The ancient charm of a colonial bungalow, the rustic charm of a farm resort-----contd.
April 21-23, 2012
The drive from Vaghamon to Vandiperiyar (14 kms from Thekkady) was filled with nature’s wonderful hues and views. As we were nearing our destination – Harithavanam Farmer Resort in Keerikara, the emerald green tea plantations welcomed us, stretching 6 kilometres way up to the resort. We unwound the window glasses, let the cool and fresh wind in, turned up the volume of the music playing “We will, we will rock you!” and looked forward to gulping down some fun, on the rocks.
The Resort had this very earthy concept, with generous use of bamboos in its decor. We were to stay in 2 cottages which had thatched roofs and eco-friendly materials to keep it pleasantly cool in any weather. A refreshingly cool lemonade, spiced up with ginger was waiting. A shot of spirit, followed by a heavenly feast (traditional Kerala cuisine with fish curry, fried fish, dry prawns chutney and the works!) and we were all ready to hit the waters.
We changed into suitable outfits and made our way through the plantations (coffee, spices, fruits and vegetables), down to the river. The water wasn’t too deep, as it was the peak of summer, but just enough to stay afloat and beat the heat. We had a splash of a time. We sat like hippos in the water, and could see small fishes curious and nibbling at our feet. We spent about an hour by the river and went back up.
We then played some cricket (we always carry bat, ball and stumps in the boot, to play where we please!) after which we indulged in some steaming hot pazhampori (ripe banana slices dipped in a batter of gram flour and fried in coconut oil…slurp, slurp!) and refreshing hot chai (tea). We got to cuddle some cute li'l rabbits too.
Next we got ready to go on the fishing trek down the river, across the bridge, through the plantations…with a professional fisherman to guide us. What a catch we had!
My elder daughter Ann proudly lifted live fish one by one, from the net into the basket. And to have that fried and curried for dinner is an experience worth relishing (A boat can float in my mouth now, just thinking about it)!
We had time for a quick shower, and got ready for campfire and dinner. Rotis, Rabit roast, Fish fry, Chicken curry, Peanut masala and Fresh green salads with some clinking of glasses, in a background of music blasting off from my sister’s mobile, kids all flared up with their own singing and dance performances and then a grand finale with all of us breaking into a tribal sort of dance around the fire. It was a sight, no doubt, but gratefully there was no one else around, but us!
Crashed the night and morning we were up early to have a quick breakfast - Vellayappam and beef stew, and hit the road on our journey back home. The drive was not very pleasant though what with the endlessly curvy roads and the kids and sis giving in to motion sickness.
Finally we were on home ground, bringing back with us the memories of a fine vacation. Though just 2 days in all (the weekend), it was a fulfilling and refreshing holiday, worth waiting for!
Busy days ahead, I switched on my laptop and nearly swooned at the mails and the work in store for me. The worst part of a holiday, is having to get back to work, I tell you! Just like the Monday morning blues, I'm suffering from 'Back from holiday' blues...Will get over it soon for sure, but hey, who wants to?!