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Old 2nd January 2011, 12:58   #61
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Good to see you back Star. And back with a lot of memorable experiences. You passed close to my house during your trip. Too bad I was not there. Tourism has made a lot of things costlier over there (just like many other touristy places). More comments as your story unfolds. I too just got back from our vacation.

Biju
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Old 3rd January 2011, 12:33   #62
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

SVB, Happy to hear that you had a great vacation after the initial hiccup.

Waiting for the remaining TL as I am planning a trip down Kerala this year.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 14:55   #63
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Default Re: Some Top of the Mind recollections

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
1. Vacation days in Kerala are expensive. Unless chosen carefully they will not be Value for Money for sure. In coming days touristy system in Kerala will have to compete with other destinations in a more intensified way.
I have always maintained that the best time to visit Kerala would be after Diwali and before X-Mas. As these are not vacation peak times and also you get the best of rates as well as weather.

Rains would have almost stalled. Water bodies would be full and greenery as far as eyes would be able to see!
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Old 3rd January 2011, 18:13   #64
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Default 25th Dec 2010 Evening 6:30 PM to 11:59 PM

This post was originally meant to write about the frustrating time we spent from 6:30 PM till 11:59 PM on 25th Dec.

But i am choosing not to write about it. Instead i will say GOD Bless the travel agent from Coimbatore.

But one thing i would like to wish that this guy (and/or guys like him) learn fast how to really translate "Athithi Devo Bhava" into action, else Kerala would fast become GODs only Country, Lesser number of mortals (=tourists) may choose to visit there.

@ampere, Biju
Pricey is not w.r.t money alone, it is the attitude that is expensive. it is "i don't care untill i get my money", that is expensive. Unfortunately attitude is not seasonal.

@f1fan
i will start the story by tonight. Today afternoon, the family from Navi Mumbai has started thier journey back to their home.

But i do not know when i will finish this log. From tomorrow i will go back to work and first 3 months are very hectic. but i will try to finish asap.

@BackseatDriver
I would give some benefit of doubt to the travel agent. Things do go wrong sometimes. Our country is too attractive to ensure that such experiences donot dent the passion for travel. Kerala is the corner stone of our country, we ofcourse want to visit Waynad+North Kerala, Valparai+Vagamon+Nelliampathy, South Kerala+Thekkady. So minimum 3 more trips for sure, but i might never use any travel agent from Kerala in future.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 3rd January 2011 at 18:20.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 21:08   #65
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Date & Time : Dec 26th 2010, 4:20 am,
Location : Flyover After Salem on NH47 towards Coimbatore

We stopped our ANHC for a small break after 3 hours of driving

051 ANHC on the Flyover after Salem - NH47 towards Coimbatore.
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-051-anhc-nh47-fly-over-after-salem.jpg <br />
Sprited One: Where are we ?, How far we have reached ?<br />
Myself : At Salem, 225KMs from home, Another 225 odd KMs to Setumadai check post.<br />
Sprited One: We all managed to catch few winks, Children are sleeping to glory, If you are are feeling sleepy, please let me drive.<br />
Myself : No I am not sleepy. I want to reach Sethumadai as early as possible. <br /> <br />
Soon we resumed our journey.. My mind flashed back into the happenings of last several hours.<br /> <br /> <div style=
Quote:
Dec 26th 2010, 00:00 hrs

Kids were back to their beds, still wearing their trousers and jackets.
Smart ones were initially at their summit talks, but last 2 hours they were bored of the discussions.

Sprited one (& myself) was following up with the travel agent from Coimbatore/Pallakad, The Vehicle provider from Bangalore over phone since last 5+ hours.

I used my time also to upload this thread of the happenings from 23rd till 25th evening.

Then it stuck to us, that the vehicle eventually might not come and we might loose one day of our stay in Parambikulam. More over we did not want to loose the opportunity of driving from Sethumadai to Top Slip to Parambikulam being the first vehicle to enter the forest. That would have given us opportunity to see some wildlife on the road.
But now everthing appeared to be back to square one.

