Karapuzha Dam – Chembara Peak – Soochipura Falls
When we woke up, the Arien commented “For once, we shd go on a holiday where we jes relax.” I almost fell off the bed :D He believes in waking up early, getting ready and having an activity filled day. On the other hand, I am the queen of laziness. I believe in waking up late, getting ready in a relaxed manner which wud mean we can get going only at 12 pm or 2 pm on a holiday. B’cos tht gets the Arien in a bad temper, I attempt to get ready faster which means we can leave an hour later than wht we planned :D Knowing this history, I am sure you can understand why I almost fell off the bed at tht stmt.
First activity of the day was to visit the Karapuzha or Karapura Dam. It was a discoloured and totally unimpressive dam and we were pretty badly disillusioned. However, the view was simply spectacular. We tried shooting the scenery from various angles, with the two cameras and then stopped to jes stare. It was a warm day and so we did not feel like sitting n staring but if it had been a lazy evening – I am sure we wud have spent the entire evening there. While making enuf noise to scare anybdy headed in our direction, we interrupted an old couple who were cootchie-cooing at the base. They got up and left in a huff to go n sit arnd a small tree. We did not spend more than half an hour at Karapuzha dam.
The next stop was Chembara peak. We followed the road less travelled which was full of potholes and a steep incline. We reached Meppadi at 11:15. The plan was to visit the Chembara peak. Chembara peak is known as a Trekker’s Paradise and so I was tempted to try it. However, the Arien disagreed as the timing was skewed. A trek up Chembara peak was likely to take half a day and we reached the Vana Samrkshana Samithi only arnd 12. The drive to Chembara was supposed to be fantastic. Actually, it was like the Ghat section(the Mudumalai – Ooty stretch – only narrower) and the road almost liked a one-way. I was a lil worried as the Arien tends to drive a lil recklessly arnd these areas. However, watching the tea plantations and the ladies who pick the tea leaves kept me distracted. It was awesome.
When we reached the summit, we were told tht a grp of trekkers had jes left. We walked to the watch tower that was arnd 2 km away. After a dizzing climb, walking for 2km seemed a drag but the goal was always within sight and so we walked n walked n walked. When we reached the watch tower, we were stopped by a Security who insisted on accompanying us. I guess, he thot we may use his watch tower for cootchi-cooing. I was so embarrassed, I insisted we get going. The Arien can b pretty stubborn. He insisted on shooting snaps n paid no heed to my comments. We walked back to the car. Both of us were a lil tired. I was actually glad I had not insisted tht we trek :(
Our next stop for the day was Soochipura Falls also known as Sentinel Falls. Falls seemed a good way to relax after a particularly tiring day. We were in for a surprise. I am not sure if it was a surprise. When we reached Soochipura falls, it was going to b 2 pm. We were hungry but the Arien felt tht we wud not like to play in the water after a meal n so we decided to have fun n then have lunch. First shock was tht – to reach the falls we had to walk almost 2 km. Second, it seemed like a cobbled walkway and was supposed to b easy-going but turned out tht after 1.5 kms, akin to walking down Edakkal caves. It was pretty tiring. I decided not to climb down the rock formation to play in the water. The Arien was not sure if he shd go into the water by himself leaving me all alone but I insisted. After an hour of watching the Arien, I felt it was time to venture down. The Arien helped me climb down the slippery rock that literally had ledges for foot-rests but no man-made steps for me to place my foot. I did not step under the falls like a lot of other foolhardy folks, including the Arien. I stayed at a place frm where I cud get my legs wet while I cud keep my eyes out for arbid ppl. There were quite a few men folk staring n tht made me feel awfully self-conscious. We left at 4:30. It was a steep climb and I was dead tired n xtremely hungry by the time we made our way out of Soochipura Falls. The Arien remembered tht he had not had lunch. We wondered if it was fair to call it lunch considering the time – it was 5 pm. We had lunch (snack) at Kalpetta and considering tht we both have a sweet tooth, after lunch aka snack, we visited a bakery, Walnut Cakes at Kalpetta. I decided to stay in the car and the Arien got us sm yummy delights: Almond Rock and Chocolate Muffin. Both were absolutely delicious and we decided we shd stop there the next tm we are in Kalpetta. And then we got moving to SBY (Sultan Batherri).
We stopped for tea at a small Chai Stall. The chai was ok but very very hot. Bang opposite the chai stall was a huge Malabar Gold outlet. I teased the Arien tht it was time he got me sm gold gifts. He agreed but since we were only kidding, we did not go into the outlet. We opted to have dinner in the room and watched IPL (Royal Challengers Vs Delhi Daredevils). We did not stay up to see the end of the match n so I have no clue who won. By the time, the I Innings was complete, the Arien was snoring away n I was unable to keep my eyes open. It was as usual an interesting and hectic Day3. Tomorrow we planned to go to Vythiri, Lakkidi and the Pookot Lake. Zzzzzzz.