"Munnar?! But why?" Nine out of ten people exclaimed almost in a similar fashion when we told them about our honeymoon destination. We must say it was something short of a Herculean task to convey the thought to them that Ruby & I planned it as a trip for knowing each other rather than exploring the place! Not always did our efforts meet success and we're sure a bunch of them still think we made a wrong decision.
The convinced lot then had reservations about the time of year we planned to visit one of the most beautiful terrains in Southern part of India in the state known as God's own country. Mid December as per many was the most ridiculous time to visit Munnar. We heard them, but listening obviously does not come so naturally… :)
Kallada Travels, the transport service provider, promised to take us to Munnar but did a sly act of dropping us at Kattapana, a place two hours from Munnar. They arranged for a smaller vehicle to Munnar town from there. The unloading and loading was undoubtedly troublesome. Ruby being used to comfortable travelling couldn't endure much of the winding Ghats and an ominous picture of a hospital bed was looming large over our honeymoon dreams!
Finally, after a total travel time of twelve hours we reached the town of Munnar. The place we were heading was a resort named Camp Noel which was another forty kms from Munnar. It was in a village named 'Pazhathottam'. The resort people sent a vehicle to pick us up from the town and after an hour long drive we reached the location. Thirty kilometers stretch had proper roads and the remaining ten was virtually like climbing the hills on an SUV. In fact Camp Noel takes pride in advertising this in its website as an attraction. I'm sure it definitely is, to the hoards of foreign tourists who come visiting from a land where they've dictionaries without the word 'pothole' :)
All these and many other worries were totally wiped off, with smiling faces that received us at the entrance of the resort. The very first feeling was that these guys are smiling, not because they are trained, but they are genuine about that lovely gesture. Something unique, something different in the current world of extreme commercialization!
The weather was absolutely wonderful and we took a minute to appreciate the beauty of the entire place. Camp Noel is situated in the middle of a valley surrounded by hills on all sides. You can see layers of hills far and beyond which add to the beauty of the area. There was a club house which had the restaurant, a badminton court, a green house and the office. 8 cottages aesthetically placed with a well calculated distance that separated them made the picture perfect!
We were offered one of the most scenic cottages, which definitely added to our joy. Shortly after that we were escorted to our cottage. A refreshing bath followed by a lunch served in our room and a lovely nap made us feel fresh by evening. The 'hospital bed' was replaced by a warm and cozy bed, thankfully!
We did learn a lot about each other! The learning was so much that by the end of 3 days we learned the power of silence! :)
PS: The second place we visited was Tea Valley Resort. The website and their promise seemed out-of-the-world, but the place was so sad that I don't even feel like jotting down anything about it!