So what are the options ?

The only option seems to be to drive my ANHC. But it had one slightly bent wheel + punchured tyre, One weak tyre which already had few (repaired) punctures from the previous trip to Goa. Going into a think forest like Annamalai-Parambikulam-Chinnar etc with such tyres was bit risky. More over we had a lot of luggage, 4 adults and three kids. So initially this option was getting ruled out till 00:30 PM

Then I decided, can i try to fix the tyres and fill up the fuel as a back up. At least we can start in the morning if the vehicle still did not turn up. The tyre repair shop outside our appartment block was still open.

Two young men within 20 minutes fixed 3 tyre punctures + 1 bent wheel. The charges were RS 240/- I was very impressed by thier energy levels even at that odd hours. I paid them RS 300/- and said "Merry X-Mas". They said "Happy Journey"

So by 1 AM, we got all the luggage into the vehicle boot. Sprited One is still amazed how ANHC could fit in such an amount of luggage. Eventually we sleep walked the 3 kids into the vehicle, got ourselves into the car and drove on. Filled in The fuel at Gananagar IOCL station, We were the last customer for the day.

So our journey at last got started at 1:20 AM.
Date & Time : 26th Dec 2010, 5:45 AM
Location : Road side Tea stall near Avinashi.

052 Tea Stall near Avinashi.. Tee RS 5/- each, Smile is free
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-052-tea-stall-near-avinashi.jpg <br />
We asked for some some short cuts/directions to Pollachi. The Tee Stall Owner replied in Tamil. Fortunately there was a trucker who knew Hindi as well as Tamil. He jumped in and explained us the route i.e. Avinashi-Tirupur-Pollachi.<br /> <br />
Soon we are back on the road, Tea had driven away all fatigue as well as potential sleepyness.<br /> <br />
053 Railway Crossing at Vanjiyapaliyam @ 6.20 AM<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-053-railway-crossing-vanjipaliyam.jpg <br />
After the train moved on, we also drove towards Tirupur<br /> <br />
054 Aiyappa and the narrow strees of Tirupur<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-054-aiyappa-tirupur.jpg <br />
055 First view of the SUN @ 6:50 AM...Good Morning Ms Earth<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-055-fist-view-sun.jpg <br />
056 Have a closer look at the power that drives the earth<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-056-closer-look-power-drives-our-earth.jpg <br />
057 Soon we hit a Windmill farm @ 7 AM<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-057-windmill-farm.jpg <br />
058 Sun and Wind are the two powerful forces of this world<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-058-sun-wind-ahave-immense-power-ii.jpg <br />
059 Things have to be seen in perspective, Big and powerful may not be so in reality<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-059-things-always-seen-perspective.jpg <br />
060 This was second time we were spenidng time at Windmill, but kids were fast asleep<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-060-second-time-year-we-spending-time-near-windmills-ii.jpg <br />
061 Soon we reached Pollachi and stopped at this place for breakfast @7.50 AM<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-061-breakfast-place-pollachi-ii.jpg <br />
We freshened up, toilets were very clean and well maintained. Kids were hungry as it was more than 12 hours since last meal. We had a good breakfast consisting of hot and fresh Khara bhath, Idly+Sambar+Chutney, Dosai, Coffee. Service was swift, We would highly recommend this place.<br /> <br />
062 Fun begins over a cuppa<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-062-fun-begins-over-cuppa-ii.jpg <br />
We started our journey towards Sethumadai by 8:50 AM. We were behind the original schedule by almost 3 hours.</div>   <div style=

Last edited by StarVegabond : 3rd January 2011 at 21:20.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 21:59   #66
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
We were behind the original schedule by almost 3 hours.
Considering all that have happened and the late start, this is pretty good delta. 3 hours instead of a lost day and uncertainity - kudos!
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Old 4th January 2011, 00:11   #67
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Yes Lalu, We could recover some of the lost time due to the quick service by the tyre repair guys, faithful ANHC, excellent roads till Avinashi and after Tirupur.

