The trip to Yercaud was a grab whatever you can and the baby, pile into the car and go, kind of trip. To be honest I had little or no knowledge of where Yercaud was and what I could expect once there. The drive from Bangalore to Yercaud was amazing with the sun and the clouds flirting by themselves as monsoon was just setting in and the highways in Tamil Nadu are unlike anywhere else in the country.
The highways in Tamil Nadu I feel should have their own prose and poetry written about them by every travel enthusiast who has driven on them but I will save that for another post. We reached mango dotted Salem in record time and took a break for lunch at Ponrams which is known for Dindigul biriyani and other non veg specialties! The road to Yercaud is winding and full of drastic hair pin bends which make the mountain ranges stand apart from the flat hot plains of Salem.
We reached around noon at Yercaud on a bright sunny day, we decided to go to the lake in the middle of the hill station which gives Yercaud its name of lake in the forest. Vendors sold aromatic fried snacks and cows ambled lazily around the expanse of the lake. We were acquainted with the vacillating nature of the mountain when the fair weather saw black storm clouds rolling in. We were happily peddling away on the peddle boat when the heavens opened up inorder to test our leg muscles as we peddled as hard as we could as our toddler sat wedged between us. To be honest, the experience of the sudden downpour and the lake changing its nature from inviting to tumultuous was quite scary!
We managed to get back in one piece and got into the car drenched and drove back to the hotel were we had booked for the night. As we reached the newly laid road to our hotel which was on top of the hill, we were greeted by a river in its stead. The rain poured down the mountain taking the road along with it and our car just could not possibly drive up the river/ road. After waiting and trying for two hours we parked the car there and walked up to the hotel.
Needless to say we were quite exhausted with this entire adventure and decided to call it a night and order in room service. The food at Yercaud was one thing that made the entire trip quite exiting. That night we dined on tribal dishes of moongil biriyani which is biriyani baked inside bamboo and kaliman (claypot) varuval chicken curry. The food was a big high for us and a worthy reward.
The next day we saw the sun rise from our temporary mountain abode amidst the mist and the vastness of the forests while Salem below slowly woke up to the left over light that the mountain sends its way. Our next destination was Killiyur Falls which is pretty if only people were more considerate and did not leave behind wafer wrappers, used diapers and other man made waste that spoils the beauty of this lovely exclusive mountain with hidden secrets.
The short weekend getaway to Yercaud was rejuvenating and gave us the dash of adventure that will be sharp memory for all of us including the kid who came back and narrated the incident when the river swallowed the road and the car got stuck thus proving that travel does make one a story teller!