April 30: A long weekend. As common with any group of friends, my group wanted to spend the holidays better than sweating it out in Bangalore(which has become super hot this season). We took an account of our resources…
People: 4(including me)
Time: 2 Days
The smart people would have planned a long weekend trip at least a month early. But we started planning on it two days before – not many options were there. We decided to go to wherever accommodation was available. We decided on Coorg and I booked an AirBnB stay – a confirmed reservation for April 30th. The plan was to drive to Coorg in the morning – around 4-5 AM to avoid the morning rush hour traffic.
At least that was the plan – but when have trips like these ever gone according to plan? Our host canceled at the last minute(the night before we were supposed to start). We were still figuring out other options available, when we realized that our friend who was supposed to drive us there wasn’t replying to our messages anymore. He had slept off without finalizing on the plan, only to wake up the next day morning at 10 AM!
Obviously the trip wasn’t happening anymore. So we decided to meet up for lunch and at least go for a short drive to the outskirts of Bangalore, desperate to use the long weekend. So the four of us met.
Suddenly, talks started about making the Coorg trip happen. Let me remind you this is at one in the afternoon. So again we started calling up whatever home-stay and hotels were showing up in Google search to check for their availability for the same day. As expected, everything was booked. One of the home-stay guys even warned me not come to Coorg without a booking as any possibility of finding an accommodation was bleak.
But fortunately, after much efforts we got to know about a home-stay which had availability. It wasn’t a listed property, hence there was no way of seeing the pictures or reviews of the place to make our decision. We still decided to give it a try, asking the home-stay owner to send us photos of the facility. Finally, we started – at 3 PM. 11 hours after our original plan.
The drive was good. Hot as hell though. We tried to keep our spirits high listening to music and making silly conversations. Anything that could help us beat or forget the heat!
On our way our host had sent us photos of our accommodation, and honestly, they didn’t look very promising. People who know me, know that I am a budget traveler, not fussy about stay as long as it’s clean. But even I was a little doubtful about this one. We were out of options – so we decided to take our chances.
We were some 10-15 km away from the destination, when the car took a sharp turn into a very narrow road. There were coffee plantations on both the sides of the road and no street light. “This was going to be a great trip.” I thought to myself at that point.
But one of us got paranoid. He felt it was totally unsafe, and that we should go back into the main Coorg town area and search for accommodation. The rest of us, however, were very comfortable, and didn’t want to go back. In fact this was what all of us wanted, something way into the woods, far away from the traffic and fast life of the city.
Our cottage was in a totally isolated location as well, surrounded by coffee plantations and forests, basically it was amidst all green. When we reached the place, there was a power cut, giving the place a slight creepy touch, which made our paranoid friend even more reluctant to stay. His paranoia settled a bit after electricity came back. Power cut was quite frequent here, with no back-up, so we got to see a little more of his jumpy side.
We had the two bedroom cottage to ourselves. Our host was very accommodating and available to help us all the time. He even prepared a bonfire for us. In a cold dreamy night, under the stars, all you needed was wine, some fire and good friends. I could not have asked for more. We sat there talking till the fire doused until 2 in the morning. We got home-cooked mouth watering food – dinner as well as breakfast.
It was a beautiful sunny morning the next day. We had to start back to Bangalore as soon as possible. Although, thanks to the previous day’s tiring journey, the ‘asap’ couldn’t happen before 11 AM.
We had to travel through the Nagarhole national park. By then there was an overcast sky and the roads were almost empty. The entire stretch was beautiful. We saw deers, elephants and even a fox. This drive got more interesting when it started pouring. The visibility was almost zero, and we were still driving. Amazingly the long journey didn’t seem that tiring thanks to the great weather. The overcast sky and/or drizzling continued throughout our way back.
We decided to take a longer and lesser commercial route on the way back. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any decent eatery. We had the occasional snacks and chips, but that didn’t suffice. The car had become a mourning space as we all were famished. We finally made a halt at 8pm for lunch/ dinner, ate to our heart’s full.
It was like somebody had blown fresh life into us. There was non-stop chattering and nice old Hindi songs playing in the background post this pit stop, till we reached home. It was almost as if we were starting on a new trip. But of course I could only think about my bed and start dreaming about the next trip!
PS – If any of you are interested in the home-stay, here is the contact detail:
Ponnappa – 9964218404