While searching for a place to stay in Wayanad, I came across many places offering tree houses in the name of eco tourism! Having grown up on a healthy and rich diet of Indrajal Comics, the memories of Phantom – the ghost who walks - came back to my mind! Phantom and Diana stayed in a tree house occasionally. I vaguely remembered a contraption used to reach the top of the tree house!
Owing to the Easter weekend, all the resorts especially the ones featuring tree houses were sold out! I hated Wayanad for being 5 hours away from Bengaluru and also the Bangaloreans for their meticulous planning that results in all the major nearby areas being sold out weeks before the holidays! Seeing my desperation, a friend pulled strings to get me a tree house for the weekend.
Fantasizing about living like Phantom for the weekend, I arrived in the sleepy town of Chundale in Wayanad around 12:30 pm. On the way, we were greeted with many hoardings announcing the distance between us and our tree house! The excitement was coupled with fear when we saw the approach road to the resort. The approach road was unpaved and covered a distance of 3 kms. This unpaved approach road would be an ideal place to test the off road capabilities of SUVs.
While checking in, the resort manager showed us the tree house. The tree house was not high up in the air resting amidst the gigantic branches on a tree like in the Phantom comics. But this tree house was on top of a small hill. I was short of breath after I climbed up 200 meters to reach my abode for the weekend.
The 5 hours of drive from Bengaluru, the 3 kms stretch of unpaved road and the 200 meters walk had drained all energy from us. We decided to take a short nap. A couple of minutes after we hit the bed, the side effects of eco tourism hit us! The afternoons in Kerala is hot even in Wayanad. The tree house did not have a fan! There was not even a phone to call room service! We opened the doors and windows! It helped a bit as there was very light breeze coming in. We were even able to sleep for a short while. After rejuvenating ourselves with the short nap, we spent the rest of the day visiting nearby places of interest. While returning back to the resort, we were skeptical about our choice of accommodation.
The night was cooler! We were sleeping soundly as soon as we hit the bed. The cell phone alarm woke me up at 6 am next morning. When I switched off the alarm, there was still a loud noise. The birds were chirping! It was soothing to hear the birds. I opened the door and sat on the bamboo chair and watched the distant mountain. The chirping of the birds took me down the memory lane. I was transported to the vacations I spent at my maternal grandmother’s house! The entire household took turns in waking me up! But, I just stayed in the bed and listened to the birds chirping!