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ETTA - My Get away Stories | ETTA @ Munnar

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by srida, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. Thanks m-matt. OM-D E-M5 is not a SLR / DSLR. It is a Mirrorless Interchangable Lens camera. Panasonic refers its cameras with a term DSLM - Digital Singel Lens Mirrorless. EM-5 is well known for its Vintage looks, Image Stabilization and Image Quality.
  2. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Lovely pictures Srida:up
    1 person likes this.
  3. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Superb pictures. Looking forward for the rest of the story. I was also at Munnar from Friday to Sunday and remained in-doors for most the time just because we got irritated with the crowd and the traffic jams.
    1 person likes this.
  4. ETTA was for FUN:
    Follow your dreams. Just make sure to have fun too.- Chris Brown

    The next day morning we were all ready by 10 AM and our plan for today was dedicated for the Kids. Horse ride, Elephant ride and Boat ride were the priority. My son who had no idea of what munnar is, had only these rides in his imaginationof Munnar. He would believe we are in munnar only if I show them to him. So straight I drove to Elephant Camp. The kids were out of the world when they saw the elephants up close in a touchable distance. Immediately got the tickets and we were lucky to get the ride quicker. We daddys accompanied them for the ride. The ride was so great, not only for our sons but the kid in ourself was unleashed. Being a FIATian I had to relate the Handling, ride comfort, body roll, torque sitting on the elephant which I usually do sitting in a Hyundai, Suzuki or Honda. May be this is called Spoiled By FIAT.





    The day was HOT, immediately got into the Car and went straight to the horse ride. This time I didn't want to torture the horse to carry my weight. My son was eager to sit himself on the horse for the ride and we parents accepted with a smile. By the time his Horse ride was over he started believing he is really in Munnar. It was 1 o clock, waited for the Mattupatty Boat house to open and went straight to the hotel inside the Boat house. Finished the lunch enjoying the rain sitting on the balcony. Now it the Speed Boat ride. Checked with the boat man if he accepts any tip, for his Yes I replied shows us some good stunts I will tip him good. He got excited and showed us some Boat Handling. No more I will compare those Hyundais to a boat. The way the boat handled for the manhandling by the boat man was so wonderful. He showed us some nice stunts at the same time stayed within the limits. This guy won a nice tip. After the speed boating, my son was 100% sure he is in Munnar, so happy that we showed him all these in a single day. For the rest of the day he was tallying his imaginations to the reality.





    Since this day was for the kids, we didn't think about covering all the spots, so decided to call it a day so the kids can rest.


    One of my favorite shot in this ETTA

    When we reached the home stay, a sad news was awaiting us. The owners, George and his wife left to wayanad since her father passed away in the afternoon. George left us a note of apology for his inability to serve us with the food for the rest of the days but our stay would not be disturbed. Felt very sorry for what had happened. Now we have to find a good place for our dinner and food for the rest of the days. Siva hotels (a small barotta shop),the only hotel in suryanelli turned out to be a reliable place for the food. We didn't want to be awake for a long time, so quick we went to bed having a high expectation for the next day without even knowing a hint of how useless the next day would end up.

    A day well Misspent :
    The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance.- Herodotus

    Our 3rd day, May 2nd, Kids and Parents, all were were expecting a long but a delightful day. Done with our breakfast at 8:00 AM, we straight headed to Thekkady which is ~80 KMS from our stay. We already informed our kids we are again going for a boat ride and watch animals from the boat. My son started listing out the animal names which he wants to see from the boat in thekkady. I had to limit the speed within 40KMPH since the route was too twisted and didn't want the occupants suffer car sickness. By 1:30 PM we reached Kumily. It is lunch time, so decided to find a hotel and check with the people out there for any information on boating. The information we got also didn't hint us about the unworthiness of our trip that day. Everything looked positive. We reached thekkady by 2:15 hoping we would get tickets for the 3:45 PM boating slot. When we reached there we were shocked to know the 3:45 slot tickets were sold out at 11:30AM itself. Tourists join the queue early at 6:00 AM and usually all the tickets for the day gets sold out well before 12:00PM and rarely before 1:00PM. And from thekkady I checked out the internet and came to know the fast selling tickets for the day is true. So it was clear that one has to stay a night in thekkady and try from 6:00AM only then they would be able to get a ticket for one of the boating slot. ~80KMs of drive, fuel cost, kids expectation and their patience thourghout the drive sitting inside the car calm and nice for the only reason they are gonna watch all the animals they know from the boat and our energy spent were all useless. Instead we could have stayed in our homestay sleeping, relaxing, talking, playing with the kids and much more priceless activities. Me and my friend felt so guilty for not doing a research in advance before planning such a hectic trip. And my friend felt more guilty since I had to drive to and fro and even more guilty for insisting a trip to thekkady even though I wished to stay indoors and spend the day relaxing. Gone is good gone.


