Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 7th December 2010, 23:40   #1
BHPian
 
genesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 765
Thanked: 294 Times
Default Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

"Walkin' in the park just the other day, baby,
What do you, what do you think I saw? "

Name:  P1100424.jpg
Views: 3595
Size:  119.6 KB

Name:  P1100389.jpg
Views: 3186
Size:  45.8 KB

Name:  IMG_1795.jpg
Views: 4411
Size:  83.2 KB

Name:  IMG_2365.jpg
Views: 3029
Size:  107.4 KB

"So I've decided what I'm gonna do now.
So I'm packing my bags for the Misty Mountains
Where the spirits go now,
Over the hills where the spirits fly"

Name:  IMG_3009.jpg
Views: 3039
Size:  28.3 KB

"Why don't you take a good look at yourself and describe what you see"

Name:  P1100322.jpg
Views: 3043
Size:  113.5 KB

And since I can't ignore these words of wisdom from one of the greatest bands ever, here begins a journey inwards to describe a magical week long trip to God's Own Country...
genesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th December 2010, 23:42   #2
Team-BHP Support
 
ampere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15,602
Thanked: 8,593 Times
Default

Wow! God's own country with Page and Bonham!
Nice very nice.
ampere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th December 2010, 07:00   #3
BHPian
 
genesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 765
Thanked: 294 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

"Met a man on the roadside cryin'
Without a friend, there's no denyin'
you're incomplete, there'll be no findin'
lookin' for what you knew"

Before proceeding further, there are 4 people I would like to thank for making the trip happen. (two who are regulars to team-bhp and two who I had never met before (and one of them is still a cheerful voice on the phone )

---start dedication---
Shibu Varghese aka JeepCaptain:

Name:  jeepcaptain.jpg
Views: 3898
Size:  230.3 KB

A person with a big collection of offroad vehicles and a even bigger heart and attitude which causes random people all over kerala to show up at random times to offer vehicles at my disposition.

HV Kumar aka HVK

Name:  mapmyindianavigatordevice.jpg
Views: 2852
Size:  25.5 KB

Who helped plan the trip, replan the trip, unplan the trip and prevented me from getting tripped at multiple points

Lijoshmohan N.K a techie and offroader from Bangalore who owns a lovely homestay in Munnar called GreenSpaces Munnar

Greenspaces Munnar |Home stay |Bed and Breakfast B&B| Location - Munnar|Munnar Kerala|Munnar hotels|Munnar resorts|Munnar Hotels & Resorts|Munnar tea plantations

Lijosh accomodated ever changing plans without a qualm and phoned up every day of the trip to offer suggestions on places to see and things to do


George Abraham, a planter from Mundakayam and a history buff, who has taken upon himself to promote plantation bungalows as homestays. George turned a good trip into a great one

Stay Homz - George Abraham, homestays, holidays, places of adventure

---end dedication---

The original idea was to attend the Great Mountain Challenge Offroad event in Munnar being organised by Shibu and his friends. Me and my wife would fly to Kochi, take a cab to Munnar, where Shibu would get me a Jeep all the way from his place in Wayanad. We would participate in the event, and take the next week off driving through more of Munnar, Conoor, Ooty finally ending up in a resort in Wayanad, dropping the vehicle off at his place there and taking a flight from Calicut. Sounds like a great plan right? Very nontypical of me, I even made hotel bookings in advance.

A week before the event, I get a call from Shibu, saying that due to unforseen circumstances, the event was postponed by a week to the next weekend. Off we go into replanning mode again trying to now do a trip in the week before the event and ending up in Munnar at the end. Sounds logical right? I even cancelled my return flights from Calicut, cancelled some hotel bookings and rebooked a return from Kochi.

Shibu says, dont worry, I have a gypsy somewhere near Kochi, which I will make sure will show up when you land at the airport. You can take the gypsy to Munnar and use it. I will get a jeep for you for the event. Then we can figure out in the end what we will do with the vehicles. Sounds great right? I packed all my offroading stuff into an oversized bag which was precariously over the airline luggage limit.


So come Friday the 26th of November we take our afternoon flight from Mumbai to Kochi.

Name:  IMG_1734.jpg
Views: 2753
Size:  73.3 KB

And an enthusiastic young chap called Shiju (not to be confused with Shiju) shows up with a lovely Gypsy which looks like this.

Name:  IMG_2526.jpg
Views: 2800
Size:  133.9 KB

I learnt that Shibu's statement that he had a Gypsy in Kochi meant that it was in Adoor some 100km from Kochi. Shiju had loaded his bike on the gypsy driven it to Kochi, got some stuff fixed on it to make sure I was not inconvenienced and gave it to me with a smiling face, before he drove back to Adoor on his bike. Why do I feel Malayali's are crazy?


