It’s been little over a month Vritima’s school has started. (Here’s our last blog on Vritima’s First day of school – School Chalein Hum, in case you have missed it). And despite how the 2 year COVID hiatus has had it’s share of impact on all of us, let alone kids, she has adjusted in school much better than our expectations.
We know it wasn’t easy for her to get in to the routine of waking up so early, get ready, take the bus and go to school on daily basis. But she slowly settled with the routine. Just like how we need a break from our hectic work-life schedule, we felt she too deserves a break. So we decided to reward her with a weekend getaway to Wayanad. Well, honestly, this reward for her was actually an excuse for us to take a break from city’s hustle-bustle. We didn’t want any sightseeing or explore any tourist places, instead, we just wanted a lazy, doing nothing, leisure time.
We booked 1 night stay each at Orchid Trails Resort and Cocoon Royale Home Stay – both contrasting in terms of ambience, habitat, stay, comfort and food. Orchid Trails is a well maintained resort with in-house restaurant, swimming pool, indoor/outdoor activities etc. Whereas Cocoon Royale is a small stay on the banks of river Kabini, perfect for a leisure time with not many activities or anything, the only challenge was food as they don’t have in-house food options. For any small food requirement, they have to get it from outside (~8-10 km far). But each one had it’s own charm and we did enjoy the stay at both places.
Vritima was super excited at the thought of the trip (picnic in her words). She loves jungles, hills, rivers, basically everything related to nature. Afterall she is our daughter. There is a proverb in Gujarati – મોરના ઈંડા ચીતરવા ના પડે (Mor na inda chitarva na pade). Which briefly translates – you don’t need to paint the peacock eggs to get colorful hatchlings. My grandfather and my dad, both served in Forest Department. And throughout my childhood, I have travelled with my dad on his forest tours which is why I am fascinated with forests, nature and wildlife. Hence, her love for nature is definitely in her genes – passed on from 3 generations.
So we started on Friday early morning from Bangalore. The route is full of scenic landscapes that varies from beautiful Sunflower fields (Gundlupete – Bandipur stretch), thick forest of Bandipur National Park to vast rice fields, coconut and coffee plantations in Wayanad. We stopped by the sunflower fields, Vritima was mesmerized to see the big, bright yellow sunflowers and honeybees hovering over them, We took an opportunity to teach her how the sunflowers always face the sun, and she walked across the whole farm to confirm all of the flowers were facing sun.
We then continued our journey towards Wayanad. While passing through the Bandipur National Park, Vritima enjoyed sighting deer, monkeys, various birds. She also enjoyed listening to different jungle sounds and playing guessing game. It’s never a boring journey when travelling with a curious, enthusiastic preschooler. She kept bombarding us with her questions (typical what’s, why’s and how’s) throughout the journey.
Finally we reached Orchid’s Trail, checked-in, and settled in our rooms. We were a little tired but not Vritima. She’s literally a live-wire when it comes to energy and enthusiasm. We didn’t have much to do anyway so we spent the late afternoon at poolside, enjoying the beautiful weather. There is a stream of river flowing on one side and they have benches, swing and small hut where you can relax. We relished hot tea and fritters with light drizzle, chirping birds and cicadas buzzing.
Vritima is one curious soul, observes small details and has a knack for finding unusual things which we adults usually don’t pay attention to. While we were busy with fritters & tea, she noticed some movements up in the trees. We thought it might be monkeys, but to our surprise, it was a Malabar Giant Squirrel. That for sure was a rare sighting as we don’t get to see this beautiful species everyday. With that Malabar Giant Squirrel disappearing high in the woods, we headed for the sumptuous dinner and called it a day. Here’s a video of the elusive squirrel.
Next day, Vritima was up even before us, we were too lazy to wake up so early with cool weather and light drizzle outside. But Vritima was in no mood to let us sleep, she jumped on us, tickling and shouting to wake us up. In no time, she was already out of the cottage continuing her quest for other bugs, insects and animals. Her keen eyes spotted some Centipedes, Snails, Beetles, freshwater crab and even some fishes in the river stream. She had hundreds of questions for every little bug & insect she found. We happily answered them. A little dose of General Knowledge is always good.
We had few hours to kill before heading to the next destination. Vritima decided to make her picnic memorable and told me: ‘Dad, let’s take a video of me showing around this beautiful place. I can show it to all my friends and everyone.’ So here’s the vlog of Vritima showing the beautiful Orchid Trails Resort. She has all the qualities to become a young content creator. Afterall she’s a daughter of a Digital Marketer super-mom. And as the Gujarati proverb goes – મોરના ઈંડા ચીતરવા ના પડે (you don’t need to paint the peacock eggs).
With that we conclude the part 1 of Vritima’s Travel Diaries. Hope you guys enjoyed reading and watching this. Stay tuned for Part – 2 !!!
Wonderful trip and wonderful family!!