Our original plan was to start by 10 PM and reach Sethumadai checkpost by 6:30 AM. We had planned and carried our morning breakfast (sandwiches, fruits and juices) with us so that we can eat it while waiting for the checkpost to open.

Due to this fiasco, we missed the opportunity to be the first vehicle to get into the forest and also probably missed the opportunity to spot some good wild life on route.

but we could save the day and the trip to Parambikulam.

063 Pollachi-Sethumadai roads..delight to drive
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-063-pollachisethumadai-road.jpg <br />
064 we stopped for some customary pictures<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-064-we-stopped-customary-picture1.jpg <br />
065 near by coconut farm<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-065-nearby-coconut-farm.jpg <br />
066 some way further this view attracted us.<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-066-view-attrcted-us.jpg <br />
067 this is the best i could capture, i still have a long way to go.<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-067-best-i-could-capture.jpg <br />
068 an all purpose vehicle in the rural area.. Trust-Value-Service (TVS)<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-068-all-purpose-vehicle.jpg <br />
069 a near by hut<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-069-near-hut.jpg <br />
070 another coconut farm near by, with some tender plants.<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-070-coconut-farm-nearby.jpg <br />
071 some one spotted the Tamarind Tree<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-071-some-one-spotted-tamarind-tree.jpg <br />
072 somebody used the long arm tactics to get the fresh tamarind<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-072-somebody-used-long-arm-tactics-get-tamarind.jpg <br />
073 till now it has been a slow but steady journey<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-073-slow-but-steady-journey.jpg <br />
074 we have been enjoying the nature's beauty..hence we are happy<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-074-we-enjoying-natures-beauty.jpg <br />
075 we moved on towards Sethumadai<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-077-we-moved-towards-setumadai.jpg <br />
076 We reach Sethumadai village by 9:40 AM<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-075-we-enter-sethumadai-village-9.40-am.jpg <br />
077 a small but beautiful mosque welcomes us<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-076-beautiful-mosque-wonderful-backdrop.jpg <br />
078 We are entering Anaimali forests<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-078-we-entering-anaimalai-forests.jpg <br />
079 We turn towards Sethumadai check post<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-079-we-turn-towards-sethumadai-checkpost.jpg <br />
080 nature is beautiful around us<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-080-nature-beautiful-all-around-roads-begin-become-bumpy.jpg <br />
081 this view makes us stop<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-081this-view-makes-us-stop.jpg <br />
082 one word .. WoW<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-082-one-word-wow.jpg <br />
083 for some guys there is no winter vacation<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-083-some-guys-there-no-winter-vacation.jpg <br />
084 Milestone says it all<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-084-milestone-says-all.jpg <br />
085 we enter Anaimalai Forest (=sethumadai) checkpost <br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-085-we-enter-anaimalai-forest-checkpost-sethumadai.jpg <br />
086 It is compulsory to register the visitor, vehicle, purpose, origin, destination, duration of stay etc. There are few do's and don'ts and some fees to be paid as well<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-086-registrationticket-counter-dos-donts.jpg <br />
087 We are still 12 KMs from Parambikulam and 8 KM from Top Slip<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-087-we-still-12-kms-parambikulam-10-am-behind-schedule-3-hours.jpg <br />
We registered outselves, vehicle, bought the tickets, provided the details etc, then Lalu called us to check what happened and where are we now.<br />
Soon the call got disconnected as I had no Idea. Later on we learnt that having Idea or not, it will help only if one has a BSNL Cell One connection.<br /> <br />
We starting climbing towards Top Slip at 10 AM, 3 hours behind schedule.<br /> <br />
We had several vehicles to provide us company, with their loud horns, speeding drivers and shouting 2 legged animals inside. All the four legged ones were already back in the deep forest as they chose to stay away with all these hangama.</div>   <div style=

Last edited by StarVegabond : 4th January 2011 at 00:23.
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Old 4th January 2011, 12:56   #68
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Nice to see the start. Same Windmills and same hotel where had our Breakfast at Pollachi . Looking forward to the rest of the Travelougue. Our entry to Top Slip cant be more different than this though. We were the only one and simply Mist
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Old 4th January 2011, 15:55   #69
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Default Dec 26th 2010: Sethumadai Checkpost to Top Slip

@KRRaj : When was your trip ? Dates ?

