After debating forever if we shd opt for the weekend getaway, we decided to go for it. This time the Arien was insistent that we relax, not take the car, and have a gr8 holiday. I was very sure we wud have a hectic holiday as usual. So, I was pretty surprised tht the Arien had booked train tickets to Salem. Well, wonders will never cease…
We were taking the 6 am Ernakulam Express from Cantonement. The Arien was pretty surprised tht I did not dilly-dally as usual. Well, the funda was pretty simple – the train wud leave without us and so I was ready on time 🙂 I cannot recall much of the journey frm B’lore to Salem as we spent most of the time catching up on sleep and so we were pleasantly surprised to reach Salem. When we got off, the first thing tht we noticed was tht it was ridiculously warm. We walked into a local restuarant and ordered lunch only to find out that it was only 11 am – Naashtha time!! We had assumed it was 1 pm b’cos it was so warm. After a quick snack, we decided to get to the new bus-stand from where we cud get a bus to Yercaud. In full-enthu mode, the Arien opted to take the local bus frm the rlwy station to the new bus-stand. I was not so sure until he told me tht the diff bet. the prices was a cool 36 bucks. Hmmm.. well, why not?! It was quite similar to our Swamy malai local bus trip. We then boarded the bus to Yercaud. It grew steadily cool and soon we were feeling a lot less crabby 🙂
GRT Nature Trails came up at the 20th hairpin bend and we were real glad to see it. We had to wait arnd 15 – 20 mts as the room was not ready. I was not too happy ’bout tht. When we finally walked into our room, it was totally worth the wait. The room was fab with an amazing view of distant Salem from the french windows, a decently stocked mini-bar (no alcohol), a gr8 bathroom ( sooo imp for a nice, lazy holiday) and we were so thrilled at this tht we forgot to tip the bell boy 😦
After admiring the room a lil longer – we decided to get freshened up. Wen we were both finally ready – it was 4:15. We decided to explore the hotel. It was lovely. I felt tht it wud look lovelier later at nite. When we finally came downstairs, the lady at the reception informed us tht all sight-seeing spots were open only until 5:30 pm and we realized with a shock that it was nearly 5:15. She also informed us that we cud rent their Indigo for half a day at Rs. 700/- Tht seemed steep to me considering tht most places were arnd 2-5 kms frm the hotel. We decided to walk to Yercaud, chk out the distances, and then plan our holiday. I changed to floaters and we got going.
It was a good walk. We visited the Mahindra restuarant near the boat house, had amazing Chai and snacks and it was 7 when we returned to GRT. It was pretty dark by then and the Arien was a lil tense ’bout our looong walk but pretended otherwise till we reached. We had dinner at their restuarant on the top floor, Salem Heights. The food was ok – not as impressive as the place. Thanks to the snack at Mahindra, we were not very hungry.
After dinner, we took snaps at their very impressive Skywalk – with the swirling mist and Salem was all but hidden at that height. Someone from the hotel had informed us ’bout a sight seeing spot that was visible from our room, known as the Lady’s Seat, which was also invisible – thanx to the mist. The Arien has this tendency to start sneezing when it gets cold and the moment he started to sneeze, we knew we had to head back. We picked up “Bheja Fry” from the in-house DVD collection. They had quite a few ole tamil movies, some new hindi movies, and a few others. Not a very impressive collection. The walk from the resturant to the boathouse had actually tired so much tht we actually fell asleep as soon as we reached the room and the DVD was completely forgotten. We planned to start early the next day and so better… Yawnnn!! …. get to …. Yawn!!! …. sleep as…. Zzzzz… Gud Nite!! For the first time it was indeed a totally relaxing day.