This cabin in the woods at Lantern Stay takes me back to an unforgettable weekend in the rains of June 2017.
It was one of those last minute rustled up affairs at the end of another insufferable work week. The main deciding factor was the non-optional inclusion of a highly energetic 5yr old in our midst and the need to have him safely contained and happily entertained during this short stay. So it was a no-brainer that a road trip to the hills of Wayanad was a safer bet as opposed to a scenic house-boat adventure through the lush plains. It was later revealed that the husband was already sold on the choice of our destination when he chanced upon a short video clip of the place soundly tuned to the familiar background of Alan Walker’s ‘Faded’.
Getting out of Bangalore city onto the highway perhaps took us more time than the actual journey itself. But once we were out, it was a pleasant drive filled with interesting conversations and repeated rounds of Jolly Rancher Lollypops. I remember a blur of sunflower fields through the highways; quiet stretches through the forest areas and wide slopes of tea gardens as we reached nearer to the destination by the fading lights of the day.
The management insisted on us ditching our ride at a marked parking area and offered their beaten land rovers for the off-road stretch just a few distance from the resort. But mavericks that we were; we took our Truck and trudged along the 5-6 km ride uphill, through hidden trails, over gushing waterfalls and steep inclines leading to this hidden resort. Surely not for the faint-hearted.
The resort itself was literally nestled inside a deep gorge with tall trees and steep dark hills all around. It rained intermittently through the weekend while a river ran noisily somewhere below taking the entire scene to a different level of surrealness.
Our cabins were spaced apart to offer just the right amount of privacy in the still and serene ambience all around. And with no network and TV we found ourselves literally off the grid and pleasantly refreshed. Homely meals with local cuisine was served in the main dining hall. What caught us by surprise was the ‘spa’ cabin which offered Ayurvedic massages along with a rustic contraption to top off the treatment and serve as a private sauna.
Even though it was slightly cold and generally wet all around we could not resist exploring the area and as usual, I got the entire package with a leech attack and a caterpillar incident.
Endless conversations, mugs of black instant coffee and lungs filled with fresh air.