Lijosh has told us that dont drive to Munnar late since you will miss the sights. So we decide that Athirapally is a place close enough to reach before it gets too dark.

Name:  IMG_1742.jpg
Views: 2761
Size:  75.3 KB

Apparently Abhishek and Ash liked that place a lot...

Last edited by genesis : 8th December 2010 at 07:07.
genesis is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th December 2010, 10:28   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

What a beginning for a TL!
Yes, JeepCaptain is a wonderful person, one of the most helpful.
BTW, did you know that this is the same Gypsy which chaperoned the LandRover Defender from Delhi to Kerala? I also had the privilege of driving it from Nagpur to Adoor in Kerala along with JeepCaptain himself.
hvkumar is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th December 2010, 11:54   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
ranjitp1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,614
Thanked: 1,719 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

Lovely start,makes me want to go back to munnar all over again!
ranjitp1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 8th December 2010, 13:11   #6
BHPian
 
Abes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Salalah
Posts: 201
Thanked: 57 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

Nice reading your travelogue to our god's own country!! Though I have not met any of you (except for some interactions with Jeep Captain through Facebook, Team-BHP and telephone), you are all in my heart.

Waiting to read the rest of your narration.
Abes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th December 2010, 13:38   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
MileCruncher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,992
Thanked: 356 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

So Soumya, looks like you had a nice and interesting vacation.

The pictures are nice, so please bring them on fast!

Cheers
MileCruncher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th December 2010, 16:04   #8
BHPian
 
JeepCaptain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dubai / Gods Own Country -Kerala
Posts: 864
Thanked: 468 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
"Met a man on the roadside cryin'
Without a friend, there's no denyin'
you're incomplete, there'll be no findin'
lookin' for what you knew"

---start dedication---
Shibu Varghese aka JeepCaptain:


A person with a big collection of offroad vehicles and a even bigger heart and attitude which causes random people all over kerala to show up at random times to offer vehicles at my disposition.
Dear Soumya,

Wonderful start as always.. and I am glued to this thread. Really looking forward for the full report and pics.

Many Thanks for your generous words and Thanks for coming and visiting Gods Own Country. I am glad that you liked the trip and I also happy that I could be of some help to you do this dream trip of yours.

Also thanks fo Shiju P Jose my good friend and biker who helped to get the Gypsy to the Cochin Airport and gave it to you. BTW -Adoor is almost 150 km away from Cochin Airport.

If you wanna see how he brought the Gypsy to Cochin.. check the pic below. He drove the Gypsy for 150 km with a bike tied on the back, dropped the Gypsy in Cochin Airport and went back in his bike.

Yes, you can say Malayali's are crazy!!

Name:  Shiju n Gypsy1.jpg
Views: 2755
Size:  190.4 KB
JeepCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th December 2010, 19:39   #9
BHPian
 
sami316's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 469
Thanked: 33 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

Really nice pics. Love the greenery and the mist. This place is on my wish list and after watching these lovely pics, want to leave all the work and take off. But....
sami316 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 8th December 2010, 21:37   #10
BHPian
 
maximus.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 92
Thanked: 10 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

Wow! great TL coming up on God's own country.Glued to this thread.
maximus. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th December 2010, 21:52   #11
BHPian
 
MohsinRoadster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 301
Thanked: 28 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

Wow... Indeed God's own country
MohsinRoadster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2010, 06:15   #12
BHPian
 
genesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 765
Thanked: 294 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

"As I walk down the highway all I do is sing this song,
And a train that's passin' my way helps the rhythm move along.
There is no doubt about the words are clear,
The voice is strong, is oh so strong"

Athirapally is a sleepy village made famous for its waterfalls which were apparently pictured in the movie Raavan as well as in other Tollywood movies. Our drive from Kochi took us through some really bad roads, a really nice palm plantation (which bypassed Chalakudy) and it was dark by the time we reached the place.

This is where we did not stay

Name:  IMG_1757.jpg
Views: 2286
Size:  63.4 KB

This is where we stayed.

Name:  IMG_1748.jpg
Views: 2678
Size:  93.4 KB

River Ok Villas is quite ok. Dont let the word villa raise your expectations but they have quite decent and clean independent units which are more than okay for the night.

Checked in. Learnt that their main chef was on vacation and since the prospect of waiting for an hour to eat a meal cooked by a kutty chef was not very appealing, we drove back a km to the only other restaurant and bar (Green something hotel). It had 2 items on the menu: B & B. The first B is Biriyani which was quite delicious.

It was time to head back and sleep, since we had to see the waterfalls and head for Valparai the next day.

Went to the waterfall area at 8am the next day to be greeted by a checkpost and the following sights.

