It has been a long hiatus. A short vacation with family, cozy dinners and sweet gatherings- I have enjoyed the short break. A fun filled trip to the Crown of Shervaroys and I feel rejuvenated and reborn! Yercaud- a quaint, picturesque hill station with moderate climate and greenery abound. Though secretly my hot favorite for the trip was Kodaikanal, with all its rolling meadows and cold streams, i had to settle down for Yercaud, due to the milder winter climate that favored the husband.
With the whole family converging at Salem, we took the drive to Yercaud anticipating hair pin bends and bad roads, as is the norm for every hill station in Tamil Nadu. Surprisingly, the drive of 45 minutes from Salem was smooth, roads well cared for and traffic much less as we climbed more. By the time we reached the sign board "Yercaud" came the hotel that i had ticked for lunch- GRT's Salem Heights. The non vegetarian buffet was great, with an ecstatic view of the mountains and the valley below forming a romantic backdrop. Round after round after round, i kept refilling my plate until husband dear had to caution me of my forgotten 'diet' and i hood winked him by my usual "only one more" dialogue!
|Sky walk at GRT Salem Heights, Yercaud|
|The family at Sky Walk, Yercaud|
The glass sky walk of GRT is a thrilling experience for the kids and those kids at heart like me...ahem..! Loitering around the place and ignoring the "when are you guys going to leave" looks from the restaurant staff, we managed to stroll, run, roll and jump all over the place. From there we went directly to the lake. The lake is definitely a dampener, not much like the Kodai lake or Ooty's lake, a smaller one with boats almost rubbing one another for want of space. We made a very intelligent decision of not taking pedal boats...i can still remember my brother's face when he said- " No pedal boats puleeezzz!" A hefty meal always does that to you. We went a small round around the small lake rowed by a boat man who looked all work and no fun.
By the time we checked in at the Waterfall Cafe's Homestay near Kiliyur Falls, we were bone tired. Nestled on a hill top, over looking the valley below, the place is too picturesque to be true.We had booked all the rooms and it was kids and slugs running all over the place! A hearty dinner served by the homestay, we were ready for the bonfire. A small "Happy Get together" cake cut by my little nephew and the party rolled on. We laughed, taunted each other, smiled and laughed again...until the last embers died.
|View of brook and estate from the Waterfall Cafe's Homestay|
|Ajit Homestay- serene location|
The next morning we were taken on a small trek- the whole family with kids to a private waterfall inside the resort, snaking through the coffee plantation and thick forest. The trek was awesome and so was the waterfall that we came across. The ice cold water and slippery rocks...it was all fun till i entered the pool. And hearing my shrieks, the whole place went still...God, such icy icy cold water!
|The private waterfall|
The trek back was lovely, exploring the property of nearby estate and running back, few beautiful clicks and cool breeze ruffling my hair. Luckily the Second Season's flower show was arranged that day at Anna Park and we decided to go visit the place. Nothing much to boast, but we were lucky enough to spot a live flowering Kurinji plant!
|Flower arrangement at Flower Show, Yercaud|
|Kurinji plant- the plant that blooms once in 12 years!|
The decorations and floral arrangement were awesome and after a quick look, it was time for lunch at Hotel Shervaroys. Though crowded, we managed to dive into another non vegetarian buffet, much to the chagrin of husband dear! And was laughing my head off when daughter dear got pecked by a turkey in the hotel's garden!
And then we went quadbiking near the Grange resort. The charges are exorbitant, but the thrill is worth it. And as promised by homestay owner Mr Ajit, we went to a small herbarium and had a glimpse of lemon grass, peppermint plant and mountain tulsi. The family of Mr Ramesh Singh produce and sell a wide variety of natural oils and we bought lemon grass oil, citiodora oil and gulkand.
|Pepper mint shrub|
Then started our adrenaline pumping drive at the back of Mr Ajit's jeep. Riding atop a jeep on hill section, standing and letting the wind whizz through your ears and blood drumming is a real thriller. And when we spotted herds of bison, we went giddy with happiness. The sunset view point inside a private estate was a beauty. Washed by the setting sun and surrounded by laughter of kids and family...what more can one ask for?
|At the sunset point|
The teak forest that is 20 kms away is a lovely forest untouched by civilisation and the calm surrounding the place is soothing. The drive back the next morning was peaceful and so were we, after a great family get together :)