Thursday, March 29, 2007

Holiday sans friends & tripod

My better half has been ranting and whining about all our holidays for the last couple of years - you know where... if not, then see my earlier post labeled jungles, wildlife etc. Not that these holidays were bad, I did enjoy them, she did not. Whose loss????
Now, having decided to make some amends I planned a holiday to a place which would be more to her liking then mine. After some research on the web and help from fellow bloggers, I zeroed on a homestay in a coffee estate near Hanbal 20 odd kms from Sakleshpur. Being a "social animal" [best read bold & underlined] I have always gone on holidays in a group of 5 people at the minimum and couple of hours to start time, Vids and Suds backed out making it difficult for me to digest a holiday already without the prospect of jungles, animals and now friends. The prospect of just the three of us going on the holiday was not making it interesting to me. My wife coaxed, cajoled and finally put it out as a dare and did I bite it??? BTB, she doesn't drive and the thought of me behind the wheels for the entire trip, on god knows what kind of roads was already giving me creeps. With no excuses up my sleeve to call it off, I took the dare - I owe it to her lah!!!

We started early next morning to beat the morning traffic en route. The NH to Mangalore is real nice and delight to drive, it was. 2 kms after Sakleshpur I need to take the right fork and proceed towards Hanbal. I was surprised to see smooth table top kind of road all the way till Hanbal. Me thinking - okay! this is turning out pretty good for starters...but soon I was jolted out of my dreams with the road from Hanbal to Coffee Valley bringing out all the wrong notes from our car.

Around coffee valley, there are a lot of good places almost for everyone - If you want to trek, this is heaven, if you want to do a pilgrimage - Horanadu, Dharmasthala, Kateel, Kalasa are just about an hours drive away. There is also a peak close to Devaladakere village which offers an excellent view of the horizon and beautiful sunset - so said our host. So, we spent two evenings waiting for that "picture post card perfect sunset" but then lord Surya had different plans for the evening. BTB, you can either trek or take a 4WD to this place. Don't try it on a bike or a FWD only car. You might not get back your bike or car in working condition!!! and don't tell me i didn't warn, ok!!!

Having spent day 1 & 2 recharging our city tired soul and body, we decided to drive out to nearby place on day 3 & 4. Bababudan Giri was a damp squib, my wife had never seen this place and having heard a lot about this place from the saffron brigade, she wanted to see it. Having decided to go ahead and do a holiday as per her wishes, I mutely drove her to the place and having seen it she was disappointed very much. Though we were supposed to start back to Bangalore next day, on the last minute we decided to visit Horanadu and make up for the dull previous day. The drive to Horanadu was back breaking and I was worried about the another 300 odd kms back. On our way back, we stopped at a coffee shop for refreshments and owner offered us suggestions which turned out to be a gem of an advice. The road from Kalasa to Kottigehara, via Maagundi, Balupet was just what the doctor ordered. The road is nice with thick forest on either side and absolutely no traffic - Only ONE bus crossed us from the opposite direction in 40 kms - GREAT!!!! However, one word of caution - this road should NOT be attempted at night not because of the thick forest and no traffic [no help, in case of a problem] but also because of the presence of the Red Brigade in this area.

During this holiday, everything turned out to be good and more then what i expected except that I had left my SLR & tripod back home and had only a digital to shoot - I already have plan on paper to make amends soon.....This place offers nice, clean cottages to stay and added to that our hosts were really nice and took good care of us esp. tigress, towards the end of the trip she wanted to stay back for a couple of more days. Not that i would mind but then she is too small to stay at place like this all by herself. A couple of years from now may be.....

And how can any holiday be complete with out seeing at least one elephant - tigress's all time favourite? In between Hanbal and Sakleshpur we caught this tusker with 4 people giving him a bath??? Luxury at its best...can you beat it?? No Spa gives four masseurs for one!!! hah hah hah

PS: Anita thanks for writing about this place on your blog, otherwise I wouldn't have found it.


xmeteorite said...

Hi Satish, You got a nice blog there. Dumms told me about it.
Keep blogging - Siddesh

xmeteorite said...

Hi Satish, Nice blog.

Anonymous said...

check out this link:
. This is another home stay in the same region

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