088 Drive through the thick forest is always exciting.
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-088-drive-through-thick-forest-always-exciting.jpg <br />
The excitement is basically due to the fact that we do not know what we will encounter next when we are in a forest. In a city, we most of the time know what to expect after 1 KM of drive.<br /> <br />
089 Anaimalai is said to be one of the thickest forest in India<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-089-anaimalai-one-thickest-forests-india.jpg <br />
090 Vanadevi (=Mother Nature) is an expert landscaper<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-090-mother-nature-expert-landscaper.jpg <br />
091 View of a mountain<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-091-view-mountain.jpg <br />
092 appears like a monkey with a strong arm<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-092-monkey-strong-arm.jpg <br />
After some 7+ KMs we reach Top Slip checkpost. Here we have to show the tickets taken at the previous checkpost and re-register ourselves<br />
Then we are allowed to enter Top Slip<br /> <br />
093 View of the Top slip from the check post and view of the checkpost from Top Slip reception area<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-093-top-down-bottoms-up-view-top-slip.jpg <br />
094 About Top Slip<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-094-about-top-slip.jpg <br />
095 A temple for Vandevi ?<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-095-temple-mother-nature.jpg <br />
096 an Empty machan and the trail<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-096-empty-machan-trail.jpg <br />
097 View of the Inspection bunglow from the reception area<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-097-view-inspection-bunglow.jpg <br />
098 Reception at the Top Slip<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-098-reception-top-slip.jpg <br />
099 Canteen at the Top Slip<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-099-canteen-top-slip.jpg <br />
100 A dinner at this dining hall would have been nice, but some other day<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-100-dining-hall-dinner-here-would-nice.jpg <br />
101 Soon the guys returned from their morning walk<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-101-soon-guys-returned-their-morning-walk.jpg <br />
102 I used the time to have a dialogue with the forest officer<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-102-dialogue-forest-officer.jpg <br />
103 Animal sightings at Top Slip - Luck by Chance<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-103-animal-sightings-luck-chance.jpg <br />
Then we visited the Eco center, a small museum dedicated to wild life.<br /> <br />
104 Orchids of Anaimalai<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-104-orchids-anaimalai.jpg <br />
105 Fishes of Analimalai<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-105-fishes-anaimalai.jpg <br />
106 Amphibians from Anaimalai<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-106-amphibians-anaimalai.jpg <br />
107 Illusive shadows from Anaimalai<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-107-ilusive-shadows-anaimalai.jpg <br />
108 About Turtles of India<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-108-turtles-india.jpg <br />
109 About the Great Indian Turle and thier sighting locations<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-109-about-great-indian-turtle.jpg <br />
110 Up, Close and Personal with a Leopard..ofcourse a dead one, but still fearsome. Imagine what if it was real ?<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-110-up-close-personal-leopard.jpg <br />
111 This was the only Tiger we saw in this Tiger Reserve<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-111-only-tiger-we-saw-tiger-reserve.jpg <br />
112 Some Animal horns<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-112-animal-horns.jpg <br />
113 a preserved foetus of an elephant<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-113-preserved-foetus-elephant.jpg <br />
114 After this we came out and found that there was real elephant<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-114-then-came-elephant.jpg <br />
115 Elephant walks down the hill easily towards the machan<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-115-elephant-wals-down-hill-towards-machan.jpg <br />
116 the Queue for the Elephant ride was already 3 hours long. <br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-116-but-queue-elephant-ride-already-3-hours-long.jpg <br />
The officer told us to come next day early morning as we would be staying at Parambikulam<br /> <br />
so by 11:30 AM we hopped onto out ANHC and drove on towards Parambikulam..another 4 KMs to go.<br /> <br />
117 on way we found some options for stay at Top Slip<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-117-several-accomodation-options-top-slip.jpg <br />
At last we were at Parambikulam by 11:45 AM. 15 minutes ahead of our original schedule.</div>   <div style=

Last edited by StarVegabond : 4th January 2011 at 16:14.
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Old 4th January 2011, 16:12   #70
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

@star,

finally, there is the pic of star on team-bhp.

looking forward!!