    Deceived Kids

    Returning back sadly

    But the beautiful location is deeply framed in our mind, we have planned to visit thekkady again by staying there for 2 nights. So the next ETTA might be ETTA @ Thekkady. Below are few information about activities available at Thekkady for better planning for next time and also to be helpful for members who wanted to plan for thyekkady.

    MisSpent-4.jpg MisSpent-5.jpg MisSpent-6.jpg MisSpent-7.jpg MisSpent-8.jpg MisSpent-9.jpg MisSpent-10.jpg MisSpent-11.jpg MisSpent-12.jpg MisSpent-13.jpg MisSpent-3.jpg MisSpent-14.jpg MisSpent-15.jpg

    Reached homestay at 10:00PM. Guilt still in our minds we didn't have the mood for a drink and chat. Went to bed sadly since the next day we have to vacate our rooms and we have already wasted a precious day. In the middle of the night the photographer in me woke me up, it was 3:00AM. Set up and alarm for 5:30AM, determined to go out for witnessing the sunrise and come back with few photographs to add weight to the ETTA Story.

    Etta goes Crazy + Risky + Adventurous :

    The traveller was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes 'sight-seeing. -Daniel J. Boorstin

    To be Continued . . .
    6 people like this.
  5. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Nice to read all the details, good that you are posting all details here.
    Few pictures came out really great.
  6. 5u3zEr0

    5u3zEr0 Regolare

    Linea T-Jet
    First, your Punto looks really nice, it is RED and with the black vinyl and the relocated number plate make it look much better from the front. And your photo's of the car are great! Nice travelogue to read.

    The Bodi ghats to Munnar, are very bad on the Tamil Nadu side and once you cross into Kerala the road is much better because Munnar is in Kerala and the TN government least cares about how you get to Munnar! :eek:

    Sorry to read about your Thekkady disappointment but it is not that bad as there are not that many sightings of Animals there. I was there with my family last year and went for the boat safari and ended up sighting a few wild buffalo's, Deer and many birds. Not a single Elephant or any other wild animal. But the boat ride was nice.

    How was the road condition from Munnar to Thekkady?
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  7. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    I doubt this theory. This is an NH from Madurai to Kochi via Munnar which is under the Central Government. :D
  8. 5u3zEr0

    5u3zEr0 Regolare

    Linea T-Jet
    @ Ramjn: Yes that could be correct but then consistently I have heard that the TN side is very bad and even when I went the road was pathetic till the Kerala Border and from then on the Kerala roads were an absolute joy to drive.
  9. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Your observation is right. Even I drove in this stretch last week. I couldn't make out real reason.
  10. Etta goes Crazy + Risky + Adventurous :

    The traveller was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes 'sight-seeing. -Daniel J. Boorstin

    So this day I tried to be a traveller and I almost got in to the club. At 5:30 Alarm screams, I gave it the usual response, but realized today I am in Munnar and not in chennai. Immediately got out of the bed. It was easier to wake up early but what productive am I gonna do ? No idea what to do and where to go, I lit up the cigarette in the balcony. In a very long distance I saw the mist covering the mountains. Why not find a place to get a better view. Got the ETTAquipments loaded and went in search of a view point. Drove for 4kms but still couldn't find a view point and finally gave up. I stopped at a point where I thought I will click a picture of the car with a half mountain in the background. When I was framing the picture, it struck me, why not climb the half mountain and check what is in the other side. It was a ~300mts trekking up the hill and I can't get luckier than this. More than the words let the pictures explain

    Misty Munnar




    I was the only person in the vicinity and the nearest village is suryanelli which is 4 kms from there. I wanted to take more pictures in this spot but was scared to death when I heard rustling in the bushes, that too only when I bent down to shoot a picture. The entire mountain had bushes and trees and the bushes were all to my knees and anything hiding in them is hard to be noticed. I was thinking I am spotted by a leapord or a bear and I couldn't move even an inch. I kept my eyes hooked to the bush from where the rustling were heard. And to my relief 3 dogs came out of the bushes and flushed out all the fear in me. I then realized, just for a photograph, how crazy have I gone, in the middle of the forest, 400 MTS away from the car and all alone. I couldn't believe what I am doing. But didn't regret for this crazy step I put forward from a sightseeing photographer to a travelling photographer. 'To me' it was a proud moment, but somehow didn't feel comfortable and confident enough to shoot pictures from that spot, if not a leopard or a bear, the place should have lot of snakes for sure. So didn't stay there a minute more and moved on to my car. Though my initial plan was to shoot the misty mountains, the thirst was not quenched. I went further ahead in the same road and saw a col (basically a lowland between two mountains) with a lean stream running on it. Jumped in there for some more pictures.

