Monday 22 June 2020

The journey begins...


A pair of jeans and a couple of shirts for each and that was about all we needed for a weekend holiday in the forest! We were packed and ready to set out for the Rainforests of Athirappally. The location is just a comfortable drive from Kochi – not more than an hour and a half from the city. At 78 km from the most happening metro down south – Kochi – and 30 km from the bustling town of Chalakkudy, the place seemed to be too close to the rat-race civilization for us to actually expect something out of this world. As it turned out, we couldn’t have been more wrong really!

As we deviated eastward from Chalakkudy and gradually left the town, the traffic, the dust and the noise behind us, we could actually sense the world changing around us. We could hear a peaceful silence in the environment and smell a clean freshness in the air. And the views were so pleasantly distracting that the chatter in the car reduced to an excited hush as we gave in to the surrounding ambience.

We drove past unending stretches of oil palm plantations on the right, their cool shade tempting us to stop the car and take a stroll. On the left, there were hills plentifully covered by trees, their leaves reflecting shades of green and even splashes of yellow and brown thanks to the time of the year and the sweeping rays of the sun. Sometimes climbing up and at times dipping down like a casual stroke from a master painter’s brush, the road ahead of us twisted and turned around the dark groves on the right and the light green and brown hills on the left.

Further ahead, the palm groves gave way to a gurgling stream that had come prancing all the way down from Athirappally Waterfalls through the wilds, like a country belle, to catch the unsuspecting tourist unawares! Here, the hills on the left were more densely green, and we realised that we were moving closer to the forests.

Rainforest Resort nestled among the trees on the valley of a hill, facing the famous Waterfalls of Athirappally – the Niagara of Kerala. The restaurant, the pool, the room, the balcony and even the bed faced the waterfall. The surging waterfall made an enchanting backdrop whether you were having your lunch in the restaurant, or taking a dip in the most inviting pool that merged easily with the surrounding nature, or just relaxing in your room. You go to bed with the music of the falls singing a lullaby in your ears and you wake up to the most beautiful sight of the waterfall pouring itself almost into the backyard of the resort!

[Contd. as A jeep ride into the jungle]

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