From backwaters to the rich tropical jungle, Kerala has a lot to offer. Each day of Kerala Blog Express 3.0 meant a new discovery of Kerala. On the 8th day of the trip, our bus dropped us at the last accessible point to reach the Suryanelli Camp, Munnar. Jeeps transported us to Suryanelli Camp Munnar, a campsite furnish with 16 glamping tents, comfortable mattresses and sleeping bags. As soon as we arrived, the manager briefed us about our stay as well as the trekking to Pappathy Shola (Butterfly Forest).
We kept our bags in our respective tents and hurried to the main gazebo for light warm-up. The sun rose high and the heat prickled on the skin, but we left Suryanelli Camp for the Pappathy Shola trek with enthusiasm. I started to sweat profusely during the first ascent of the hike where we could see the Anaerangal Lake. Some of the bloggers made it as far as the first viewpoint.
As I panted for air, I turned back to see Suryanelli Camp.
We took pictures of the breathtaking views at the last resort on top the hill before we continued walking towards the jungle. Our guide, Shadeeb Khamarudheen started to urge us to fasten our pace because we ran out of time. What a good timekeeper he was. More and more views unfolded as we ascended. I could not help but took pictures more than enough. Shadeeb took pictures of me before screaming his lung as I approached the edge of the rocky hill. Loose rock and safety first, he said. All of the beautiful pictures were taken with some risks attached.
My trekking mate was Katerina Vasou from the Golden Wing Diary. She is a beauty with rapunzel braid. She is Cyprus!
One hour on end of switchbacks and rolling mountain terrains, we reached a vast field at the edge of a hill slope. Shadeeb announced that we could stop for a break to enjoy the stunning view and gather the momentum for the next leg of the trekking.
A view of Pappathy Shola
Franzi and Brit and their yoga pose.
The plains were dry and the greens turned into hues of saturated beige-yellow colour. With lesser trees sheltering our trek, the sun burnt and toned down the skin. After 30 minutes break or so, we continued our journey into the shrubland of cardamon trees and wild plants and savannah.
The second viewpoint which was also the highest point, offered the most stunning view of all. From atop, I could see a unique formation of plantations. At first, I thought it was in the shape of butterfly to coincide with the name of Butterfly trek. I was later told it had nothing to do with the name of the trek. The butterflies can be spotted along the trek if we were to trek in the early morning. Too bad we started to trek at 10a.m.
Before leaving the second viewpoint, Shadeeb asked us to put away our cameras and phones and embraced the nature for 1 minute. Everything felt silent as we consumed ourselves with natural sound. Although the request was awkward at first, the 1-minute silence gave peace to my mind. I once read nature has a way to release stress. How true…
Our journey continued.
There was a traditional village with houses painted in a light purple paint. Heavy sand bags on top of the rooftops prevented the roofs from being flown by the heavy winds. According to the crew members, the villagers spoke in a dialect not common even among the Keralites.
I managed to get close to a local woman who was cutting the woods.
After walking for so long, I became weary. I had no choice but to keep pushing myself to continue walking until I heard the sound of a stream and a commotion. We were having a picnic by the stream! The food was delicious.
The crew made a makeshift toilet for our convenience. Yay! Safest way to answer nature call.
After lunch, I noticed the number of trekkers reduced significantly by half. They took the 4wd back to Suryanelli Camp Munnar. The remaining few continued walking back to Suryanelli Camp Munnar.
At night, we had bonfire and BBQ dinner under starry skies. It was the first night we were hosted in the same place.
If you are interested in glamp & trek in Munnar, keep in touch with Kalypso Adventures.