The trip was planned properly (may be for the first time by our group). We were to leave by Saturday early in the morning. Reach there by lunch time. Stay there till Sunday afternoon and start from there and reach back Chennai by Sunday evening.

Day 1 – Saturday

Pre Start

The day started as early as 4 AM for me (Mr. A). I got up, called the crew to wake them up. Took bath and started in my car to pick up my friends since it will be difficult for them to come to the starting point (Tambaram) that early in the morning. I started at 5 AM and reached Velachery at 5 30 AM. Picked up the first one (Ms. P) and went to Tidel Park to pick up Ms. N. When waiting for Ms. N to come, Ms. P remembered that she had forgotten her goggles and told that she would not be able to survive two days without her goggles. So we were thinking what to do about that. At that time Ms. N came and we 3 started off to the next destination, Adyar where we were supposed to pick up the rest 2. Ms. S being the always punctual one of our group came on time. And we picked her up. All the while Ms. P was scolding me for not taking her back to her place to collect her goggles. We were calling Mr. S to check if he is on time. And for every 5 mins he told he will be there in another 5 mins. So we decided to tel him to come to Guindy and in the mean time we would go and get Ms. P’s goggles. All the while Mr. B who arranged the transport was checking with us where we were. So we went all the way to Velachery to get Ms. P’s goggles and by the time we reached Guindy Mr. S was there. So we 5 started from there and in another 20 mins we reached Tambaram. There Mr. B and Ms. A were waiting for us with the cab that we have arranged to go there.

The start

So we were all set to start at 7 AM. And the journey started off in great fashion. All the introductions that were needed was done by Mr. B. Mr. S volunteered to sit in the front and take care of the audio system. (Note: Mr. S is known for his extra ordinary ability to handle the audio system. In 1 hour he would have changed 3 CDs without hearing a song fully). Call it fate or our good luck the audio system was not working properly. So we decided we will talk to kill boredom. Mr. B, Ms. N and Ms. A had bought all the eatables and we started eating them. We decided we will have a proper breakfast at Vellore. We were talking about many topics till we reached Vellore. We found an average place to eat breakfast. After break fast we decided to play some games till we reached Yelagiri. After much discussion we decided we would play dumb charades. (Dumb-C). We decided to form two teams based on our seating arrangements. Me, Ms. N, Ms. P and Ms. A were in one team and Ms. S, Mr. B and Ms. S were in the other team. Our team was not able to get it right almost every time while the other team had it in record time all the times. So we decided to stop the game since we were losing interest after every passing round.

The Journey

Everyone wanted to reach Yelagiri as soon as possible as the sun was beating down hard. After another couple of hours driving we were at the bottom of the Yelagiri hills. We stopped and took a picture of the places of interest at Yelagiri. We were too excited to check out all the places mentioned. The Yelagiri hills was a small one with only 14 hair pin bends. All the bends are named after famous Tamil poets and poetess. We stood at a couple of places to enjoy the view and take a couple of snaps. Since the road was small we could not wait for long since it will be a hindrance for the vehicles coming behind. So after half an hour we were at our first destination – Silent Waters Retreat (the place we were to stay). It was a pretty decent place to stay. We were given a separate building of 2 floors. The place was very good. After refreshing and changing we decided to go and check out the resort. Me Mr. B and Mr. S took the camera and took photos of us at all photogenic places.

Badminton part 1

After around half an hour lunch was served for us. The lunch was below the standard for the amount that we paid for stay and food. During lunch we were planning on what to do during the stay there. We enquired with the resort people about the places to visit and how to go there. There were 2 places that needs to be visited at Yelagiri. One is an artificial lake where we can do boating and another one is Swamimalai temple for trekking. Since it was just past 2, we decided we would take a walk around the neighbourhood. We were talking to the people who stay there and enquired about their living and life styles. After walking for about half an hour we decided we would go back to the resort, freshen up and go for boating. We reached the resort at 3 and we still had one full hour before we started for boating. So me, Mr, B, Mr.S and Ms. N decided we would play a game of badminton. Me and Mr. B were in one team and Mr. S and Ms. N were the other team. After a few rallies the game got pretty serious and we decided to play with points. Me and Mr. B won by 15 points to 6. Mr. S and Ms. N were not ready to accept the defeat and were saying that we cheated. So we decided we will play the game again some time later. Rain started drizzling and we were all sitting and sipping our cups of coffee praying for the rain to stop since we were told that boating will not be possible if it rains like this. It was raining for around half an hour. Once the rain stopped the place was pretty damp to walk. But we decided we will go and give a try at the boating place.

