Guest Post by My Mom – R. Jayanthy
It’s Wednesday. I wake up at 4 am as usual and then remember today’s much-awaited trip to Yercaud. Gradually, a feeling of excitement spreads all over me. I find my daughter is also awake. I try checking if everything is packed for the trip. We need to take shawls, cardigans, and polyester tops. I find some things are left out, so I put in those. I shower and get dressed. The cab is already here.
We drop all our suitcases and get in. There is warm sunshine as the sun has just risen – Promises of a sunny day and a pleasant journey. We start the drive. The city has not woken up. Homes and shops are closed. I see a very large egret beat its wings and fly away from the large lake created due to heavy rains. There is green vegetation and lilac-colored flowers fully covering another lake formation. Aishwariya suddenly spots a deer inside the thick woods. On closer inspection, we can see a family of deer. A stag with antlers, a small doe, and a baby deer.
We move on and start speeding towards the G.S.T Road. It’s free of traffic, so we reach Maraimalainagar within 40 min. We whizz through at high speed and reach the bypass road after passing through Chengalpet, Palar, etc.
I doze off in the pleasant weather. When I wake up, it’s time for breakfast at Hotel Aishwarya. We have tasty and crisp vada and dosa with tea. The drive continues and I find a lot of casuarina groves. There are green meadows and fields. As we reach Kallakurchi, there are signs of good schools and civilization. We take a tea break in the A2B restaurant. As we continue our journey, we reach Salem with its markets and green hills on the side. Suddenly, there is a drop in the temperature as we reach the foothills of Yercaud.
We see the lovely and mysterious hills of Eastern Ghats with clouds resting on them all around. Slowly, the uphill drive starts. The cool winds get even more refreshing. We pass the first hairpin bend, which is followed by more hairpin bends. We can see the tall silver oak trees, with the pepper plants twining all around them. As we go up, the fragrance of eucalyptus gives a therapeutic touch. There are some tall pine trees and thick vegetation everywhere. Suddenly, we hear a gurgling sound. There’s a fresh-water brook going downhill. We also come across a small temple. Pretty soon, we reach our resort. After resting for a bit, we make our way to Pagoda Point to get the most gorgeous view.
Day Two starts bright and early. We drive down to the botanical garden and another garden where boating is done. We see a lot of colorful plants like hydrangeas, roses, etc. The pine trees add an exotic touch. The well-kept lawns look lush and green. After lunch, we go to Peeku Park. It’s got some domesticated animals and an aviary. The aviary has many types of bantams and doves. There’s a duck pond, emus, a husky dozing off in the noon sun, etc. There is a closed area with friendly birds that you can feed and take photos of as they perch on you. Brightly colored birds, macaws, and hornbills are present. Some of them screech and cry out harshly.
Feeding Birds at Peeku Park
On day Three, we go to a temple inside the hill – a cave temple of sorts. We also drive to Ladies’ Seat and indulge in some shopping for oils, spices, soaps, and chocolates. We return to Pagoda Point later, which is misty.
On Day Four, I look out the balcony, and the sky is lit. I enjoy the view of the tall trees and their yellow flowers. The mist rises and spreads over the trees. I put on my walking shoes and join my husband for a morning walk. There is a nursery nearby with interesting plants and we pick up a few. There are many indoor plants like anthurium, peace lily, etc. The poinsettia plant looks pretty with colorful bracts. There are a variety of cacti in very small pots. The hanging pots with flowers look lovely.
We then pack up our luggage. The drive downhill starts with sunny skies. As we go downhill, the hairpin bends are back. The roads are empty except for some lone bikers. We soon reach the foothills. It takes us six hours to get back to Chennai.