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!
Ooty aka Udagaai aka Udakamandalam aka Ootachamund is a very well known place in South India. It is a very famous hill station which is always covered in clouds. Coonoor is another famous location very near to ooty. Also famous for mindblowing viewpoints. Our journey started from Bangalore in June at 3 am in the morning. 4 of us started to travel in 2 bikes. One pulsar 200 and one pulsar 220. We had to travel in the Mysore road towards Mysore. By 4.30 in the morning, we had reached a Barista lavazza cafe near Channapatna which is around 60 kms from Bangalore. We were so hungry and ate and drank very well there itself and left at around 5.15 to Mysore. We rode continuously till Mysore and reached there by 6.50. There is a small hotel called Hotel Mylari in nazarbad in Mysore.
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.
This had been one of our dream treks and got lucky that one of our Bangalore based trekking club got permission for the route. Obtaining permission is quite difficult owing to the fact that the trek ranges along restriced areas of both Kerala and Tamilnadu and most the trek route would be along the border of the states.The plan was to cover the trek with in 2 days which would be difficult to squeeze since the ideal time to cover the trek would be 3 days. So we had to cover a distance of 35 (15Km on first day and 20Km on the next) within two days. We had started towards Munnar Friday night and got to reach Chinnar at 7 am the next day, where we first encountered the Kerala border check post. The guide joined us there and we went along the picturesque road towards Munnar. We had a great breakfast (Appam and Puttu-kadala curry) at a place called Marayur inside the Kerala border on way towards Munnar. The highway route was amazing with beautiful tea estates and gorgeous valleys.
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.