Wayanad is a beautiful place amidst the hills of northern Kerala. We were a group of 6 guys who booked a Chevrolet Tavera and started for Wayanad from Bangalore one fine Friday night. The weather was wonderful on the Bangalore -Mysore highway and we were quite fortunate to get a wink of sleep before reaching Mysore. We had a small incident on the road when the vehicle won't start because there was insufficient gear oil.
On reaching Wayanad the next morning we found ourselves in the mist of things. We somehow managed to book a hotel and get in because it was chill outside. But Arun Guest House , the one in which we took Deluxe rooms had hardly any deluxe facilities apart from running hot water. The pillows were like mats and the blankets were equally shabby. Anyways it was heaven for us after a night long ride.
We woke up a couple of hours later to start exploring Wayanad , but unfortunately we found that our vehicle has a problem and we sent the driver to the nearest garage to repair the problem. So we set out on foot and soon found a neat restaurant to have breakfast. It was Masala Dosa and Tea by unanimous choice. But after getting the Dosa we realized we made a big mistake. Dosa or any fried stuff in Kerala is made of coconut oil. Somehow the oil is very pungent and gives a distinct flavor.
Anyway we soon figured a wonderful bakery shop near to the bus stand itself where we had fine juice and cakes.Lookout for the special Walnut cakes here.

By this time it was already 10 o clock and we found that our Driver hasn't yet managed to repair the problem in the car and has called a mechanic. He checked a lot of things and finally what I understood was that the car has to be taken to the garage. We were a bit disappointed because we had planned to start the day with a bang by visiting some of the nearby sightseeing places. Nevertheless we accepted fate and started loitering inside Kalpetta. Kalpetta is a very small town we found and it soon ended with the highway cutting through the heart of the city. Myself and Bhim booked an auto and he took us to some nearby peak where there was some mining activities going on. Basically it seemed they were just creating new roads . It was hot and there was hardly anything to see there so we soon started walking back and taking an occasional photo on the return journey.
Back to the hotel we did not know what to do .We called our driver and came to know that a guy has gone to calicut the nearest big town to get some spare part of the car. He said it was not available there in Kalpetta. Calicut is just 70 kms away and he as expected to be there in a couple of hours . So we estimated that since it was almost 12 o clock we may as well have our lunch since the breakfast had been pretty weak.
There is a wonderful hotel called Woodlands - a classic hotel. It was indeed a classic hotel with wonderful food and service. They served some pretty decent mutton biriani and whole meals. On a whole it was nice , except that the mutton could've been more tender. But the fish items were very good. Moreover nothing was cooked in coconut oil so we happily gulped a lot of stuff.


Returning to the hotel we found the car was still not available. But our worries started when we found the driver is also not available. We tried to call him and it was simply ringing out. Soon afterwards he switched off his mobile. This was too much for us. We really got pissed off. It was very rude on his part. First the car should've been properly serviced before such a long journey , which he did not care to do. And now we are waiting for more than 4/5 hours for the car to get repaired and no sign of Driver. Finally after trying for half and hour we called their office in Bangalore . i.e TUNGA Travels . After a lot of heated discussions we finally gave the owner an ultimatum that either your driver turns up quickly or we do not pay ( It was a hollow threat anyway because we had already paid him a good amount by which he can happily go back also ) . Thus a lesson was learnt that , NEVER trust the TRAVELS (Esp Travels like TUNGA TRAVELS) or their drivers. They are basically in the business of making money. e kept assuring us that he had talked with the driver and he will come in half an hour. This half hour stretched to one hour , then to one and a half hours . And we were all confused that if his phone is switched off then how come the owner called the driver. We soon came to know that. Some guy went to calicut , did his shopping happily without any hurry and came back around 3-4 o clock and till then the driver happily went to sleep oblivious of his passengers in the garage somewhere.


We are gentlemen so we decided not to chase the issue further, that will leave a bitter taste to the whole tour ( later we realized how wrong we were) .
Finally we were able to go to Soochipara Falls in short while.
The walk to Soochipara falls was a nice one. It was covered by greenery and the road was concrete and a nice one. Although the area was not at all clean. People happily throwing away plastics , even though its clear its a no plastic zone. We sat awhile in front of the Falls . It was a small one, but had slight fury in the waters . A young girl stood just on the rock where it was crashing into and was enjoying the stealth cool fury of the water.
Soon we started our ascent back . There was a nice view point and a place to sit and relax under the setting sun .
Next we went to Phooket Lake. Unfortunately the gates were already closed for the day. We just roamed and lazed around before returning hotel after a cup of Kerala tea .( tea in Kerala is a bit coarse and has a different aroma ) Its hugely different from the flavor of Darjeeling tea.
After a hefty dinner again at Woodlands we called it a day. We had to sign out at morning 7 am the next day.
My deluxe room I soon found was not much deluxe with the blanket not sufficient and mosquitoes hovering around everywhere. I hardly managed to get a wink when it was time to get up .


After signing out from the Hotel we had a buffet breakfast at Woodlands which was again a very pleasant one. Then we started off towards Kanthapara Falls.
Kanthapara Falls was a cool place. Devoid of the human attention it was clean and wild. We spent a long time there musing the charm of the falls
Next we got off to what seemed like a way to Meenmurti Falls. It showed a way 4 kms aft inside the woodies. We started walking asking the locals en route. Soon inside the woods we lost our way. Some of us decided to check out an alternative way . Meanwhile a localite turned up. clad in a lungi with a sickle in hand , he was trying to explain something . We understood that he was referring to some jungle vehicle that takes 250 Rs to take us to the falls . We decided to turn back and figure it out. then no one was interested in the falls any more , because the woods itself was glorious and it was just nice to sit there and enjoy the sun.
Next on the route we went to Phantom Rock. It was a wild place , but it was nice to get a view of a mountain carved by nature's forces.
After a few snaps there we started towards Eddakal caves, the last point on the sightseeing. After reaching a certain point we had to go the rest of the way by jeep . We bought tickets separately and soon were jumping on the mountain road in a medieval version of a jeep . Reaching the caves we had to buy tickets again. What a cost we thought just to see some natural stuff. The caves were quite spectacular . Except the fact that we were not able to figure out if the writings drawings on the walls were of primitive man or our recent guests .
Anyways after a wonderful journey to the caves we started off towards Mysore. Catching the last glimpse of the Wayanad and Kerala.
See Kodalgallery for all photos.

P.S> We later found the driver charged us double for Friday night stating that whole night driving invites double charge. For us it was first time in our umpteenth journey in South India , but the first with this travels. Be careful is what the owls say.

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