Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Pachakanam Trip - When Cell Phones And Internet Became Old World!

It was out of a random conversation one late night that the Pachakanam trip ideated. A friend has a plantation estate there, the boys had been there a couple of times and when the idea of going for a trip came up, the most popular choice was, of course, Pachakanam. In between, a lot of other places came up, but finally we stuck to Pachakanam itself.

Since we were short of time and the place was booked over the weekend too, we decided to do a 1 night 2 days trip during the Gandhi Jayanthi long weekend. We were 12 of us and we started off from Trivandrum early in the morning on the 1st of October in three cars. 

Throughout the journey, a couple of us, 'the perpetually hungry teams', ensured that we had sufficient pit stops for food breaks.The first of the stop was at the Indian Coffee House due to the sudden craving for the Bombay Toast. As we munched on these triangle beauties and tried to analyse the difference between the Bombay Toast and the French Toast (we didn't find any!), we reached a favourite among the boys - Janardhana Hotel, an old shack kind of place with two tables and benches, serving the good old 'Pazhankanji' with curd, chutney, pickle and fish curry. The initial apprehension of having pazhankanji amongst a few of us were wiped off completely as soon as we had the first mouthful of this goodness. After a few more pit stops for changing cars, loo breaks, buying snacks and picking up a friend enroute, funny conversations and some crazy driving moments later, we reached Pachakanam by afternoon. 

The beauty of the place is mind-blowing and I fell in love with it more when I saw the pictures. Lunch awaited us - Rice, Moru, Beans Mezhukkuvaratti, Cabbage Thoran, Fish Fry and Pothirachi, which was lipsmackingly good. Fresh produce, simple food and hunger - all added to the taste and none of us could stop eating.

After a small break we set off to enjoy the plantation and the scenic beauty. A few off-roading sessions (at one point, I did pray hard and thought of my little boy) later, we reached a beautiful stream right in the middle of the road. We played in the water until dusk and it was time to head back to the bungalow - along with the leeches that were persistent (and successful) in getting onto our bodies and sucking the blood out.

As the night set in, the barbeque was set up and we sat outside the bungalow chatting and enjoying the weather and the mist. We spent the night playing dumb charades - after a long long time and how fun it was!, and having random discussions on the current affairs. After dinner (the best flaky parottas after a long time!), as one by one bid good night, the remaining few of us sat and talked about random stuff through the night and almost until the break of dawn.

The next day we woke up to a droolworthy breakfast of Appam, Egg Roast and Cardamom Infused Coconut Milk. The highlight definitely has to be that coconut milk - so full of flavour from the fresh cardamom plucked from the plantation. We then headed towards a private waterfalls within the estate and spent a good few hours there splashing water on each other, taking a good dip in the water and standing under the waterfalls. Soon, it was time to head back home after yet another amazing lunch.

The best part of the whole trip was, since there was no network coverage, mobile phones were  completely forgotten. We spent time together enjoying and living the moment, making memories, and totally cut out from the rest of the world - no facebook to check, no instagram to post, no whatsapp messages to send and no phone calls to be made. Just the twelve of us and the present to enjoy!

By the end of the trip, the one night stay felt too little a time to spend there. None of us wanted to head back home too soon. But sadly, we had to pack up and head back, already dreaming about the next time.

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