Part Drei : [insert arbit funky title - a reader\'s excercise :P]

Thekkady Travel Blog

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Now, we were sitting in the only watering hole this town had to offer and we were contemplating the nature of the problem at our hands. Due to the unconventional 5:30 deadline which we had missed ,we were thrust into a rather lame situation - we cannot go bamboo rafting the next day, but we can go for a jungle trek the next night. This meant that we were left with nothing to do for a whole day! Darned! Suddenly, Evil came up with some interesting piece of information (no one knows why it took so long for this to happen)(No! This was not a case of an 'alcoholic's moment of clarity' :P ). He suggested that if we manage to wake up early in the morning - early as in EARLY (as in 5:00 in the morning), we would be able to go boating through the periyar reserve and hopefully spot some wild animals when they head to the lake (apparently they have some sort of get-together session early in the morning. They dont even work! Why the hell would they wake up so early??? ;)). Ne ways, this gave us some relief, we did not have to vegetate in the room as we had earlier resigned ourselves to. We Were up and about early next morning (early in my previously defined sense of the word), thankfully without any hiccups or hangovers ;). By this time our revolutionary had done the necessary deeds in order for us to enter the Periyar reserve. So we head inside the place slowly in order not to disturb the silence and the serenity of the place. As we head deeper into the reserve, we realise that we were certainly not the only ones around. Indeed, It was a jungle out there! It was almost as if the entire population of the small town had migrated into this place at this early in the morning! And when a group of humans are put together in one place (that too those from different regions), you know what is bound to happen - thats right - a little bit of talk, banter, bam and bash! All this in the middle of a freakin tiger reserve, with signs all around saying 'Silence Please'. The evils of capitalism, our silent revolutionary observed. Now with all this crap happening in the background, we realised that we in fact needed tickets to go boating and it is then that we chose to look in the direction of what appeared to be the ticket counter. It was not very difficult to spot since you could see two tentacles composed of writhing human bodies extending from that wretched place for about a mile in either direction (No! I am not exaggerating about the distance). That did not discourage or deter our man PK from trying his luck at the queue. Almost 45 mins goes by and we realise that the queue has not moved an inch and the noise levels were reaching as much as it would when an airplane takes off! A little bit of investigation revealed that the ticket counter does not open until 6:30 (by this time the queue had extended itself into parts of the jungle vegetation and every once in a while a primeval scream could also be heard. We were rather unperturbed by such extraneous aural cues). By this time, we also realised that there was just one counter to dispense the tickets. Either, the K.T.D.C had got the demand estimation extremely wrong or this had to be some sort of a commie joke (I mean come on, people come here from different parts of the country right and they all need to have a feel of what it is like here right? Equality for all - by that rationale, every person has to waste about as much time as every one else to NOT get a ticket right? right??). We were at a consensus on this issue. A quick re-appraisal of the whole situation led to a unanimous conclusion - fuck this shit. Lets roll.(No pun intended :D) Now, we had nothing to do for the whole day and it was very early in the morning too, damn it! Evil, apparently feeling bad about having woken us up so early decides to reconcile this minor setback and scouted around for information about things to do in the vicinity of this jungle, so to speak. Working his charm once again our man gleans some information which made him gleam with joy as he came back to us, unable to restrain himself from containing his newfound joy. Apparently there was a very beautiful waterfall nearby - about 17kms from where we were- on the road to Kambam, called Surli falls. That was good news for us - so we were off in a jiffy. Now something peculiar happened while on the road to surli falls. We had to cross the border between Kerala and TamilNadu. As we crossed the border from Kerala and into TamilNadu, almost instantaneously, the temperature increased by about 10 degrees and immediately we started to break sweat.This phenomenon was struck us as very strange. It was almost as though these two places had two gigantic air conditioners set very perceptibly at starkly different temperatures! This reminded me of one of those Russel Peters's Joke on India. This also became a starting point for further TamilNadu bashing for the remainder of the trip. Bah! After driving for a while we realise that its about time we asked for directions, and thankfully our sense of timing was keen enough to avoid us some aimless driving in the blazing heat. We head to Surli falls and we find the whole drive very scenic with vineyards on either side of the road. One tends to believe that with such a beautiful beckoning,the place ought to be something, right? Luck, it seemed was not on our side. The place was an absolute shithole! The mallu gang had been boasting about how in Kerala the population density is very high. This place was a befitting reprimand to our mallu chaps. For this place was so densely populated, not only with people but also some of our ancestoral relatives - yes; monkeys. The sound of the waterfall was comparable to that of a pin drop. (I guess by now you would have all deduced why. If not, tch tch...) We decided that there was no point to this place and we headed back in the direction of Thekkady. On the way, we spotted a very pretty waterfall flowing at a rapid velocity. We spent some time here chillin, by the falls and *some text deleted due to potential legal issues*. Our next stop was a place which was 10kms from Thekkady, on the road to Munnar. This place was called "Viewpoint" - truly, an amazing attempt at marketing there by our commie tourism board ;). Having had my share of laughter for the day, we proceeded our ascent. When we reached the place, some sort of arrangements for some sort of political show was happening on a nearby empty piece of land. Strains of really crappy tam songs were polluting the air. Once more, we felt raped. Nevertheless, we proceeded to trek inside the forested region and onto the side of a small hill. The view from the hill top was breathtaking. We could see the plains of TamilNadu from where we were perched. If we looked closely, we could actually see the small town of Theni as though it were a blemish, ruining the beauty of the untouched land. We settled beneath a clutter of bamboo trees and decided to chill here for a while. One of us had the foresight to get a few beers on the way (Am sure you would have guessed who by now ;P). So we killed about 2-3 hours there, just chillin. By late afternoon we decided to head back so that we can get our passes for Bamboo rafting the next day and for Jungle Trekking in the night. To be Continued...
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1,240 km (771 miles) traveled
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photo by: spocklogic