I know I am late. Just like you want to go home early from work and all of a sudden it seems, traffic is being mischievous with you and plays around to see your frustrated face. Well, think I was in a similar kind of situation. But as it’s said, it’s never too late to start over again.
I am overwhelmed with amazing response to my first part of this story, thanking you from the deepest of my heart for liking my blog posts. It’s truly a motivating factor and now your encouragement produces a pleasant feeling of responsibility. Yes, I am enjoying writing my experiences. While anything can inspire me, interactions with others are my main sources. In that regard, the internet and social media have enlightened me. Again, thank you for your patient wait and I look forward to your continued inspiration & support.
Alright! Coming back to fun midst nature, just after seeing those beautiful pictures, we sheathed up the cameras. We began to call Peter, find him where he was but with no success & then started to move towards Chikamagaluru to buy some stuff. I was still desperately looking for a shoe shop.
Finally we were at the MG road in Chikamagaluru, Ah! There I see a Puma shop. “Please stop here” I requested. Deepak said he wanted to join me as he also was looking for sandals. We scattered away to different shops. Finally we received call from Peter; we spoke with him about everything but goofed up by not asking where he was. Good news was we had our new foot wears.
Unaware of the place, we started our journey again to reach a nature quest. It was a beautiful drive. The weather was just so awesome. To quench the thirst, we now require water and upon finding out we got empty water bottles in the car. Thankfully, we were still inside the city limits and found a shop, Deepak ran out to get some water, while he was at the shop, he got savouring smell of fresh buns. Coming back with water, as the window glass rolled down “Are you guys Hungry?” he enquired us with hungry smile. Before we could complete saying our ‘yes’, he was out there near bakery to get the stuff. It was hot aloo buns and sweet buns. We enjoyed eating them while the rain drops started to settle down on window glasses making the vision haze. The food stuff was also the hot topic of discussion on our school’s Whatsapp group.
Busy us, discussing on various topics throughout our journey. Those loud talks and laughs in the woods never interpreted that we could welcome uproar of something not expected. It was definitely not the tiger’s roar even being midst them in that dense forest. The weather was cool; roads were wet with minimal lighting conditions. Turn right or left, we could only see the first set of trees, thickness where even a ray of sun light could not be passed. To add more fun to it was the network of our phones – miserably low.
Reaching at a point where the board reads “Welcome to Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary & Tiger Reserve”, we then realise that we have lost the route again. Thankfully, there was a forest check post and a wise man inside it. Completely unaware of where we are, we took the forest guard’s help by telephoning to Peter from fixed line. We wasted 30 minutes standing under the small shelter of check post to get rid of rain. We were still unable to connect and locate where Peter was. Forest guard helped us by suggesting a route. We were confused of taking this route. Finally with no more options left, we nodded our heads hearing to the forest guard’s route to reach our destination. Driving few Kilo meters away, we reached a ‘Y’ shaped juncture. One way goes upwards and the other goes downwards. Confused looks on each one of us. We took out Google maps (the phones had trifling network strength though) “Amazing!” we shouted, when two phones indicated different directions altogether. One said we need to go onwards and the other said we need to go backwards. GPS was fooling us only because we were on the curvy roads, inside a forest and the uncertain surfaces the location had. We started to move the car until we got the correct directions in all the phones. Still unsure where the route would take us, we kept on driving. Amit had a small face already due to all this hustle. Deepak noticed it and enquired him “Are you upset?” To make the scene lighter I cracked a joke, which brought a loud burst of laughter and is something which became the signature dialogue of this trip.
We saw nature closely – the landscapes, the hills, the trees and ponds in between which were the best travel sceneries I have ever got. It seemed like all those were neatly crafted and decorated for our visit. At some point of time, we were happy that the lost route made us experience this amazing drive.
At a juncture, we called Peter and he was available on phone to guide us. Peter was the owner of the Homestay which was our next destination. We were anticipating Peter to be a gigantic personality and could be scary listening to his voice over the phone. He guided us well and finally we saw him near the entrance of his homestay which was in the thick woods. Dressed in military cap & pant with black t shirt, Peter was neither gigantic nor scary.
The Homestay is great place for Nature Camps, Trekking, Camp-fire, Pet arena and some indoor activities. Walk into the adjacent areas of Bhadra reserve forest which also happens to be the best place for bird watching. An expert will guide us into the forests, explaining about the values and conserving the Mother Nature.
Stomach filled, talking about the good food, we headed towards our tent which was set up in the midst of plantations. We had a nap after the tiring journey. Amit is known as an enthusiastic photographer woke up and pulled Deepak out, leaving behind sleeping Naveen & me.
Sun was setting, our eyes were opening. It was a fresh feel to wake up to the bird’s chirping and in between the lush green thick trees. There come the photographers Amit & Deepak with satisfied looks of capturing the nature their way. It was dark already and we requested Peter to arrange for a bonfire in front of our tent.
It was a long night, sitting in front of the bonfire in the middle of woods; we discussed so many things starting from our good old school days. While discussing Deepak quoted “Almost all the people who belong to our generation have forte to improve the bad/mishaps of current world, we have wise thoughts which can still save the mankind. However, reluctant we- are sadly not doing it.” That really did electrify me, and I was counting on what I have done to be the change. My soul answered me straight and clear ‘significantly nothing!’
The food was ready and surprisingly the cook was also one of the participants of our discussion. We had really good food for one more time. Naveen was sleepy and ran into the tent. Ten minutes later he was sitting with us in the restaurant area of the homestay. There was red ant attack in our tent. Both cook and Peter tried hard to shoo away the little creatures. Finally beds were ready and we went to sleep.
“Sir, wake up and come out, there’s a hornbill sitting right here” was the shout from Peter. And it was a morning alarm for us. Deepak woke up, ran out to check out the bird. He was back and fell on the bed for more sleep. Waking up in the midst of nature is an incredible feel which one can get and we were lucky enough. The day stared with a hot cup of tea and we were ready to trek the thick forest and to reach the river.
The trek was into the forest for about 3 kilometres to reach the river. It was fun yet a scary trek for me. I struggled hard fighting with leeches all the way till we reached the river Bhadra. The chances of seeing a tiger in the wild might be just as slim as anywhere in the country, this forest shows us so much more of itself to intruders such as us, especially thanks to the well informed and enthusiastic naturalists who take us around and take pains to explain the workings of the forest to us.
The best part of the nature walk wasn’t the animals, birds or the insects but it was the wonderful sights which surrounded us as soon as we reached the river. It was a beautiful and pleasant sight. We enjoyed to the fullest extent. How can I miss to mention the dog called ‘tiger’ that joined us for this trek along with guide. We had awesome time playing, swimming and of course clicking in this nature expedition. Peter came there with his fishing rod, he found nothing.
Heading back towards the homestay for lunch, we saw some traces of tiger, marking its territories. The light paw marks could not be captured in the cameras as there was on and off rains which made the visibility poor. We had good lunch and packed our bags to head towards Bangalore.
It was an amazing trip, we being very close to nature at Chikkamagaluru. I would definitely love to go back and explore more of this place. I would also recommend all of you to visit this place. Adventure, Fun, Wildlife, Nature and Peace guaranteed!
Now it’s time to relax and have a look at the pictures:
Here are few videos:
You just read ‘Fun midst nature’, want to try it? Here is the itinerary for you:
Itinerary (Bangalore – Chikkamagaluru – Bangalore):
Travellers – 4
Date of visit: 5th & 6th July 2014
Mode of transport: Innova (Rented)
Distance travelled: 800kms approx (to & fro)
Castle Home Stay – www.castlehomestay.com
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