an unknown group of women.

Soon after the registrations closed, a whatsapp group was formed and members started mingling a bit. I got my pick-up from home at around 5.30am and we were off to pick other members. We stopped at Nedumangad at 9 am for breakfast and got home-made lunch packed for all 15 people. There were two young members in the group too, a lil 1.5 yr old and a smart 7th grade boy.

The road started taking a winding pattern and the greenery around us thickened as we moved ahead. We, the appooppanthaadis sat in the mini bus chit-chatting, songs from a mobile playing in the background. I'm sure that atleast for some of us it was like going for a school picnic i.e going back in time. There were a few other mums like me who were happy to escape the daily routines. It was my first solo trip after a gap of about 3 years because till now my little one accompanied me wherever I went.

As soon as our bus halted at the forest check post, I started feeling the freshness of air. The shrill noise of cicadas (cheevidu in Malayalam) broke the silence at times. We had to go through a state of anxiety for a short period as the staff denied us entry to the trek due to unfavorable weather conditions. We all waited patiently as one of the group member called her relative who is in the concerned department. Within a few minutes permission was granted and our guide was ready. See how influence matters!! Krishnankutty chettan (the guide) stayed very close-by and explained us about the incidents occurred. He said elephants, bison and wild boars used to visit the area.

Woods are lovely dark and deep

With a wanderer's mind, we all started the real trek along the forest. Soon I got a glimpse of the water flowing along the rocks, shady paths led us further into the woods. We moved along the path parallel to streams.. sometimes it was a steep climb along the rocks. 

There were a few first time trekkers too but together we climbed like mountaineers. The members helped each other when the other was in need. Coming to think of it, without knowing each other caring for others and lending a helping hand... Isn't that the true purpose of life?

strange looking trees
the climb
Along the way we all realized small challenges of trekking in woods as leeches started climbing onto the shoes. The best way to get rid of them was to keep walking without halting. It was my first experience with leeches and thankfully the bites didn't hurt. Salt water helped to some extent during leech bites. Soon we reached a location where everyone thought would be the end of the trek.

The view that welcomed us was, a cascade of waterfalls which looked like its a wallpaper. Excitedly the ladies started settling down on the huge rocks and clicking pictures. No matter how much we try, we can't capture the true beauty of scenery that we see through our own eyes. There was a quick round of snacks while some people were busy pulling out the leeches from their legs.

Waterfall cascade
KK chettan reluctantly told us there is this path that goes up to the topmost falls but it's more steeper. Some of us quickly said, Lets Go! I guess KK chettan was taken aback, maybe he din't think these ladies are so full of energy and enthusiasm. :) So a few us had a risky climb and reached the top. We were at the mouth of the waterfalls and it felt like an achievement. The water was so fresh and ice cold. What better feeling than to smell fresh air, drink fresh water and see gorgeous nature all at one go!
At the mouth of the waterfalls

Topmost falls
The happy souls started descending as it was already past lunchtime.

The descend
A few members took a quick dip in the shallow waters. Once we reached the bus, lunch was distributed. It hardly took 10 minutes to finish as everyone was damn hungry. On the way back we bid goodbye to KK chettan near his house.

As soon as the bus hit the road, most of us dozed off. It felt like time went so fast..already time to depart. With a promise to come back for more trips, we all got back to our own routines. On that note sharing an inspiring quote I read - "A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step..."

Click on the link for route map Trivandrum-Vazhvanthol http://tinyurl.com/hsywhnt

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