Name:  IMG_1761.jpg
Views: 2300
Size:  94.4 KB

Name:  IMG_1763.jpg
Views: 2266
Size:  61.8 KB
Apparently they 'opened' at 9 am and one had to buy a ticket. So we hung around, took photos and then entered the park area to walk the cobbled road for our first sight of the waterfall which was quite impressive.

Name:  IMG_1796.jpg
Views: 2335
Size:  44.1 KB

It was also our first sight of the Ayyapan phenomenon. Yes we were bang in the middle of Sabarimali season, with devotees of all shapes, sizes, ages milling in hordes at every place we went. Quite fun really to watch people posing for photos with toothbrushes in their hands.

Name:  IMG_1783.jpg
Views: 2265
Size:  89.1 KB

Name:  IMG_1784.jpg
Views: 2245
Size:  87.2 KB

A winding path also led to the base of the waterfall, quite a refreshing experience with water sprays and mist


Name:  IMG_1807.jpg
Views: 3076
Size:  80.7 KB


Name:  IMG_1809.jpg
Views: 2351
Size:  36.7 KB

And even more Ayyapans.

Name:  IMG_1827.jpg
Views: 2260
Size:  45.0 KB

Time to head back and pack our bags, so we stopped at a local stall for some local food (puttu and kadala curry)

Name:  IMG_1839.jpg
Views: 2380
Size:  58.0 KB

and were soon on our way to Valparai

Name:  P1100293.jpg
Views: 2261
Size:  114.8 KB

but not before a stop at the neighboring Vazachal waterfalls

Name:  IMG_1854.jpg
Views: 2223
Size:  91.7 KB

Much smaller but still quite beautiful

Name:  IMG_1857.jpg
Views: 2215
Size:  61.3 KB

It was also when we realised that the gypsy had picked up a fan following

Name:  IMG_1847.jpg
Views: 2242
Size:  87.1 KB
which could rival Abhishek & Ash...

Last edited by genesis : 9th December 2010 at 06:21.
genesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2010, 15:56   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

Did I hear you say that you went to Athirapalli directly from Angamali without touching Chalakudy? How was the road and how good were the signages? Since you do not know Malayalam, did you have difficulty with road signs and directions? Dumb charades?

What were the tariffs at River OK Villa at Athirapalli? Any other good hotel in the neighbourhood that you would recommend?
hvkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2010, 16:03   #14
BHPian
 
Bigzero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Pune
Posts: 352
Thanked: 161 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

Great trip report and terrific photographs, looking forward to updates. The Ckdy-Valparai stretch is one terrific experience!

Keep them coming!
Bigzero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2010, 16:27   #15
BHPian
 
genesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 765
Thanked: 294 Times
Default Re: Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Did I hear you say that you went to Athirapalli directly from Angamali without touching Chalakudy? How was the road and how good were the signages? Since you do not know Malayalam, did you have difficulty with road signs and directions? Dumb charades?

What were the tariffs at River OK Villa at Athirapalli? Any other good hotel in the neighbourhood that you would recommend?
@HVK: I think I took a turn before the point you had asked me to at Angamally. There is like a small bridge after construction and there is a road (1.5 laned ) going sharply to the right. The local people pointed me in that direction and off I went. It was definitely not a main highway. Some patches were bad but I am used to Saki Naka in Mumbai plus gypsy. Mostly no signs and some at T junctions in Malayalam

There was a large stretch through a plantation (mostly palm) which we managed to get into at 5.50 pm. (it said athirapally plantation) because the gate there closes at 6.00 pm.

To communicate I used english/hindi/sign language and some random tamil words I know.

Tariff at River Ok Villas was in the 1500 range. I would recommend staying there.
He mentioned another hotel (cant remember the name which was decent but had rooms and not cottages) quite close to him. Also said that he would not recommend the KTDC.

Then there is the magnificent rainforest hotel with each room overlooking the waterfalls starting at 8 grand a night. A bit much for a nights stay but the property is really spectacular.

Home Page - Rainforest Boutique Resort, Athirapally, Chalakudy, Kerala

Abhi and Ash are supposed to have liked it!
genesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Official Old School R & B / Hip-Hop Thread GordonGekko Shifting gears 6 22nd June 2013 18:21
Great Mountain Challenge - Munnar (Kerala) 3rd/4th Dec 2010! Cancelled! robinson.s 4x4 Excursions 102 29th November 2010 13:07
MY Fiat Linea Petrol Emotion Hip-Hop Black SSN Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 156 23rd July 2010 11:51
Booked my Hip-Hop Black Punto Emotion Pack. EDIT : Delivery taken ~~VinZ~~ Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 80 8th April 2010 14:03
Cop twists overtaking law to make quick money. Was he right or plain dishonest ? supremeBaleno Street Experiences 25 17th November 2008 14:24


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 23:20.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks