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 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.
|At the mouth of the waterfalls|
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