Monday, May 28, 2012

Bungalow & Farm Holiday – Part II

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?!


R. Ramesh said...

'Back from holiday' blues...haha..good post buddy...wishes

~G said...

Nice to see you back on your blog. :)

Smita said...

The worst part of a holiday, is having to get back to work - So true!! But you guys surely had fun!!!

I also so badly need a break!!!

Ellen said...

---- "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..."

--- Oh how I agree with you! :-) Agree.. agree... AGREE! Lols! :-)

Bikram said...

crcket and all yayyyyyyyyy

oh i know the time when one has to start to think of coming back .. but then HEY always a next time and who knows you might come here in next holidays toooooooooo :)


Joseph Pulikotil said...

I enjoyed reading the excellent post accompanied by lovely photos. Indeed you and your family had a wonderful vacation with all interesting activities and fantastic food. The food that you described is too good. A vacation just for two days with so much fun is a dream vacation and it will be remembered by all the family members specially the children who will talk about it for days to come, I am sure.

Talking about Vandiperiar brought some old memories back to me. When I was a sales executive, I used to travel on my bullet motorcycle to Kuttikanam,Vandiperiar,Thekkady,Kattapana and Kumily all the way from Kottayam. I have visited all the tea estates of Ram Bahadur Takkur plantations to carry out a survey in the rainy season and you can imagine my plight driving the motor cycle in the estate roads and hair pin bends. Sometimes the visibility on the roads on account of thick fog was so poor that even with the headlights on I could not see more that five meters. Riding was very dangerous due to blinding rain and very strong cold breeze apart from the fact heavily laden lorries come speeding on the narrow slippery roads. Rain coat was absolutely useless and I used to get completely drenched to the bone. I used to stay in a hotel called WHITE HOUSE in Vandiperiar. I wonder if that hotel is still there. I have seen the best climate and the worst climate in that hilly region with the vast panorama of beauty all around. Even in the worst rainy season high ranges have a magical, enchanting beauty of their own. Well, all this was long time ago.

Best wishes to you and your family,

Destiny's child... said...

Wow...what a holiday! All that food made my mouth water too. Makes me want to go on a holiday. :)

And great pictures as usual...Becky and Roann in their element!

Rachna said...

I always suffer from back from holidays blues. It is so much more difficult to get back to work :(. Enjoyed reading your posts.

Aleta said...

Wow, love the bamboo decor! Whenever nature finds a decorative place, it's refreshing :)

Great pictures and wonderful smiles! Those pictures tell the stories of happy memories.

The Holy Lama said...

Had a refreshing break just reading through, experiencing would have been fun.

R. Ramesh said...


radha said...

Welcome back to the blogging world.

Rama Ananth said...

What a wonderful trip. I enjoyed it with you, through your words, felt, as if I myself travelled there. Kerala is very beautiful and I have seen quite a few places there.
Please don't stop blogging .

R. Ramesh said...

hey thanks ya

R. Ramesh said...

hey hi:) c i dropped in to have t..but u r not here..bahh:)

RGB said...

Glad you enjoyed it :)

Thanks! Great to be back, though can't be sure how regular I would be:)

Yup, had a swell time! You should take a break sometime soon too!!

Oh yes, and I'm already hoping for another break...LOL!

RGB said...

Yup. Don't know where the journey leads...but someday maybe :)

Glad I could bring back those fond memories of yesteryears and thanks for sharing it here.

@Destiny's Child,
The ambience was good, a break from our routine desk-top job. And food was "naadan" style that did the trick to keep our mouths watering ;P

RGB said...

Glad you enjoyed the posts. And I guess it's the hectic work days that make the weekends all the more worthwhile :)

This place blends perfectly with nature. It was just the holiday we wanted, away from the humdrum of the concrete jungle!

@The Holy Lama,
We should plan some holiday together, with family. It would be fun!

Thanks :)

RGB said...

Glad I could take you there :) You should plan a trip to Thekkady & Vaghamon sometime, if you haven't already!