Boating

We reached the boating place at 5 PM. Since we were 7 people we needed two pedalling boats. But only one was available at that time. So we decided we would wait for half an hour and would go only when two boats were available. So we thought we would go and do time pass in the near by park. The park brought out the kids in us and we were all playing in the see saw, swings and all. Everyone was enjoying their time. Soon it was 5 30 and we decided to go and check if the boats were available. Two boats were available and we decided we will split up in two groups, me, Mr. B, Ms. P and Ms. A in one boat and Mr. S, Ms. N and Ms. S in another boat. Ours was a very old boat and the direction lever didnt seem to work. But our guys in the other boat seemed to know all the tricks to drive that boat and were going around the lake and passing comments at our inability to drive the boat. We changed positions to give everyone an equal chance to pedal te boat. At one point we were able to go near the other boat and Mr. B and Ms. S decided to do some stunt show by changing boats. They did it successfully. We took few snaps of the other boat and the setting sun. After half an hour of tiring pedal boating we got out of the boat. Our next destination was supposed to be a nature park where they had a musical fountain, a garden and an aquarium. We went there and almost everyone was tired to walk. We took rest many times and decided to go back to the resort. We reached the resort at 7 PM. Mr. B decided we would prepare paani puri and eat it before dinner. So after much effors from Mr. B, Ms.N and Ms.A we were all eating pani puri. It was good and by the time we finished eating that it was dinner time and we decided to go and check it. Dinner was average and after many discussions with the resort owner we were arranged for a camp fire.

The Slient Camp Fire

Ms. A was very tired to join us in the camp fire. So we started our camp fire without her. And after some time Ms. S was feeling very sleepy and she went back. So we 5 were sitting around the camp fire thinking what to do. It turned out to be a very quiet and enjoyable camp fire. We being IT professionals decided to get the help of Google and soon we were searching for camp fire games. We opened the first link and were checking out the games mentioned. After much discussion we decided we would play story building. Mr. B volunteered to start the story and soon everyone were contributing to the story and half an hour went by and soon we were losing interest in the game. Then we sat in silence for another half an hour enjoying the weather. Mr. S being a popular blogger suggested we play the tag game and we decided we would play the injury tag where everyone would say about any of the injuries that they had and explain how it happened. After everyone’s turn was over the famous silence came back again. But this time the fire was also out and we decided to hit the bed since it was past 12 and we had plans of going for trekking early next morning. After saying our good nights we went to bed at 1 AM planning that we would go for a walk at 5 in the morning.

Day 2 – Sunday

Badminton part 2

Day 2 started at 6 AM. (Yes we were not able to get up at 5. We blame the nice weather for it 😉 ). After much discussion about where to have coffee everyone decided to go out for coffee. So me, Mr. S, Mr. B, Ms. N and Ms. A went out in search of a tea shop. Ms. P and Ms. S were not feeling well. So we decided we would let them take some rest. So after 10 mins walk we found out a tea shop. We ordered our tea’s and coffee’s and biscuits. After having the tea we went back to the resort. It was around 7 when we reached there. So we decided we would start for trekking at 9. So we had two full hours. So me, Mr. B, Mr. S and Ms. N decided we would play a game of badminton but this time at a place outside. We soon found a place to play and to spice things up we decided we would play a bet match. The bet was 100 bucks and we started the game. Having won against them the previous day, me and Mr. B were playing casually. Suddenly we found out that we were 2 points behind them at 5 points to 3. So we decided we would play some serious game and after around half an hour of extreme badminton skill display by me and Mr. B we won. This time the score line was 15 points to 7. This time Mr. S and Ms. N were ready to accept defeat and congratulated us on our wins. (We haven’t got our bet money yet 😦 ). Mr. S and Ms. N – If you are reading this please give our bet money. After the game we decided to go back to the resort and take bath and head out trekking.

The Big Small Trek

Once everyone was ready we had our breakfast. Only the breakfast was good at that place. During breakfast we decided that due to the health conditions of our group members we would not conquer Swamimalai instead some shorter version of it which would be an easy trek. After enquiring the directions we started to this so called small trek place. After much difficulty we were able to locate the trek. The trek was an easy one but since we were going with friends it turned out to be an exciting and fun activity. We climbed some big stones. Took photos like moving the big stones, climbing the trees. After one hour we decided we would go down. And the down journey was pretty much normal since everyone was tired and wanted to reach back home. By the time we came down it was past noon and we decided we would go to Vellore and have lunch. Everyone was too tired to start any interesting conversations. We were taking rest till we reached Vellore. On the way to Vellore we saw an advt board of Saravana Bhavan and everyone was too excited and we decided to have lunch there. Lunch was awesome. By the time we finished our lunch it was 3 PM and we decided not to stop at any more places and reach home as early as possible. It was very hot and we were all sweating. But the gods blessed us with some mild showers and an excellent weather. We reached Chennai by 6 PM and we said our good byes to all and headed home.

Important points about the trip:

1. Later we found out that we did not go to any of the places that was mentioned in the board that we took a picture of.
2. The boating that we went was a smaller one and there was another big one that we missed. (Courtesy: Our afternoon walk where we found out about this boating place. Or else our driver would have enquired and took us to the correct place.)
3. We did not do trekking in Swamimalai which was supposed to be visited in Yelagiri.

All said this was a memorable trip. One to be remembered through out my life !!!!

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