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 4th January 2011 at 16:27.
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Old 4th January 2011, 17:47   #71
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

@ashish bhau
I managed to edit post and re-load the pictured within the 20 minutes edit slot.


I was re-looking at the route maps. In one of the previous post #65, i had wrongly mentioned that we drove through Tiruppur. Actually we drove through Venjiyapalyam-Palladam-Pollachi.

I am attaching here the route map we followed till now along with the distances, toll paid, toll booth information, road conditions and breaks. Image of the maps are from www.maps.google.com. These pages were prepared prior to the trip as a reference. Road conditions and other information is actual one updated after the trip

118 Route map from Yelahanak-Bangalore to Avinashi-Tamilnadu
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-118-routemap-yelahanka-avinashi.jpg <br />
119 Route map from Avinashi-Tamilnadu to Parambikulam WLS-Kerala<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-119-routemap-avinashi-parambikulam-wls.jpg <br />
During this drive we drove through 2 state borders viz. KA-TN and TN-KL. We did not encounter any state border related checkpost issues etc.<br /> <br />
Our luggage was completely checked for any alcoholic and tobaco items at Sethumadai checkpost (entry point to Anaimalai forest reserve) <br /> <br />
This requires a bit of patience as the the forest officer/guard goes through each luggage + the cabin of the car. Generally it appears there will be 2 guards and 1 officer on duty. Hence the vehicles would be attended sequentially. Hence it is recommneded that either visitors arrive early or provide additional time for these things in the schedule.<br /> <br />
If we co-operate this checking would be done efficiently and quickly. While doing this search, the guards were handling the luggage very carefuly not to disturb our packing.<br /> <br />
We saw that the alcohol bottles were found in the car preceeding ours. It was quickly confiscated and smashed on the ground in front of everybody after some discussion with the visitors.<br /> <br />
May be in future, they should have some X-ray machine at these checkpost which makes the job easier.</div>   <div style=

Last edited by StarVegabond : 4th January 2011 at 17:52.
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:13   #72
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Star, some of these pictures reminded me of my drive upto Malakkapara and Upper Sholayar dam in an elephant on wheels, a Tata Sumo Victa. Great thing that they check for alcohol and tobacco and that they do it seriously. Do you have a higher resolution picture depicting the elusive shadows? It would be interesting to read through that. How were the night and day time temperatures at Top Slip and Parambikulam?
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:27   #73
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Very good going, StarVegabond!
The narration is crisp and the photos crispier. You have provided enough details to whet my appetite for a trip down the same road. Maybe sometime later this year.

Carry on.
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Old 4th January 2011, 19:11   #74
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

@ Star - you made a wise decision going with your ANHC. Good log and photos. Your narration and looking for simple things on the journey is fantastic.

[quote=StarVegabond;2196867
Our luggage was completely checked for any alcoholic and tobaco items at Sethumadai checkpost (entry point to Anaimalai forest reserve)
[/quote]
So these things actually happen. I thought these are only in the rulebooks. And the best part is the security destroyed the contraband items on the spot. Kudos to them.

Waiting for your onward journey.
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Old 4th January 2011, 22:09   #75
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Default Parambikulam Experience

@biju
you may send your e-mail ID by PM. I will e-mail you the high resolution image. Both day and night temperatures were very pleasant at Parambikulam, We did not use the A/C or fans both nights we were there.
Early mornings were bit chill, but with normal winterwear it was perfect.

@aarya
Parambikulam is a must visit place. plenty to learn there about the forests, wildlife, tribal upliftment, tourism planning & organization, Real example of "Athithi Devo Bhava". I hope you will make your wish happen.

