Saturday, January 31, 2009

Part 3 – First stop: Pookod Lake

The journey to Wayanad was silent for most part; most of the guys continuing their sleep. I tried some photography in the moving vehicle and experimented with some settings on my camera. The ride uphill to Wayanad was similar to going uphill to Kodaikanal – I guess it was the same in most hill ; you keep going on a circular road with the one side being the slope of the mountain – the sight was awesome; nature at its best – unpolluted and clean. Our first stop before heading to our hotel was the Pookod lake.

The main attraction here was boating – three guys opted out while the remaining eight of us took four pedal boats and pedalled across the lake. Only after I started pedalling did I remember that dad had told me not to step into lakes and water – oops; in the midst of a gang you tend to forget things! Well, I marked in my mind that the next watery place we went to I should avoid the waters.
“Do not pluck flowers. Fine is Rs.50 per flower. Haha – where do you have flowers in this area!”
“And they will count the flowers you have in hand for the fine!”
As we pedalled away I asked, “Santanu, do you know swimming?”
I shouted across at Prabhu and Kumar in the other boat, “How about you both?”
Neither did they!
“Oh Kumar won’t have a problem – his body will automatically float!”
As we pedalled to the extreme end of the lake we discovered the flowers; there were a few water lilies on the lake. It was quite an exercise for twenty minutes for our legs to start the day – pedalling a boat is not as easy as it seems!

“Hey, there is an aquarium”
“Yuck; I’m not coming; it will stink there” someone commented.
“We’ve come all the way so we might as well see everything around”
“They have an entrance fee for it; Rs.2 per head”
“We’ll do one thing – two of us will go and see what is inside; then the rest can follow if it is good”.
I volunteered to go in first. We stepped into an old room where a few fishes were swimming in separate glass tanks – the place was not maintained and there were only a few varieties inside. It wasn’t long before Vasanth and everyone entered the aquarium.
“Why did all of you come? There is nothing great inside”
“You guys never gave any status update and so we all decided to come in”

Jabradamus was our guide and explained to us about some of the fishes that he knew: the cleaner fish, in each tank, was a black fish that always appeared lazy and stuck its mouth to the glass sides. Then there was the cat fish, then there was a particular fish that kept biting at another fish’s tail, then there was the fish that was supposed to play with people – you move your finger and it would move along with you. But unfortunately here, either the fish was fed up with playing with visitors or it was frightened by Vasanth! It actually went into hiding when Vasanth surprised it by popping his face straight at it.

Finally before leaving the lake we took snaps of some flowers. Another 40 minutes drive and we were in our hotel room – 4 rooms for the 11 of us. All rooms had a TV. Santanu and me shared a room. The rooms were decent with an attached bathroom. After freshening up the plan was to drive up to Eddaikal Caves where we would have lunch. After visiting the caves, we would go to a waterfall and then return back to the hotel – I reminded myself that I shouldn’t enter the water when we go there.

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