Don't get alarmed by the title, I just had a small accident on the trek :D. Unlike my previous trekking posts, I promise to stick to the main details ;) It was Saturday, June the 12th of 2010, that 20 enthusiasts and two guides from BMC embarked to climb Makalidurga, around 70km from Bangalore. Four of them I knew from the trek to Madhugiri. A cloudy and windy day, most of us were prepared for rain (some like me wished for downpour:D). After an awesome ride via new airport road and beautiful country-side we reached the scarcely populated village of Makalidurga. We chattered away for most of the ride and my customary penchant for enjoying the window-view noted just the one odd - a resort named something like 'Ramaswamy - California' Resort!
The very title here is an indication of what this post is going to be about. Yes it was my first ever bike trip. Another enduring, animated, serene and blissful experience to the wish list.60..65..70..engines stroking 3000 rpm...the bikes roaring on the dark roads;zooming past the wide paths me, Shreyas and Anuj set off on our bike trip to Wayanad. Dinner on the way on Mysore road at Kamat's and a night halt at Hotel Mayura in Srirangapatana , just enough to accommodate three of us in a room but at 450 bucks was worth, considering the time for which we had to halt. We freshned up in the morning, a cup of tea and we started off at 6 am to Wayanad , Via Nanjangud , Gundulpet, Bandipur. It took us no less than 3 hours to reach Wayanad.
Running short of options for a weekend getaway is not so unusual and the situation was quite similar when we planned for one. A lot of googling led us to Sakleshpur , a small town in southern Karnataka , famous for coffee and pepper plantations. 20 kms away from this place lies a small home stay by the name Coffee Valley. A train journey from Bengaluru landed us at the deserted Sakleshpur railway station at 4 am. That was indeed a spooky stay of almost half an hour before our pick up car came. With absolutely no trace of human beings around we found it to be quite adventurous.
In an earlier life, repetitive tourism (in whatever guise:temples, tirth yatra or just a getaway) would be good cause for loud and insistent protests, to my parents lasting aggravation. Post marriage has resulted in a surprising complacency and tolerance that I would not have believed myself of conjuring (though there might be differing opinions on this!). Ergo, we found ourselves cruising along on Mysore road for the second time in as many months. Though its been a couple of years now, we cannot get over our luck at being blessed with this highway:shiny clean and even enough to eat off. As battered as we were by our road trips to South Kanara, we treated this one with the normal emotions Indians reserve when treated to a motorable highway:unselfconscious delight and surprise. This trip was hastily planned with frantic calls to resorts and plenty of second guessing and rethinking to boot. With a friend’s recommendation, we settled on the Royal Orchid otel Hotel ckhoHotel at Brindavan Garden KRS. Brindavan gardens that provided the colour to a hundred tacky wet-sari songs in all possible vernacular tongues.
After another long gap we got an opportunity, in the form of a 4 day Christmas holiday, to go on an outing. It was late by the time we started planning and getting accommodation was getting difficult. After evaluating different options, we closed in on to either Coonoor or Kudremukh. We got a booking in a small hotel in Coonoor. But Kudremukh was more tempting as we had read quite a bit about it and it appeared more beautiful and pristine. Kudremukh or "Kudere Mukha"literaly means "Horse Face". It gets this name from the highest peak in that region which resembles the face of a horse. It belongs to the Western Ghats mountain ranges of India and has 600 sq. km. of protected forests. There was a large open pit iron ore mine by KIOCL ( Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd.) which has ceased operations now owing to environmental pressures.