Visited Kokkare Bellur again, 15 months after my first visit. There were not many birds this time. Painted Storks were around 20-25 in number.Pelicans were very less in number. I counted 7 or 8 pelicans. I tried to get a decent shot of these big birds, but in vain. That pelican was hiding behind the tree branches as if its being guilty of something:P Few of the sun-bathing Storks posed for the camera without hesitation. And so was this squatting one Bellur, became famous &got the prefix ‘Kokkare’ (Storks) because of these beautiful birds &is home for hundreds of storks &pelicans.
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.
You must be wondering what is chhoti patti and why I mentioned it in the topic. You will know this as you finish reading the blog.:) Most of my friends are a**h***s and almost 70-80% of the headache of planning a trip comes to me. This was the trip in which I did almost nothing, other than going to the trip. And the reason why all this could happen was because all those a**h*** friends didn't come to this trip. Actually this was my first all-colleagues trip to any outstation place and thus it was really a nice experience. I got to spend a valuable no-bug and no-debug time with them. Plan was very simple - take train till Shimoga, book a taxi and visit Jog Falls , take same taxi to Mudureshwar, next day spend some time on the beach , come back to Shimoga, if possible visit some places on the way, and then take train back to Bangalore.