One of my biggest complaints about Bangalore is the lack of things to do during the weekend in town. You can go to places like the mall or the zoo but during the weekend they are super-packed. As I am not one to sit and complain I have decided to do what I think is one of the best things In Bangalore – its surroundings. I have many trips planned. This weekend it was Wayanad.
The trip to Wayanad came into being by getting a link to Exotic Expeditions on Facebook. They had a trip coming up on the weekend. I called them up to find out if this was a kid friendly trip. Santosh – who runs this outfit – was extremely helpful and accommodating. After answering my questions I decided we would join them with my two kids ( 4 and 12) and two maids. Santosh dropped by the next day and picked up the payment for the trek.
Rs 2800 per person – inclusive of almost everything on the trip - transport, lodging, most food and all activities.
Pick up : MG Road at 10pm Friday
Drop Off: MG Road 10pm Sunday.
On Friday I found out that other people supposed to be joining us on the trek had dropped but Santosh did not bail on us. He got a Qualis that accommodated my group and another person who joined us. We left Bangalore around 10pm and after a few stops made it to Wayanad at 8:30am.
Stay in Wayanad: Hill View homestay. Basic homestay with clean big rooms and awesome food. The owner was a very nice welcoming man who fed us well and made sure we were comfortable.The homestay is not on any plantation but by a road. The rooms are on the first floor but it has a nice rooftop with a view. Not fancy but very comfortable and I must say we had a very nice time there.
The plan of the day was to first visit Meenmurty waterfalls. Meenmurty is three kilometer roundtrip trek. Not a huge distance but pretty steep and thus not recommended for kids. We sent the kids and the maids off to Pookot lake for a boat ride while the rest of us went on the hike. After the boat ride they went on a plantation walk - seeing coffee, tea and cardamom trees.
After the hike we had a good Kerala style lunch at Santosh Hotel and joined the kids at Soochipara falls. This waterfall was more accessible and easy to reach – half a kilometer walk maybe. We all played in the water and lounged on the rocks here for a long time.
Trip to Eddkal Caves – steep walk to come interesting and very old caves. They had carvings from 3000BC. There were juice and snack stall all along the way and besides enjoying the caves and the view from the top we really enjoyed pickled pineapple, mango and amla. There were monkeys that entertained us along the way and watching one eating a jackfruit off the tree was fun.
Phantom Rock: After the caves we visited phantom rock. It would have been great to climb it and I did see one local man lounging up there. We however walked through a rubber plantation, watched frogs swim in puddles and enjoyed the scenic view before walking back.
We stopped for lunch at Sultana Bathery and then drove all the way back to Bangalore. Reaching at 10pm.
Long story short. This was a great weekend getaway. Nicely arranged and executed. I will be going on more trip with them in the near future I am sure.