Being a pro-hotel person, I used to wonder if staying in a Wayanad homestay would make a difference to my trip. My experience at homestay during a trip to Kerala changed this perception completely. It was the last day of the year and we decided to celebrate the New Year eve in Wayanad. And the Wayanad weather will be pleasant from November to February. We started early in the morning by taking NH209 and touched the outskirts of Meppadi, a town in Wayanad by 14:00 HRS.
Witnessing the sprawling fields of tea estates was quite a refreshing experience that took away our tiredness. We made a contact with Melvin, the homestay owner to check on the routes. As it was getting late in the afternoon, he suggested that we have lunch en route as by the time we will reach his homestay it will be too late for lunch.
So we stopped at a restaurant and satiated our stomach with a variety of local cuisines such as Malabari paratha, Kerala rice, beetroot pachadi and not to forget the lukewarm water with the essence of beetroot. The masala tea, in the end, served for a perfect conclusion to the meal.
Our First day in Melvins Homestay:
After lunch, we headed towards our Wayanad home stay. The Melvins homestay is located amidst the tea gardens. The warm welcome we received from Melvins family evaded away the discomfort of this long journey. Refilled with the energy, all of us decided to take a trek of the nearby tea garden and see the glorious Chembra peak.
Before we started the trek, the owner approached us to inform about the bone fire arrangement. In the evening, after the trek, we all got ready for the evening event. One of the couples wanted to bake a cake for the evening.
So they went to the kitchen and were provided a microwave oven. Since the route to the evening, the venue was through the heavily forested area and roads were not proper, some of us were not comfortable taking our own vehicles in the night.
Evening get-together – Unlimited Fun:
So the homestay owner offered us a drop to the venue in his own jeep. Other guests from his other homestays in Wayanad had gathered there, already. The bone-fire was set up in an open area surrounded by the jungle vegetation and lit by the moonlight and stars.
Bollywood music of our choice and games such as dumb shards made the evening for us. In the end, dinner was served. Due to the hectic day and long journey, we preferred simple chapattis, dal and vegetable mix.
Suggested Read: 6 Days 5 Nights Kerala tour packages.
Stay at Wayanad Homestay – An Experiential one:
We were then dropped back to our homestay and we concluded the day convincingly. Nights are chilled in Dec-Jan in Wayanad and you will need thick blankets. We asked for a few extra ones for the people who felt the need, the homestay family obliged by providing the same at no extra cost. Before we slept, Melvin came to us to understand our further plans and helped us in preparing a realistic itinerary.
Next morning, we were served warm water as some of us had the habit of starting the day. Others were offered bed tea as requested. Homestay owner’s family use to wake up early in the morning to prepare a sumptuous breakfast meal for us. We were served Kallappum with tomato gravy.
Tea and milk were served as per individual preference. Not to mention the fact that we had the flexibility of asking anytime for hot milk for my daughter or tea for adults, of course at a cost. The complete setup was as if we were sitting in the comfort of our home, one of the best places to stay with family in Wayanad.
Wayanad trip – Visit the Nearby spots in Wayanad:
On our request, a 12-seater jeep was hired by Melvin to take us around Wayanad. It saved us from the hassle of finding the route as the network connection is very poor in most areas of Wayanad. The day was spent visiting the best Wayanad tourist places like Banasura Sagar dam, Meenmutty falls, Pookot Lake and the Lakkidi viewpoint.
After spending some time at the viewpoint, we headed back to our Wayanad stay. Once we reached the homestay, after having snacks, we all came down to a playing area on the ground floor. Few of us played the flying disc including our daughter and the rest of us were enjoying the view of tea gardens in a soothing cold evening. In the night we were served Idiyappam with Chana gravy for the dinner.
Best time to go Wayanad: November to January.
A Memorable day in Homestay in Wayanad:
Melvin came to us during the dinner to understand how has been our experience so far in his Wayanad homestay. What should be improved or further customized? He further helped us refine our plan for the next day. The plan for the third day was to climb the Chembra peak.
Melvin had already given us the indication of toughness of this trek. Considering the highly sunny day, he advised to take cap, oranges and have a lightweight backpack as possible. His suggestions turned out quite useful during the trek. While we spent the day trekking, another member of the group went for Ayurvedic massage. Next morning, we all gave bid goodbye to Melvins family and headed back towards Bangalore with so many memorable moments of the trip. Truly, it was a homestay away from home.