@advaith
Despite such clear guidelines, tight checking etc, some shameless people still manage to get drunk first thing in the morning during the safari and get caught by the "naturalist" or guide.


Let me recollect the Parambikulam Experience.

Even though we reached Parabikulam at 11:45 by skipping the Elephant Ride at Topslip, I was bit skeptical whether we will get to check into the accomodation this early as the checkin time was said to be 1 PM.

Previous day, i had received a call from Parambikulam information office checking whether we would indeed arrive and what time.

120 First view of Parambikulam WLS (picture taken the next day)
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-120-first-view-pwls.jpg <br />
121 Parambikulam WLS Reception (picture taken the next day morning)<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-121-pwls-reception.jpg <br />
It was a very fast check-in. Everything was ready for us. I paid the money for 2 days stay minus the advance already paid got the receipt.<br />
We were told to enter the accomodation area near the orientation center and some one will escort us to our accomodation.<br /> <br />
122 Parambikulam WLS accomodation area<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-122-parambikulam-wls-entry.jpg <br />
123 Orientation Center<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-123-orientation-center.jpg <br />
124 BUS Stop for Safari vehicle/bus opposite side of orientation center<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-124-bus-stop-safari.jpg <br />
There was a "Naturalist" or "Guide" or WLS Staff waiting for us. The Luggage was removed from the boot and Ladies and kids were escorted to our accomodation. I was joined by another guide in my vehicle and escorted to parking area and back to the accomodation.<br /> <br />
125 Hoope tent for Sprited One and family<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-125-hoopoe-tent-sprited-one-family-ii.jpg <br />
126 Myna tent for vegabond and family<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-126-myna-test-vegabond-family-ii.jpg <br />
127 first view inside the tent<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-127-first-view-inside-tent.jpg <br />
128 second view from inside<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-128-second-view-inside.jpg <br />
129 Rest room at the rear dispelled the last doubts/worries from the mind<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-129-rest-room-rear-dispelled-final-remaining-worry.jpg <br />
130 view outside the door<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-130-view-outside-door-ii.jpg <br />
131 My daughter's first experience of a Tent Stay<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-131-after-few-years-discussions-my-daughter-gets-stay-tent-first-time.jpg <br />
132 view of the neighbourhood..our friends ofcourse<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-132-view-neighbourhood-jungle-ii.jpg <br />
133 We were in the Tented Niche<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-133-we-were-tented-niche.jpg <br />
I would call this as Modern Jungle Stay where we get moden facilities viz rest rooms, bed, safety, hot water and other lifestyle things like fans, a/c etc. I sincerely home kids di not mis-understand this to be the REAL JUNGLE Stay. I had to explain this to my daughter what is the difference betwwen our stay in jungle Vs the real jungle stay. More information will come our way later-on in the day.<br /> <br />
A guide came to our rooms and left the water bottles and asked wehther we would need extra beds. We only requested for an extra pillow for my daughter and that was immediatley delivered. <br /> <br />
134 Freshened up kids and adults waiting for lunch to be served<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-134-freshend-up-kids-adults-ready-lunch.jpg <br />
135 Lunch was so good, even the people who hate eating were smiling<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-135-effect-lunch.jpg <br />
Lunch consisted of Fresh and Hot Chapatis, Rice, Daal, Sambhar, Rasam, Curd, Thoran, Pumpkin bhaji and Kerala payasam. THere were two non vegetarian items Karimeen Fry and Chicken Currey<br /> <br />
136 First taste of Kerala food Karimeen Fry for Sprited One.<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-136-first-taste-kerala-food.jpg <br />
137 post lunch effecting was begining to be seen, due ot cool breeze and shade and heavy tummy<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-137-post-dinner-effect-beginging-show-up-due-cool-breeze-shade-ii.jpg <br />
138 we had a program chalked out for us, hence we reached Orientation Center by 1:30 PM<br /> <a href=Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-138-we-had-program-chalked-out-us-so-we-reached-orientation-center-ii.jpg   <div style=

Last edited by StarVegabond : 4th January 2011 at 22:29.
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