Route Map (Day 1: Light Blue; Day 2: Dark Blue; Day 3: Purple)
Day 2: Valparai to Palakkad – 190Km
When I woke up, I still was not decided on the route dilemma from the night before. I did make up my mind to visit the Athirappilly Waterfalls.
It was early in the morning when exited the hotel and rode out in the open. I was instantly showered by a light drizzle. The first thought that occurred to me was that I could have slept a little longer.
Stopped at a tea shop and donned the rain gear over a hot cup of tea. That charged me up. Deciding not to wait, I rode out in the rain.
Tea Shop at Valparai
After a little while the rain intensified. Stopped at another tea shop for shelter. This one was beautifully located amidst the tea gardens. I tried to make small conversation with the shop owner, but language was a barrier. So settled down to converse over broken hindi and sign language.
View from the tea shop
After about 30 min of wait, the rain lessened. The route ahead was beautiful , flanked by rows and rows of tea bushes. Driving through was a pleasure. The rain was not gone. Droplets still plastered the visor of my helmet and I stopped often to wipe it clean. Every stop was followed by a series of picture. I will let those do the talking.
Local temple amidst the gardens
Perfectly manicured tea bushes
Selfie amidst the tea gardens
A porcupine scurrying away
A path strewn with flowers
Upper Sholayar Reservoir
Tea processing plant
Eventually as the altitude lowered, the tea gardens gave way to dense jungle. A number of waterfalls started emerging out of nowhere.
Wild flowers on the way
A few Km before Vazhachal Waterfalls, I stopped at Poringal Junction for a much-needed break. The rain had stopped, so I stowed away the rain gear. Lunch/breakfast was two boiled eggs washed down by two glasses of tea.
The tea shop owner preparing my lunch – boiled eggs and tea
Keeper of empty bottles
A little ahead I exited the Kerala Forest department checkpost. Immediately after that was the Vazhachal Waterfalls. There is a single ticket for both Athirappilly Waterfalls and Vazhachal Waterfalls. The place is well maintained and quite clean.
After spending a little while at the falls, I moved to the bigger of the two falls. Athirappilly falls was equally well maintained. At the falls, there is a small trail that leads to the bottom of the falls just to the edge of water. It is a steep with multiple switchbacks descending down. While the heavy riding jacket made the going tough, the humidity meant I was sweating profusely inside.It was good I stopped for the two eggs and tea.
The view from down was well worth the trouble. Mist from the falling water drenched everything.
Athirappilly Waterfalls from below
After laboring up the steep climb I walked to the edge of the water falling down. The view was mesmerizing. Here I sat down a bit finishing the two trail mix bars I had.
Athirappilly Waterfalls from top
A monkey enjoying the ice cream it snatched from an unsuspecting kid
View of the waterfalls from the main road
After leaving the falls, I decided to drive down towards Chalakudy and follow the highway towards Palakkad.
Church at Chalakudy
The route from Thrissur to Pallakad was painful with several diversions due to road construction. While it was still daylight, I decided to call it a day at Pallakad and found a basic hotel off the highway.
At the hotel had tea and bhaji. Later went off to sleep.
In the evening as darkness fell, I headed out for dinner. near to my hotel there was a crowded Malabar restaurant which looked like a good option. Some juicy prawns and a tall glass of ice cream later I retired for the night with a satisfied stomach.
Banana wrapped prawns
Tall glass of ice cream