Standing there on the dam, we could see for quite a distance, with the freshly harvested fields in front and the Nelliyampathy Hills, with the winding road, behind. Presented a pretty sight - the only problem being that the sun was now coming up quite high behind the hills, causing a few problems for my camera, shooting into the sun. Quite visible flares in the shots. But then, my models did not seem to care. Vysakh, Kavitha, Deepa, Arun and the others - for them, the process of taking the shot was more important than the end result itself !! We spent a lot of time on the dam itself, before moving over to the other end, for more photography. The best part was that we had the whole place to ourselves, being so early. No crowds, no hassles. A tree cut down on the side of the dam, just behind the gazebo, seemed to excite the simian instincts in all of us, with almost everyone trying to climb on, of course, to model for my snaps. Various poses, angles and numbers tried, I decided to pack up.
We reached Kaikatty junction in no time. From there, going forward was the road to Nelliympathy proper. We took the right to Noorady and a few kilometres down the road at Kunnampalam, we found our onward transport waiting for us. Our tempo would not be able to take the rough and tumble of the road to Pakuthipalam and after asking the driver to park it at the nearby Forest Office (we would realise how near, only the day after !), we boarded our jeeps, on the rough track to the KFDC resort. The road was ok,with the stretch beyond Victoria - the last bus station, serviced by the KSRTC - just a make shift affair, with only a jeep being able to make it. I could well imagine the condition after the rains, when the whole place would be slippery, requiring the use of a four wheel drive. Driving through the planted coffee, amidst thick forest, we soon reached the KFDC office at Pakuthipalam. We were received by Sri. Radhakrishnan TK, the Manager of the Unit and the Field Officer, Sri. Suneer. They showed us to the place, which seemed quite nice and went out of the way to make us feel comfortable. We received a few instructions, chiefly concerning our safety, as this was a place bang in the middle of the forest, habited by all the big animals. it just would not do to wander out of the place on our own, to find ourselves facing an elephant or bison or two ! We were soon preparing ourselves for the most important activity - lunch, which was to be served in the open place, slightly further up, near the office.