    My Punto parked near the col


    Wide angle view of the col


    Other Sideof the col


    The slim stream running on the col





    My enthusiasm grew double folds and I went further ahead in search of some more spots. Not been to this place before, no clear idea of where I am heading too, and with the crazy move I took a while back in my mind, I was cautious not to venture into the forest without proper guidance. I spotted a spot and was waiting for some local to pass by. Waited for 15 minutes and 2 men in a bike were approaching. Stopped them and told them I need to get there for some photographs pointing the spot. They alerted me not to go into that place since elephants were around 3 days back and they can be grazing anywhere in the forest and it is risking one life to go there just for photographs. So left the place and I got the same reply in few more places. Afterall the spots I wanted to go were all a same continuous col. Finally I was fed up with the locals warning and decided to take the risk. I saw a deviation from the main road which was more of a 4x4 terrain. But I dared to drive into that to see what is in the other side. To add more to the thrilling factor I saw a 'elephants crossing hoarding' on the main road just ahead of the deviation. The Drive into the deviation was a nasty decision, the road got worse and my punto couldn't handle the road and started slipping sidewards. Somehow managed to drive the full stretch (little lesser than 1KM). All the hard work didn't go waste. It was a beautiful location, only me my car and the camera into it. It was a dried up lake which had very little water. Checkout the pictures

    The first 8 Pictures below will give you an idea of the off roading terrain my punto managed.

    Advn-23.jpg Advn-24.jpg Advn-25.jpg Advn-26.jpg Advn-27.jpg Advn-28.jpg Advn-29.jpg Advn-30.jpg

    And here are few pictures of the lake





    And this is why we need an Avventura4x4. Fiat are u listening


    These are for the S10 lovers





    It was 11 o clock and I then realized my family and friends would be waiting for me , rather I'll put it as wondering and worrying where and what I am doing. By now They would have tried calling me 100 times not reachable. Only now I was worried to drive back in the bad road to reach the main road. What if my car got struck, what if I break a component in the car negotiating the terrain, what if I encounter a elephant before reaching the main road, what if I spoiled something in the car so that It hinders our return journey, I have started behaving like a normal guy, I am back to normality but still I have to cross the 4x4 stretch. Finally I did it without breaking anything except the Alignment was screwed. Feeling good that I hadn't had any bad experience, I was driving back to our room and then something caught my attention. Wait !!! did I see elephant, yes it is an elephant, no, elephants. They are grazing in the mountain opposite to me, wait ! isn't it the mountain from which I took the mist pictures, which had no signs of dogs but still teased by them. Thank god, I was close to the elephants but nothing serious happened, may be it was for my good the dogs came there and threatened me so that I leave the place. Whatever, Finally everything was for good.

    Here is the picture of the elephants and a long shot of the dried up lake.

    The lake from a long distance


    I spotted them, luckiely they didn't spot me


    When I reached the home stay, everybody were frowning at me for no call no show. After I told my wife a brief story about the morning, she exclaimed 'are you mad ? how is it you didn't think about me, our son, our return journey and all blah blah ?'. The care taker then told us it was a visiting spot earlier but recently many stopped going to those places due to increasing man - elephant conflict. But still the Jeep guys take people there at extra cost. So a thrilling morning comes to an end with some scary moments, thrilling locations, adventurous drive and few good pictures.

    Previous 2 days, It was tiresome to be a Tourist walking to the spots, driving on the good roads, clicking pictures and having food at regular intervals. But being a traveller I walked steeper paths, drove in worst roads, clicked more pictures and all this without a breakfast. I never felt tired or bored, but felt lacking. From where did all the stamina come from ? Anyway I was happy to experience both the ends.

    Yearning for an ETTA :

    It is time to pack things up and leave munnar. Had our lunch in munnar town and by 3:30 we left the munnar town. Had a stop at Eravikulam National park which was a must in our itenary but had to skip it due to lack of time. Took some bye bye fotos at the national park car parking and started to udmalpet. From Udmalpet my friend drove to salem and I stayed there. The excitement we had when going to munnar was all gone like nothing. This time 3 nights was also not enough. The Yearning for Munnar caught up again with us. Once again me and my wife were discussing the next time we come here we will stay 4 nights. Sunday morning got up late, visited Palani temple and started back to chennai.... looking forward for the next ETTA.

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