April 03, 2016

MicroAdventure - March

Location: Coorg
Plan: Night Trek and Camping, Find a waterfall and sit under it, Go to Coorg and find an accessible natural water source! 

This summer weather has made me quite grumpy. I've been spending a large percentage of each day complaining and sulking about (and blaming everything on) the weather. To make things worse, I did not have an escape plan and somehow the days went by so fast and it was already the last week of March. I had some random ideas towards the end of the week, but sadly they didn't materialise into actual plans. I sulked more on Saturday, knowing that Sunday was my only day to go somewhere. Anywhere.

Aditi, who somehow tolerates most of my complaining all day at work came to my rescue. She messaged me Saturday evening telling me that she'd come along if I had any trip plans. Exactly 2 hours later, we were at the bus stop! We spent 7 hours on a bus with hard non-reclining seats and slightly squished next to a lady who didn't have much regard for personal space. It was still worth the cheap tickets though! At 5:30 in the morning, we found ourselves in the chilly Madikeri bus stop up in the Coorg hills waiting for daybreak. 

Sunday is a slow day for the already slow-paced town. With the exception of a few morning walkers, life unfurled gradually over the course of our town exploration. We watched gardens being swept, cars being washed, newspaper rounds, and milk being put to boil in the coffee shops. We nosily peeked through gates and over walls as we walked and within two hours, we had covered most of the little streets and even scaled the ramparts of the Madikeri fort.

Post breakfast, the town seemed to be a little more awake and we inquired about waterfall options in the area and then headed out to the closest one from the town. It was quite a disappointing waste of a couple of hours, I should say. The trickle of water that formed a greenish frothy pool at the bottom of the rock face was not what I had in mind. The pathway at the edge of the water was filled with selfie-stick tourists who somehow still felt the need to take a gazillion pictures. Ugh. The ride there and back through forests and coffee estates was quite pretty though. 

Our borderline desperation attempts to find some water to jump into put us on a local bus shortly afterwards for an hours ride to the Cauvery river. The conductor had to wake us up at our stop and we jumped off the bus in a daze only to find ourselves still another ride away from any water. 

We reached the river at Dubare Forest and much to our dismay, found the place teaming with picnickers and squealing rafters. We walked along the river banks until we were far from all of that. The summer had brought down the water levels baring many rocks that divided the span of the river. 

This space was our own and the water was so inviting! I cannot tell you how the next few hours passed. With barely any energy to do any proper swimming, we let the gentle current rock us into bliss. The surface of the water was warmed by the sun but deeper down, a refreshing coolness. We found perfectly shaped rocks to wedge ourselves between, and with just our faces out of the water surface, we could easily be mistaken as lifeless. 

We stayed in their until our fingers and toes resembled raisins and we had started smelling of the river. The only other people we saw were a group of stark naked village kids who jumped between the rocks in and out of the pools fishing with one piece of cloth. They were fully immersed in their afternoon fun oblivious to the hot rocks, the sun and us. 

It was seriously difficult to pull ourselves out from the water. After drying ourselves in the sun we headed back on the bus to the town. Aditi wanted to try some local Coorg cuisine, so we managed to find one restaurant that was open for an early dinner. We were ravenous and gobbled up the food despite it being a below average meal. We were asleep before the bus even left Madikeri and woke up back in Bangalore at 4 in the morning and we were back at work a few hours after that. 

So much post-trip depression to add to Monday blues. I found myself dreaming about floating in the river so many times through the day. Until next time. 

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