Surprise Diversion to Maredumilli
A big scenic surprise is what I can label this trip as. Let me start with telling you the actual plan and then I will come to how we had to take an unexpected diversion.
- Start to Vizag on Friday evening
- Take a pre-booked car and go to Araku after reaching vizag
- Stay in Haritha Valley resort in Araku till Sunday morning and come back to Vizag
- Visit one of the beaches and kailasagiri and start to Hyderabad on Sunday evening
On Thursday, all the news presenters in Telugu states ran out of their breath while bombarding the viewers with the predictions from meteorological department about a cyclone hitting the vizag coast on Saturday in the morning came out. No one was sure about the intensity of the cyclone, but the perception created enforced all the necessary and unnecessary precautions in place. With an assurance from the travel agent about facing no problems in traveling to Araku from Vizag on Saturday morning, we boarded our train to Vizag on Friday evening. As we boarded the train, one of my friends suggested Maredumilli for our next trip. He got to know about the beauty the place offers from one of his friends.
As the train crossed Vijayawada, we received a call from the travel agent in Vizag. He broke the news about police setting up a check post and stopping the visitors from entering Araku. Our shock was suppressed by our confidence for two reasons.
1. We boarded the train, so we will be going to some vacation spot for sure
2. We don't have our families with us, so even if there are some hiccups in terms of stay or food we should be able to manage
Our initial thought was to stay in Vizag and visit the beaches and kalisagiri. But a friend, who had been to Vizag, turned it down as he is aware that those beaches offer nothing special for someone who had been to many other beaches. So we put four brains out of five brains were to work and one brain is busy watching a web-series:). I checked the halts for the train before reaching Vizag. Out of all, Rajahmundry caught my attention as I found Maredumilli to be close to that place from whatever view Google Maps offer. I checked the actual distance and found it to be only 80 kilometers. My thoughts revolved around fixing that place for tomorrow, but there are lot of questions to be answered before the train reaches Rajahmundry.
1. Can we get a resort to stay in Maredumilli for the next day?
2. Can we get a cab from Rajahmundry to Maredumilli for a trip which is less than 8 hours away?
3. Can we get return train tickets to Hyderabad from Rajahmundry?
4. Can we find a place to stay till Saturday morning if we get down at Rajahmundry at 1.30 AM?
5. Will Haritha Valley resort, Araku refund the money as the reason is Act of God :) ?
First, we checked tickets from Rajahmundry to Hyderabad on Sunday. Luckily they are available. Next, we reached out to the driver who drove us during our trip to Sterling Palavelli, Dindi. He said he is available for the next two days. Then we called The Woods resort in Maredumilli, he mentioned he might arrange a room for three members but for five it is difficult. He will check with the resort in-charge and get back to us. We cannot proceed with the tickets and cannot confirm to the cab driver till we get the confirmation from the resort. After 30 minutes, I messaged to the guy whom I spoke to check if he has any information. He then called and assured that he will arrange something for five of us. With that, we decided to get down at Rajahmundry station. It didn't take much effort to find a hotel to stay for that night in Rajahmundry. After getting down, we checked-in at Anand Regency hotel. The comfort of the hotel provided us a much required sound sleep. We had buffet breakfast at the hotel, the breakfast was just average. None of the items offered the taste that we usually expect.
While having breakfast we got a confirmation about the rooms at The Woods, Maredumilli. The charge per room is Rs.9000 which includes lunch, snacks, dinner and breakfast on the following day for 3 people. We felt it to be reasonable as the cost for one lunch for three people would be around Rs.1000 even if we have the option to eat outside. Our car driver, Sattibabu, was right on time. It took us around 2 hours to reach The Woods Resort. The road view has transformed into a beautiful painting as we drove an hour. A thick forest engulfed the view of agricultural farms and towns. Ounces of confidence started creeping into us to prove our decision to choose that place is right. That feeling was complete when we reached the resort. It was just an amazing view of forest, the resort is located right in the middle of the forest. All directions provide a sight of tall trees and typical forest.
The rooms are constructed using wood and are very spacious. Our thought of Rs.9000 per night per room has vanished in seconds. We straight away proceeded to lunch, it was a buffet lunch with very limited items. Rice, dal, one veg-curry, one-chicken curry, sambar and curry, all were just ok. We tried to have a sleep after lunch, but that was spoiled by my friends as some of them are not in favor of that decision. We inquired about the nearby places to visit, everyone including Google suggested a couple of waterfalls Jala Tharangini and Amrutha Dhara. With the guy at the resort reception confidently voting for Amrutha Dhara, we chose to visit only that. Not all the decisions we take will be fruitful, right? Visiting Amrutha Dhara is so strenuous. We climbed down many high steps to reach the waterfalls and after that we had to see water flow not falls.