Bandipur

Dreaming ’bout a fundoo holiday was a fav pastime of mine. Whether it was during the holidays when one had a lot of time to dream, or when I was supposed to be preparing for my exams, or when I was supposed to be working – I was forever dreaming of this wonderful vacation that I wud b taking. I believe now that it probably was some deep rooted escapism that I indulged in – ‘cos whtever I was doing right then was too boring to hold onto my attention. Anyways, one of my favorite dream vacation trips was this Jungle Lodges thingie for 2 nights n 3 days. I spent a lot of time nagging, cajoling, begging, and even threatening family folks to plan a trip. Of course, I did my best booking for it and came away disappointed as it was also one of those always booked holidays… Grrr!
Finally, this year, after behaving like an unruly, pampered kid, I got my way – we were finally going to Bandipur and staying at Jungle Lodges. The trip was a last minute plan and we were on a shoe string budget but I was jes happy tht we were going. We set out in the morning from Bangalore… we were supposed to start at 6 but yours truly was finally ready only by 7.

The plan was to bike to Bandipur and I did not want to share this piece of info with my folks as they can immediately make my plan into a safe, unadventurous, blaah trip… sorry guys.. you are sweet and nice… but I like doing things my way too, at times. I am sure they are shaking their heads thinking: “Uff.. this gal never listens – Stubborn – All pisceans are stubborn – When has she not got things going her way – I want to know??” Anyways, So I did not tell them. We drove like the wind – I was in the pillion seat and I indulged in quite a bit of back seat driving – I do that a lot especially after my accident – but we made excellent time. We reached Kamat Lokaruchi arnd 9. I was totally zapped!!
We had a lazy and filling breaker and decided not to lose the amazing time we made by lingering at Kamat and started with a bang towards Mysore. I was tempted to buy some of their cute handicrafts but decided not to. We reached Mysore arnd 10:45 and purchased sm essentials and we were totally sore by then – a bike ride is only romantic for that long – after that all you really want to do is: get off – stretch ur legs – and choose another means of transport. We had to check in at the Jungle Lodges at 12 and so we really had to get going but I indulged in a chuntu crib fest.
And then to our surprise, we see coconuts stacked one on top of the other – forming rather looong lines to the sky and we stop. The creative nature of these coconut vendors which they exhibited by arranging their fruits in interestingly different ways was a sight for sore eyes – in our case – a break for our sore limbs. Man ko bhaa gaya. I lapse frequently into Hindi in an attempt to improve my faltering Hindi and also b’cos there are some things best expressed in a regional – ok.. in this case, national language 🙂 I feel seeing those coconuts eased the crabbiness that we felt b’cos of the loong bike ride 😛
Finally, we reached the Jungle Lodges resort, not-so-sore, glad at having finally found the place. We were escorted to our cute cottage called “Cheetah”. Wondering why all the cottages were names after animals, we walked into a room that had a lovely mural of a cheetah on a branch. The Cheetah looked fantastically real and totally impressive. We were told that lunch would be ready shortly and tea would be served at 4 after which we will go for a safari. I think they were not used to enthusiatic nods as answers and we finally stopped and said Yes – we’ll b ready!
The Safari was enjoyable though we did not really catch sight of the exotic animals. Did I hope to catch sight of a real cheetah, or tiger? Actually, No. I have not been to a Safari in a very loong time – probably since we went to the Banergatta National Park to view the lions and the tigers -so looooong ago – not even I know how long ago 😀
After the Safari, a film clip which was created on Wild Life in India was shown – we were distracted by: the projector being archaic – too many mosquitos – the mouth-watering snacks-a naughty kid who was eating mud to irritate his mom – and the bonfire that was being built. The film as such was lengthy and we all got the message – I think 🙂
There was an option to go for a nature walk early in the morning but we opted for a second round of safari – in the vain belief that we may actually see some of the exotic animals. We saw the pug marks of a tiger which we cud not spot, we saw a lot of spotted deer, sambhar deer, elephants, and wild boars. We also saw several cute peacocks and peahens. We also went on an elephant ride and to a museum nearby.
Of course, the guide had to bug me with his “Kabini is fantastic – but you cannot get booking – you must go there” Grrrr…. Is there some law in the Universe that was created especially for me that goes something like this: When you think she is settling into happiness hit her with a statement that will make her go Grrrrr…oowwwwlll?? Anyways for the first time, I did not let it bother me as much.. and came away smiling 😛