This was my first holiday after nearly four years. Canceling a much anticipated plan, i decided to go to Wayanad, i can’t say if it was worth more than the other plan for reasons not so obvious. Anyway, five of us left on a hired cab on Friday evening from work. This trek was in summer, May 2007.
After a few hours drive we reached Gundlupet. An hour drive from Gundlupet to Sulthan Bathery was mesmerizing. The drive was on the highway through the forest, beside the Muthanga wild life sanctuary. We could spot a couple of wild elephants, and soon we stopped for tea near a check post. We could hear a growl over the thick bamboo trees on either side of the road, may be that of a hungry tiger around. :)
We had reserved a room in Sulthan Bathery, we could not get any room nearer to Chembra estates due to some police conference in Kalpetta. Reached Sulthan Bathery by midnight, checked into a not-so-good room. None of us were impressed. Since we didn’t have to stay there for long, we didn’t mind and just hit the bed. Next day was the trek to the Chembra peak. Left the room by 6 am, and reached the Chembra estate after having breakfast in a local restaurant at 7:30 am. On the way we collected a letter of permission from the forest department to let us trek. The tea estate was vast and beautiful, nothing like i had seen in Ooty or any other place. The drive to the estate from was on very narrow and steep road.
We started the trek by 8 approximately, walking through the estate clicking few snaps. The first stop was suppose to be at a lake after trekking for about 4kms. This was a little taxing, taking few micro breaks we reached the heart shaped lake. A deer carcase was remaining, a tiger’s kill we were told by a local, we had hired. Took a small break, and were on our way to the peak.
The pic on the right shows me reaching first at the lake, and the one below shows the beautiful landscape of the Chembra. The serene atmosphere with a cool breeze in the sun, was an uncanny experience and we being the only group to trek at that time made the trek more enjoyable. An escape from the crowded city.
We continued on our way, the path was much steeper and the view was breathtaking. Nikes and Woodlands made no difference, the local trekked with ease on chapple, and we struggled. The landscape was amazing, and the cool breeze kept us going. The photos are no match to the experience we had. After about 4 hours since we started we were at the top, only three of us reached this place. Savoring the moments for a couple of minutes, we started the ascent, catching up with the other two. The ascent would take much lesser time, but for one who has fear in walking down steep. :)
We were at the watch tower in a few hours time. The cool wind was blowing hard, the anemometer was rotating in full speed. Resting there for a few minutes, we were back to the car, heading to Pookot lake by 4:30pm. This ended the trek to Chembra peak. Here are a few beautiful images we clicked at Chembra and Pookot lake.
‘Tea leaves, standing out from the herd‘
‘Water lilly, pretty pink‘
‘Row boats at Pookot lake, want a ride?‘