As Oprah Winfrey’s famous quote goes “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for”, and I had all through my pregnancy asked for one constant thing – to gift me a little voyager who would share my fervour for traversing the world. I absolutely love to travel and hence during my pregnancy as well, I exposed myself to some travel; thereby weaving tales of adventure to the tiny soul within. I did a couple of road trips, took some flights, talked to the baby about my love for travel (and how he/she will have to be accommodating), and wove dreams of horizons yet to be embraced.
It had been 6 months since my last trip to Munroe Island and 2.5 months since a life blossomed in my arms. We had by now gotten accustomed to our baby’s routine and hence it felt right to plan our first trip with the baby. So we decided to make a short weekend trip to Yelagiri, which is about 5 hours from Chennai. Taking the road would have been the best option, but knowing the road conditions we decided against it. On research we found out taking the train and thereafter a cab to our resort would be a better choice.
So we boarded the train 22625 – SBC DBLDECK EXP from Chennai at 7:25am. And we were to de-board at Jolarpettai station at about 10:30am, making a 3 hour journey. The ride was scenic. My little companion seemed enchanted. So it was a smooth start to our trip.
Quick Tip:- One advice to parents travelling with new born is to find a seat by a table, so that it becomes easier to put your child to sleep instead of carrying in your arms all throughout the journey.
We boarded a cab from just outside the station thereafter and left for our resort – Sarvakaya Hill Resort Yelagiri. On the way we stopped by a road side tea joint for some boost and after a 45 minutes ride crossing 14 hair pin bends, we reached the resort. The cab ride costed us Rs.1300. Through the ghats, our baby held on to one finger and took a good nap, so we got lucky there. Worries of infant outbursts were gently tucked away and gratitude was the emotion as our little one rested.
As we entered the resort, we were welcomed with some cool drinks and then guided towards our haven for the next two nights and three days. We had booked a Luxury Swiss cottage. Since we had booked for the weekend, the price per night was Rs.6000 + taxes inclusive of breakfast, morning tea and evening tea and snacks. However, if you book for a weekday, any day between Monday – Thursday, the price per night is Rs.5000 inclusive of all meals. I wished we had known earlier, it would have helped us save a good sum.
Nevertheless, coming to the property, as we entered the property, everything we saw was either in blue or white. The entire property exudes Greece feels as everything in the property, right from curtains, bedsheets, pillows, door mats, chairs, table mats, paintings, even the clock or the water can in the room is either in white or blue colour.
At Sarvakaya, they have the Swiss cottages, Valley view rooms with balcony, a couple of villas and Indian cottages. The Swiss cottages are placed like row houses that look exactly the same from the outside. Overlooking the pristine hills of Yelagiri, the property offers azure views of the valley and the well manicured lawns give a feel-good vibe to the stay.
They say it’s the best time to travel when the baby is on breastfeed. I totally agree! But one thing that all parents travelling with an infant will agree is on the luggage, how the luggage goes up extensively. As a cautious parent travelling to a hill station, here are the things that I packed.
- Warm clothes with cap, mittens and socks. (woollen recommended).
- Small travel pack consisting of baby lotion, baby gentle wash, baby shampoo, baby massage oil and baby hair brush.
- Zincovit and Vitamin D drops. Also carry Paracetamol and colicaid drops, in case you have to use them.
- Diaper disposable polythenes.
- Pumping machine and parts (if you are a EBF + Pumping mother like me). Also carry batteries in case you have to pump on the go.
- Baby liquid cleanser. (Its good to carry sachets instead of bottle).
- Bottle warmer cum steriliser
- Microwavable sterilising bags
- Muslin/cotton cloth to wipe bottles, nipples and pump parts.
- Baby carry cot and blanket
- A couple of baby toys
- Burp cloths.
- Onesies/Rompers, nightwear, matching mittens and socks depending on the no of days stay.
- Diapers (calculating the count considering 10 diapers a day)
- Diaper changing mat
- Baby bath towel (if you feel the one at hotel is harsh for baby’s skin).
- Wet wipes
- Baby stroller that is travel friendly.
We bathed the baby and put it sleep and ordered in lunch. Mind you, the resort offers only vegetarian food, but the food is scrumptious. So we enjoyed a good meal and took a short nap while the baby also rested.
After a good nap, we changed into a good pair of clothes and sat by a table overlooking the valley. It was teatime, so we ordered a good cup of kadak chai with some fritters, which they made freshly in a wooden cart tapri and had good conversations over chai.
After a couple of hours, we retired and got back to our room and ordered in dinner.
The view of the property at night when the lights come up is quite something. We took a short stroll of the resort after our dinner and retired to bed.
The next morning, we woke up early to the sound of birds chirping away. As we got out of the room, a cool breeze enveloped us and gave us chills. I couldn’t take the cold, so I rushed back inside. It’s funny how I ensured I don’t miss carrying anything that my baby may require, while I forgot to take the most basic thing of all, my jacket.
We had our morning tea and then got ready for breakfast. In a couple of hours, the sun was shining bright but the wind gods also did not remain silent. So we enjoyed a short stroll around the property and clicked some pictures. The rest of the day we spent at leisure.
At night, you can opt for a campfire with some hooka to go along with and retire for the night. The resort of course charges you for both. This picture is from the last time we had visited Sarvakaya in Yelagiri for dinner.
Next morning, we got freshened up, finished breakfast and it was soon time to check out. We had requested the cab driver who came to pick us up to drop us back again to the station. The below are some pictures we stopped to take on our way down. During the ride down as well, the baby slept through the drive, so it was a smooth-sail.
Overall, it was a much needed trip for the new mother in me. As a couple we generally are not the ones that prefer to laze around the resort. We love exploring – exploring the culture, food, attractions. But with the baby, we went a bit slow on us and took the time to relax and breathe and just laze and not hurry. This trip was also a good lesson for us on travelling with an infant and prepared us for our long trip which we had planned to Jaipur and Jodhpur a fortnight after.