Day 6 – The Last Day
The penultimate day of our Wayanad holiday began early – we decided to visit Nagarhole National Park. We started early but got distracted as we spotted quite a few spotted deer on the way. Usually, they are frightened and shy away frm ppl. So it was indeed a beeg surprise to see them focussed only on eating – they were chomping away on the grass and cared two hoots for us. This was a double yeah!! for us as it enabled us to shoot pics of them. Occassionally, a stag would look up and move the deer out of our focus area. We would then move away, only to find another bunch, a few metres ahead. We kept trying to better our shots. The Arien with the borrowed SLR, and me with our regular camera were soon so engrossed that we had totally forgotten ’bout the Nagarhole safari that we were supposed to go to. Finally, after a few more snaps, the Arien tore himself away so we cud go for the safari.
When we reached, we were told that the bus had jes left and the next one was not until 8 or 8:30. We were willing to wait and so we whiled away the time, walking to and fro, chatting with the officials, shooting snaps, and getting bored! When the bus came back, we heard it before we saw it – as it was a very noisy mini-bus. The Arien decided not to go on the safari. In his words “The rickety bus will make so much noise tht no animal will be seen anywhere nearby. Forget it.” Meanwhile, we found out that the mini-bus would do a second-round only if there were at least 10 ppl in the bus – we were 6 – us and a family of 4 of which two were really small kids. We totally lost interest and decided to head back to Ramcad. Over breakfast, which was stone idli and crunchy avalakki – we discussed our plan for the day.
The Arien insisted on seeing Irrupu Falls which was 1 km away. Now, I had been to Irruppu falls a while ago but cud only remember tht there was a steel bridge of green colour (I think) b’cos we had all stood over it and taken snaps. Anyway, we freshened up and drove to Irrupu Falls. When we reached there – I could not recall the temple that was the entrance to the falls – I was sure tht it was built much later. After a looong walk, I finally saw the bridge – it was blue in colour 😀 I insisted on taking a snap – I still recall how we all had posed for the earlier one – this was frm a different angle and looked neat. The trick was to take the snap when no one was arnd – tht was tough – ppl were constantly walking to and fro.
Anyways, we kept walking on. The place had changed quite a bit. For instance, I could not see the place where all of us had sat and posed for one of those group snaps. Anyway, the falls by itself was not too impressive after having seen Sentinel or Soochipura falls. Of course, we had gone in May and so naturally, there was hardly any water. Still, there was enough for a lot of men with huge paunches, clad only in chaddis to have fun. The sight was honestly quite embarrassing. We managed to take this snap frm a lower location so you do not have to experience that bit of torture. The lower location was more like a half-way break for the old and the weary to rest their feet before climbing up. After Edakkal, Soochipura, we found it easier to climb past the half-way location.
On our way up – we read stuff ’bout Irrupu Falls being famous for the number of butterflies tht flock there. I was not even aware of that until we saw two guys shooting pics of butterflies. Immediately, the Arien took off as well, it was really trying – trying to keep up with the Arien who was trying to shoot the butterflies. I almost gave up hope when suddenly one of them stayed pretty close to us, allowing us to shoot it. It took the Arien a few zillion shots before he got this shot. After a while, he got an amazing close-up shot. Looks like the butterfly wanted us to wait before it gave us its best shot 😀 We left Irrupu Falls soon after, the Arien was not too keen on playing in the water with the paunchy men and so we went back to Ramcad. As we drove to the resort, the Arien decided tht it wud b good if we ended the holiday immediately instead of staying for one more day as was our original plan. We went back to the cottage and started packing, and getting ready. We informed the guy who served us lunch ’bout our plan and told him to keep the bill ready. He took it pretty badly and walked off in bad grace. When the bill arrived, we had another shock – he had charged double for non-veg. We have always had this experience with Coorg. Grrr…. expresses how I feel ’bout homestays at Coorg.
On our way back, we drove via Nagarhole and all of a sudden the Arien braked. The TATA Safari in front of us was reversing – in a few moments – it wud hit us if we didn’t move bk. The woman inside was signalling tht a lone tusker was right arnd the corner and it is best tht we retreat. All of us moved back very tense. After a while, we were not sure if the tusker had left. The Arien of course, had to get out of the car and walk up with the camera. He had taken 3 shots of the tusker alongwith a few other foolhardy folks when the tusker moved towards them. Soon, everyone was running towards their vehicle and then after a really looong hour, we could finally go on. Our drive for the next half hour was uneventful when we suddenly saw a jeep parked off the road and a guide pointing to something (probably a bird) and we spent a loong time staring at the tree when we suddenly saw it. It was an eagle that had blended so well with the surroundings that you hardly notice it. The guide was def an old hand at this. I am attaching a snap that would show you how difficult it was to spot the eagle. The rest of the drive was uneventful. We reached Bangalore – completely exhausted, tanned, and happy. It was a great holiday 😀