Disclaimer: This is a long blog!
In the past, people have written about their adventure trips, those long treks, those amazingly brilliant moments, nature scape overwhelming you ., amn't I right?
this trip of mine is less of that & more of emotions & memories
this trip was me ... diving back into memory
this trip was me ... third generation of friends visiting kodai (School - 12th Std, College - 3rd Year, now ... with work & other friends)
this trip was me ... rediscovering the joy & purity of simplicity all over again
this trip was me ... ENJOYING THE PRESENT, RELISHING THE PAST & LOOKING FORWARD FOR THE FUTURE
at some point, I did think .... will I come here again? what will I be then, will I be married, will I have a child ? how different / easy is it to have all these wonderful memories coming back ... can I regain the same old enjoyment & happiness in small things ever (this in itself is a long topic, a diversion if I start !)
sticking to nothing but facts ... this journey was different .. not only because I went with a new group of friends, but also since we decided to travel the whole way by CAR ... a new fiat palio of a friend of mine ... it had clocked just 650 kms before the trip ., the same vehicle we used for the mahabalipuram trip
we started as usual .. behind schedule .. 2 hours away from plan & reached Tiruchy at 3:00 AM ... our "overnight" halt ... which had just then become "dawn" halt ... we were treated to some OLD ECONOMY guest house pleasures .... good a/c rooms, nice breakfast, great hospitality et al ...
Tiruchy to kodai was 170 kms - plain land & 70 kms in the hills ... totally covered in 2.5 hrs for the plains & another 2 hrs for the hills ... some good views ., tempered by the fact that the waterfall that existed last time had gone dry (this is where we had landed up for our morning break during the college & school trips) .... also I didn't puke this time ... something I could not avoid the last 2 times
after reaching kodai ... & after getting used to the place (if you go round the town center .. 2 times before realizing that you have made a wrong turn .. u would get a hang of the town), some lunch ., some amazing ice cream (WHAT !!! in kodai of all places ? that too when it was overcast & was threatening to rain anytime ???) ... we hit the guest house
the guest house looked exactly like the dream house of mine ... long hall, nice, cozy tucked away dinning place ... an elevated sitting & chatting place before the bedrooms ... the only thing that was missing was the fireplace !!!
our next step was the most conservative ... we went to the lake & enjoying paddling away for 30 mins .... I was having fun watching some other group of guys going behind the boat contain 6 ladies (yours faithfully knows where his loyalties are & had a bemused look watching these people trying to capture the attention of the ladies) ., the best thing being that the last 10 mins of the ride was that it was accompanied by a slight drizzle ... just enough for the rain drops to kiss your clothes before vanishing into thin air ... leaving behind a glossy look to your clothes !!!
the cycle ride was much more fun ... why ?? watching the youngsters race each other .... watching middle age people trying to go back in time by proving to their kids as to how well they can drive .... watching the old people trying to get away from the firing line of the cycles ... & I for some time was just overcome by something called the CYCLE OF LIFE ... I did a leisurely photoops filled first lap (5 kms around the lake for those who forgot !!) ., & a real fast (according to me !) second lap .... 5 kms in 18 mins is not too bad for someone who hasn't ridden a bike for sometime (I suppose !)
the closure of day was in sight (7 PM) when we went off to the town center ... & bought loads of 'home made chocoloates' ... (very costly stuff ., something I couldn't resist buying !!) ... we even went to a cottage industry shop ... & I mentally figured out the huge bill round the corner though my shopping didn't happen till the next afternoon
a good dinner followed by some amazing time with my friend discussing pros & cons of various issues .... so fierce was the way we struck to our stands that fevicol could use the fact that by the time it was 3:30 AM (we started at 10:30 PM) .... we hadn't moved an inch from our stance ... exhausted .. only physically .. I went to sleep ... dreaming about the places I would see the next day
we overslept ... & by the time we hit Upper Lake View .. it was 11:30 ... but not before a great breakfast at Woody's (nice place ... should have meals from there next time around) .... apart from relishing the view, I lightened my pocked to buy loads of flowers .. not forgetting a single family friend of mine ... else I am as good as doomed ....
instead of the normal route .. we took a circuitous route .... the road circling the hill once .... great natural scenes ... the one that would be etched in my memory is driving thru a road, with dense forest of both sides, & the cloud (misty) sailing across .. some 20 feet from the car !! some more snaps (in deep forest, on a rock & near the car), walk into dense pine forest later, we reached Pillar Rock
3rd time unlucky ... I have never seen the view from pillar rock & green valley view (suicide point) .... I was hoping better this time ... but nature had its "third laugh" ... may be I will be fourth time lucky ??
while coming to pillar rock we had passed a place that I visited earlier in the college days !!! my friends insisted that we go there ... I had to reluctantly go .. this was the place called DEVIL's KITCHEN .... & at the entrance has a tomb of a person who fell into the gorge in 1955 .... the route was fenced off ... something that wasn't so 3 years back .... as I stood there ... they all came back ... one after another ... all the memories of the trip to the cave below when we last went there .... the HoD falling & breaking her watch, the girls afraid to come initially but later relenting, thivi & bulli standing at the edge of the rocks (after that it was just emptiness as the hill drops a 1000 feet into a valley), the snaps that we had .... all of them above the sound of the ever increasing volume of the crickets !!!!
skipped lunch to do some shopping ... my pace of spending money (something that parents would notice was the lightness of my purse) ... was matched only mother nature in the form of a huge lightning & thunder ... a thunder that literally could be heard some 100 miles away (according to a scientific study, a thunder is normally heard over an area of 40 Sq kms)
the return journey was uneventful !!! .... reached Tiruchy guest house at 9:30 after starting at 5:00 PM ... 20 mins in the swimming pool & a good dinner later ... tucked into bed .... only to be force fully woken up at 3:45 PM ... reluctantly got ready to go back into the battle zone called Chennai ... slept most of the time during the ride back to Chennai (or till about 8 AM !!!)
what does it all leave at the end !! some more snaps, some more memories, a blog 2 years down the line and the inevitable question - can we do it again?