Kerala 2018 Thekkady and Thattekad

Just back from a week-long trip of Kerala. We left on a Monday quite unusual day to start a trip, always there is something new to do. We left home at 4:10 AM and b'cos of that we had almost zero traffic in crossing Bangalore city and every toll both we did had any queue and by 7:30 we reached Salem and stopped for Breakfast. Post breakfast we had to cross Salem and by 12ish we are in the border of Tamil Nadu & Kerala. We had to drive through Thani, Cumbummettu as direct road to Thekkady via Gudalur was closed from recent rain and flood of Kerala.

Just before our journey, there was a RED alert for a new cyclone which was later withdrawn but we did get rains first 2 days b'cos of that.

We stayed in Club Mahindra Thekkady for 3 nights. We did not do any homework before this trip and overreaching there realized all forest walks were off limit for Aarush as he is not yet 12 years old.
I did one jungle walk the next day (Tuesday) with one guide alone as there no other guests but it was in a way good as he dedicated all his time to spot birds for me. Post that we drove all way to Vagamon (I ran an 80KM Ultra this year) so wanted to show Pamela and Aaarush the scenic Suicide Point. While driving we crossed many tea garden and coffee estate and spice gardens. Evening we saw a Kathakali performance.

1500KM Round Trip
Wednesday Morning, we as a family did the boat ride in Periyar and saw many more birds. But October is not the best season as the best season starts from November to February when many migratory birds also come there. Around noon we drove till Gavi point, but we were the only tourist there so could not do much. That evening for the first time it did not rain :)

Thursday, we started from Thekkady in the early morning and headed for Munnar to witness Neelakurinji. These wildflowers only come once in 12 years but due to heavy rain the picture perfect moment was not there. But we had to drive again and headed to Thattekad (Salim Ali bird sanctuary). We did a night walk with our guide and spotted Great-eared Nightjar.

Friday, we did we moring bird watch but rain from the beginning of the week was not helpful as even though the weather was better we could not spot many birds.

Post birding we decided to move back to Bangalore and started from there around 12 Noon.

After 3 stops along the route, we reached home post-midnight, traffic within Bangalore was not a welcoming one as it took almost an hour to cross (in)famous Madiwala junction.

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