Feb 28, 2007

A refreshing break

A beautiful place, a relaxing atmosphere, cool breeze, a slow paced lifestyle, misty mountains, amazing fresh tea, cute pet animals - the list doesn't end here. I'm back after a nice vacation in Kodaikkanal. There is something special about hill stations that I adore and never feel bored to visit them again and again. This was my third visit to Kodaikkanal by the way. Having been there before when I was in my 11th std, I was really looking forward to this trip.

Although the train to Kodai Road was late by a couple of hours, our holiday moods were on the high. A small railway station greeted us the next morning, along with a bunch of taxi drivers ready to take us to the top of the hills. It costed around 1000 rupees for a couple of hours drive up the Western Ghats. Kodai is a small, quiet town with greenery everywhere, especially the tall eucalyptus and pine trees. We checked into Hotel Kodai International, freshened up and had a nice, sumptuous breakfast. The rest of the day went off slowly while we roamed around the resort, observing the varieties of flora and fauna and getting impressed with the resort facilities and most importantly, the sprawling garden. It's an amazing feeling to watch the cute little white rabbits, ducks and birds and dream about having them as pets at home. We played table tennis and carroms for a couple of hours while the pleasant sound of waterfall at the background provided the perfect ambience of a lovely evening.

We were all set for a sight seeing trip the next morning. Although the tour covered a typical set of places you would often get to see in a hill station, such as little parks, lakes, view points, rocks etc, it was a good journey around the town amidst misty, green forests. I was feeling very scared due to the umpteen monkeys running around everywhere while hubby bought a pack of tiny carrots and was feeding them one by one. A radical change I noticed in these tourist spots is the spread of Indian handicrafts and popularity of jute bags being sold in the little shops at affordable prices. I bought one such bag for 100 rupees which would have definitely costed me around 250 in Bangalore. I was really hoping to visit Guna caves but it seems that it's been prohibited due to the many accidents and deaths that have taken place in the recent past. By the time we did some shopping (tea, of course!), it started drizzling heavily and we had to postpone the visit to the famous Kodai lake. We rushed back to our resort and sat in the balcony, admiring the beauty of dark clouds, wet green grass and the pleasant petrichor smell.

We woke up to a clear blue sky with the basket ball court inviting us for a game. Being a basket ball player in my 6th std, I love to play this game. It felt great to jump and drop the ball into the basket after a gap of so many years. Needless to say, I triumphed over hubby. After breakfast, we started walking towards the lake. It's a 2 km walk uphill. After the usual pedal boat trip, we did something very special which I'm sure we will remember for quite some time from now. Yes, we cycled for an hour around the lake. It's a superb feeling to ride a bicycle on those empty roads. It takes around 30 minutes to cycle around the lake at a slow pace if you want to experience the fresh air and observe the beauty of the lake. How I miss my BSA SLR now! It used to be my constant companion during college.

In the past four days, I have become better at table tennis and also started liking the game. We spent long hours sitting in the resort garden and feeling the fresh grass on our feet. The trip was so memorable that we didn't feel like leaving Kodai. These short pitstops, the so-called vacations are a must if we have to face the monotonies of a city routine.

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