Coorg – Weekend Getaway – Day1

A weekend trip … a Surprise… Yeaaahh… no nice clothes … Have to get up early… 4 am.. is he kidding?.. Grrr… were the thoughts that I had when I came to know that we were going to Coorg over the weekend. This was Friday nite, 9 pm. We left at 6 am on Saturday. We had our fight shortly thereafter which almost led to the cancellation of the trip 🙂 I say almost because we turned back n drove towards home for 10 mts – both of us totally angry – and burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole fight somewhere after 5 mts. Ya.. we are like that.. Anyways we reached Kamat Lokaruchi arnd 8. This inspite of the parking disaster we had when we left, and our short fight – I felt we had made good time.
A heavy breakfast later, that consisted of the famous conical shaped idlies, maddur vada, regular vada, dosa, and two amazingly hot cuppas of tea and coffee – I would say we were in a wonderful mood :). It has always been the case that after moving so far away from Bangalore, you always end up meeting ppl whom you would not have met while they were right next to your cubicle. When we were returning from Bandipur, our last trip, we met Subash and Nisha. This time we met Ranga (Sriranga Nadiger) and his wife. This time the service at Kamat was slow and we did not get a table for a very loong time and then after finishing our breakfast, they took a loong time to get the bill and so I felt that we may have lost the good time that we made. Anyways we continued on our way to RanganaThittu, where we were to change routes. The drive was good and not as boring as I thought it would be. We were listening to songs from the movie Kaakha Kaakha , which is one of my favorites and happily singing (er.. braying)along. As we neared the destination, we decided to visit all the spots before we reached the Home Stay.
The first place we visited was the Tibetan Monastry near Kushalnagar. On the left is a picture of the arch taken from a distance. The whole place was serene, strangely beautiful, and begged to be photographed. The weather was simply lovely, it would rain for sometime, stop abruptly, drizzle again and the whole place looked so green and lovely. This snap was taken when it stopped raining for a bit. I wanted to shop for gifts for kids but did not get gifts for his nephew and so abandoned the gift giving plan. You always get gifts for gals, a pair of ear-rings, a brooch, knick-knacks, anything. For guys… you just don’t get anything. Sad fact of life.
Inside the monastry there are three huge statues which are gold plated and you are instantly rendered speechless in awe. The statue in the middle is the Buddha, the statue on the left is Guru Rinpoche (I think..) and the statue on the right is Budda Amitayus. The low benches placed in front are used by the monks for prayer and we are asked not to touch them. Not that we were planning to. The walls are all painted in bright red and green colours and it is very difficult to understand the story that they are depicting. I did wish we had a guide. There are huge bells that are tolled when all the monks are summoned for prayer… or maybe lunch… 🙂 Time for lunch… we decided to have a bite at a local restuarant and keep going. I had been to Coorg before but I had not visited the Tibetan Monastry or the Golden temple. We had been to Irruppu falls and seen some tea estates. This was a very different trip and I was totally enjoying it.
Our next stop was at Nisarga Dhaama. It almost reminded me of RanganaThittu. There was a lovely hanging bridge near the entrance, as you can see from the picture. It was raining again and I ran to get the umbrella. The rain had made the cauvery swell up and it was a sight to see. There were tree houses and cute benches that were now wet because of the rain. There were quite a few swings. There was really nothing much to see and the path was wet and it was steadily drizzling and so we decided to get going.
The next plan was to go to the Elephant Camp to Dubare. It was now pouring and we decided to go for a boat ride to the camp. As soon as we reached the other side, we realized that we were not sure if we have locked the car or not… we worried and worried and worried… and it was the most gruelling 1 hour of our life. We were soaking wet too.. to add to our miseries.. Finally, when we reached the car, we found out that we had locked it after all. Grrr… Walked into the Dubare Hotel which only offered Tea, Omlette, and Fried Rice. Had bitter, totally burnt chai, and an omlette which had uncooked, small onion chunks. We come in contact with a nondescript lean man who is having fried rice 🙂 and come to know that there is water rafting at Dubare. In fact, in the exact same place where we had the boat ride. The hitch was that we were supposed to arrive at 8 am – I laughed out loud. We were yet to reach Madikeri and he had been driving the entire day.. but the look in his eyes stopped me from voicing my thoughts… and so we went on to the Home Stay – totally relishing the experince of Day 1 of our short vacation.

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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 😛
Storytime with John

Pull up and listen...I've got a funny one for ya...

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An International company that offers private antique art sales to clients around the globe.

My Little Astrology

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Laughing Penguins

poems and poetry

turkischland

Just another WordPress.com site

Volatile spurts

The blog that never was ... almost

A Word in Your Ear

Stories and Photographs of my travels, Tales of friends, family, animals and my life

Nishita's Rants and Raves

About books, movies, food, fashion, and travel.

Storytime with John

Pull up and listen...I've got a funny one for ya...

silkroadcollector.me

An International company that offers private antique art sales to clients around the globe.

My Little Astrology

J.P.Morgan:“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”

Laughing Penguins

poems and poetry

turkischland

Just another WordPress.com site

Volatile spurts

The blog that never was ... almost

A Word in Your Ear

Stories and Photographs of my travels, Tales of friends, family, animals and my life

Nishita's Rants and Raves

About books, movies, food, fashion, and travel.