Sunrise through Sunset in Wayanad
Tint of gold on shades of green, smell of moist soil lingering post rain, deep hue sunsets, witnessing a Sambar deer on my morning run to being awe stuck watching a snake make way through the woods, playing Holi at the Zostel to listening old melodies by the bonfire… Wayanad got this.
I planned Wayanad trip for the long weekend of Holi, had read about Zostel Wayanad and thought of giving it a try. So took a sleeper bus from Bangalore and reached Kalapetta, Wayanad at 5:30 am, from there Zostel is about 16 km. in Meppadi, I took an auto till the Zostel. Being a tourist place auto driver knows the surrounding (it’s safe to travel at this time, however trust your instincts). I reached there on Friday and stayed in for 4 days and it went by rather quickly. First day was easy, getting to know the surrounding and exploring the property, walking about in the neighborhood.
Zostel is built in an 800-acre tea estate, the place was originally a govt. hospital and has a lot of character and charm. There is a tree house within the property and a place for bonfire, one can witness sunrise from the property while enjoying their morning cuppa. I walked around the property went up to the foothill of Mepaddi town for lunch. Naduvath is a restaurant at the foothills and is a Kerala meal place, I had most of my meals there barring few which I left to try out other meal places at Kalapetta. All the meal places have good Kerala food, and are value for money.
One of my favorite memory, was spotting of the black elegant 6 feet snake, it was on my way to Meppadi town, at one of the “U” pin turns at noon; similar situation was when I was running in the morning towards the sunrise point and saw a Sambar deer 20 feet away from me, gazing into my eyes and then took its course in the wilderness. Its lovely to experience how we coexist with nature and feel vulnerable at the same time, I’m not sure who was more scared.
There are many sunrise spots in this region however, when I was in Wayanad mornings were cloudy and thus it was more of a hike to any sunrise point, enjoy the nature and return. One such point is 2 kms from Zostel, its close to the Bungalow, near Chembra peak. The trek at Chembra peak is closed due to forest fires.
Nellarachal is a spot you can’t miss, if you love sunsets. It’s a peninsula surrounded by Karapuzha river and mountains in the backdrop, I was fortunate to witness football match at the bank of the river, it was picturesque. The route to Nellarachal is equally serene and green. Another place you can visit while in Wayanad is Lakkidi, the view of the town from there is spectacular.
You will cross few villages on your way to Lakkidi, it is a delight to watch a game of football by the locals on the way, especially when the weather is by your side. Evenings we spent catching up with the inmates at Zostel, post dinner there was bonfire and music. Zostel Wayanad is like a community, you meet people from all over the world share stories, have a good laugh and move on with your everyday day. It’s advisable to rent a vehicle when you are in Wayanad, Royal brothers, is the only rental vendor there and easily accessible online. They can make you wait as they have their monopoly and generally work on their whims and fancies. Well, a bit of waiting never harmed anyone 😊
Personally, Wayanad was a treat for me to catch up with people, sharing stories, listening to music and slowing down.