Saturday, July 20, 2019

Family Vacation 2019 Ups and Down!

Don’t know why the vacation wasn’t exciting or to say there was something missed feeling throughout the stay but travel wise I enjoyed the trip and spending time in lap of mountains in company of birds and trees. It’s always a pleasure to stay at Smokey Haven, my uncle’s woodhouse and cottages at Thandikudi near Kodaikanal, where we spent our days with extended families from July 8 to 13. Since the inauguration of the resort in 2015, I continue to visit it at least once a year and I’m happy and thanks to my uncle for executing a project alike i.e. building a woodhouse in the vicinity of coffee estate and tall big trees helps me staying and enjoy an environment full of nature rich.  Anytime there would be a bird chirping outside but this time I felt a bit lesser sound of the birds and spotting birds has reduced too what I perhaps guess was migration! I know there are some little birds that migrate from Himalayas and it was the environment that console me lot as I felt down sometime.
Smokey  Haven Woodhouse and Cottages we stayed
Though we waked up early and began the journey, the most part of traveling (490km) went under scorching weather until climbing up the hill. Our car couldn’t produce enough cooling to the cabin, though we serviced the car before traveling it quite went out of gas when we switched on the AC on the return journey. We travelled in two cars and our 9 seater was occupied by 5 of us with boot space quite went for wheelchair, commode and luggage and the uncle’s Innova had other five since my uncle’s family was ahead of us in another car. Though we travelled together they speed up always leaving us far behind as we drive on moderate speed to help me balanced.  While traveling at two different speeds doesn’t bother me much unlike how it continues at the vacation period as well.  My uncle had built an additional woodhouse at their vicinity at a ground below the already exists, were all others stayed and we 5 including the grandmother stayed at the old woodhouse. It wasn’t the old or new mattered, but none came above to spare time with us and it felt like we came alone like how we travel last time to the same place.

Dad standing in front of Thandikudi village (beneath), picture shot from Balamurgan Temple come viewpoint
I was irritated lot to sit alone always, even though nature gives me company I felt lonely when all my dear ones were around not sharing. I haven’t felt this before while travelled as five and I would sit ideal watching birds and taking photos as it was my choice and nature of traveling, but as a family vacation mind thoughts about being together, sharing and having fun rather think about anything. I love exploring places and traveling but love double folds the family vacation or group traveling at least once a year to keep cherished throughout. As soon we come into the range of Thandikudi we all lost our Airtel network signal and I actually thought that it could be a mild fault in connecting, but the disappointment came hearing that Airtel network has stopped working there due to fall of tower! I know I haven’t gone there for networking and it didn’t bother me actually, instead only made feel happy that none will be looking into the smartphones so there would be more chances for sharing face-to-face but my cousins had another network to still connect and also hopping on and off in jeep. 

A moment together with family at the woodhouse deep inside woods
Though we expected rain in the mountains, as monsoon already began, the first two days restricted us to woodhouse and we got to the Balamurugan temple one morning and then to another woodhouse my uncle had built on behalf his friend and one day spent driving to Kodaikanal and Kookal Lake/Village. We hear people complaining of no rain until we got there and it was obvious wherever we visited except in Kodaikanal where the lake was at its brim! The Kookal Lake was muddy with water at the bottom where only water hens were walking in and out. The weather was much colder in Kodaikanal, even though clouds form as if it going to rain it didn’t happen until we move to the woodhouse. One night we spent at my uncle’s friend woodhouse (which my uncle built on behalf his friend) in a place called Vel Farms, a place deep inside the woods and remote from much activity. Overall I had good time despite the lack of sharing and feeling alone while being together as well, it was refreshing and relieving to travel after more than a year and I could cherish this for some time until I pick up another trip. 

A part of beautiful star shaped Kodaikanal Lake at its full level, in the eventide light with reflection of trees.
More details and photos will follow in further posts.


Sandi said...

That place is beautiful.

George said...

I have found that I am often disappointed with a vacation, especially one that I have been looking forward to for a long period of time. I always enjoy our trips, but I guess reality can't match the anticipation I was feeling. The woodhouse your uncle built is beautiful.

carol l mckenna said...

Although you seem well taken care of by your family, I think sometimes they might forget that you need to be included and your immediate family as well in all of the social interactions ~ By the photos of the place it would seem it is not very handicapped accessible or good for the elderly either ~ That would contribute to anyone's sense of not being included ~

Your photos are lovely and do hope you were able to come away with the 'healing of nature' ~ I have quote that I used to remind myself of solitude's gift' ~ Here is the quote:

It is from a book 365 Days of Tao ~ and it is #262

'Loneliness need not be despair. It could be an opportunity. ...far better to be self-sufficient then whether one has loved ones or not, one will will not suffer from loneliness.Truer self sufficiency is a a supreme sense of connection with one self, cosmos around oneself...doesn't preclude community with others but does prevent the excesses and short comings that occur when society is one's only source of union. who is with Tao is never lonely but an integral part of the natural cycle.'

perhaps your religion has a similar quote?

Happy Day to You,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

bill burke said...

Family holidays can be like you said, some good times and some not so good times. Glad you have some good memories and photos opps.
Have a great day.

Twilight Man said...

I used to enjoy such big family trips for vacations when I was a teenager. Now your post has brought me many fond memories today. I miss everyone who are no longer around including both my parents.

Please don't be sad and feel despair as your family members are still around. Just a few minutes absence is nothing until you are in my shoes today. They are all long gone and only sweet memories live with me till eternity. Cheer up my friend as you are very fortunate to have supportive family and extended members around.

I wish that I have an uncle who built a wooden retreat for everyone to stay together. It looks like a nice haven for retreat on the highlands.

Lady Fi said...

What a delightful place!

eileeninmd said...


I am sorry your vacation was not what you expected. Hubby and I like to travel with just the two of us, We enjoy being out with nature, the birds and trees.
The Smokey Haven Woodhouse and cottages look beautiful, a lovely place to stay. I enjoyed the photos, very pretty lake. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great week ahead.

Agnieszka Mikołajczyk said...

Nice there and interesting photos

Nancy Chan said...

Sometimes the actual couldn't meet our expectation and we could easily feel disappointed. It is not easy for you as well as for the others. There will always be disappointment in our life but we need to learn to assure and comfort ourselves when others could not. The place is a lovely place but not easy for those using wheel chair and the elderly people.

Trini Altea said...

Se ve un lugar muy bonito.

Elsie Amata said...

AC really does use a lot of fuel. The pictures are stunning. I love the view you had, Jeevan. You can close your eyes at night and see the beauty that surrounded you while you were on vacation. Although it wasn't quite what you expected, I'm still glad you had that experience.


GreenComotion said...

Absolutely stunning views from hill stations.
More importantly, time spent with family.
Happy WE to you, Jeevan!