Work took us to Munnar (Suryanelli, actually) in Kerela for an out bound training camp.
You wouldn’t think of office colleagues much for company on a weekend out, but believe me it was great fun – much more than I had expected.
The huge and largely the only negative was of course the journey – we traveled 19 hours one way to be at a camp for just about 24 hours!
The one more regret that I have is that I was drugged (only on avomin :p, given my tendency to mountain sickness) for most of the scenic part of the journey uphill and downhill. This really meant I missed the beautiful view of the western ghats, the luscious curve of the meandering road, and the umpteen picturesque country side clicks that my colleagues captured (which of course were readily shared :)).
Here are some highlights of the trip:
- The train travel – Was traveling by train after a long long time, so the sight of the compartments and bogies did thrill me! No, I didn’t really expect to meet Shahid Kapoor and do a la Jab We Met at some random station. But, it was fun to occupy the top most berth, play antakshari in 3 languages (tamil, telugu and hindi), bluff around (with playing cards), play the ‘I spy” game, stand at the entry door, and be at our rowdiest best as the train chugged away!
- The mist – The mist enveloping the hills, rising and settling as the day progressed was an absolute delight to watch. The only morning we spent there was one of the most magnificent and serene dawns I have ever woken up to.
- The tea plantations - How can one mention Munnar without talking about the rich green tea leaves that cover most of the terrain. A visual fiesta!
- The tents – My first time in a real tent! I never thought a sleeping bag accompanied with an air pillow could provide sound sleep. A large ugly bug just outside the main sleeping area and the huge spider in the tent in the morning provided some entertainment to the neighbors much to my plight :).
- The trek - Not much of a fitness freak (read a lazy unfit city slicker), I surprised myself by completing the entire trekking trail – uphill got too arduous by the end, but I swear downhill was a breeze!
- The raft building exercise – A first again! And the most enjoyable activity. We had to build a raft using logs of wood, tubes and ropes, and then set sail on it. To be honest my contribution to the team was not much – but I was so thoroughly kicked about the whole idea – Would love to do this again!
Hot, noisy and polluted Chennai welcomed us back with open arms. Though still recuperating from the minor aches and exhaustion, I am glad I made the trip!