Part 1 of this trip covers Wayanad, Banasura Sagar dam and Soochippara waterfalls after which we continued our journey to Kutta.
The offbeat destination Kutta is popularly known as south Coorg. The coffee plantations and homestays, combined with proximity of two wildlife sanctuaries make it a good location to stay.
After breakfast buffet at our resort, Bison Manor Resort, which was served late after 8.30 or around 9am, we visited Irpu Falls, nearby Kutta. Again, we needed to walk 1.2 km to see the waterfalls, but the paths were properly laid and there was no steep climb or rocky terrain on the way, instead a mix of long walk and proper steps. At the bottom of the waterfalls, there was a metal platform for the visitors to enter the waterfalls. And there is a view point platform constructed with seating, a bit away from the waterfalls, for the people who do not want to bath and would rather enjoy the view. The place was crowded, but the walkway was inviting. There were blue butterflies flying near the waterfalls and were a delight to see.
The rocks were not too slippery unless you are wearing shoes and sandals. But unfortunately, RK had a minor slip while carrying Nayana to wet her feet near the view point. Thankfully, RK carried her well, and she escaped without any hit, while RK got minor scraps on his arm. And some one else too broke their mobile phone when trying to get a better position for mobile clicks.
We returned to the resort, for lunch. For the first two days, food was cooked on order for all the rooms, and were served batch by batch. This was a cumbersome method for them and also for us as customers because of the delay, till they changed to buffet for all meals on last day.
After lunch, we started off to Nagarhole national park. What we heard about the timings were 4 to 6pm, while the actual safari timings were from 3 to 5pm. We reached at 4pm to see a huge crowd in front of the office reception, and lots of scattered people enjoying in the nearby woods. There was no queue system at the office, and people were calling out names through office windows, climbing onto the railings only to get queue number based on which tickets were allotted.
On asking the security guard nearby, we came to know that the seats get full at 2pm itself, by the tourist buses, who books the safari buses in large batches. He recommended to come early in morning around 6.30am. So we returned back, enjoyed some time in the nearby maintained woods, took some great portraits and pictures of woods, and saw large number of deers before returning back.
Getting up early morning amidst chilly weather and mist in a vacation is the most daunting task. But we had come so far, and there was nothing else to see nearby Kutta. Hence we took off in our car, with headlights on and wearing all our jackets, while the sun had not started rising at all. We reached the gate at around 6.30am, where in we need to get down and write the passenger and car details everytime you pass through the national park gate and enters the forest area.
Once we were into the forest, few meters after crossing the gate, our instincts started looking for animals in forest area. We were lucky enough to see an elephant on the road side, and we stopped the car immediately. And then, more elephants with a baby elephant lurking on the side, crossed the road. The last one to cross the road was a big tusker. As the elephants began fading away from our view, the vehicles behind us, soared ahead, and we too followed their path. I was too awestruck by the moment, that I didn’t reach for the camera. Though the regret is still there, I have accepted it is better to capture some frames for the memory. It makes them special.
At the Nagarhole national park office, there were very few tourist cars, and a peaceful atmosphere awaited us. We got the tickets for the first bus, but had to satisfy with the last seats.
The safari started again with plain deers, antelopes (deers with horns), peacocks and some special bird in the distance, nearby a pond. We also saw a carcass of a bison, which was rumored to be attacked by a tiger seen the previous day nearby the area.
Poor Nayana was very sleepy and almost slept, considering she woke up without a tantrum very early. The safari turned out not that lucky for us. We returned back soon for breakfast, as we were hungry and sleepy and did not linger around much.
Since this was the last day, RK wanted to cave in and relax for the vacation. We played lot of pool and a bit of table tennis. I checked out the books at the library, and found the book of memoirs by Gayatri Devi, A princess remembers. The kiddo was getting very bored and wanted us to play with her whole time. And we did too. She was exposed to the football, trampoline, and table tennis.
Checking out from the resort, after breakfast, we bid bye to Kutta. We started late around 11.30 and had lunch break of one hour at the A2B restaurant on the Bangalore Mysore Highway. The rest of the journey was peaceful, with traffic on Bangalore outskirts, but smooth ride as we went past the Nice Road, and entered Bangalore. Road traffic was comparatively less in the city as vacations were still on, and we reached back home around 7.30pm.
Though the vacation was not properly planned, we made a quick getaway for the year end. The trekking experiences reminded us to work towards moving the body more in this year, and remain fit. Though the spirit of Christmas and new year specials were missed, we had a gala time, and bonded as a family in this two weeks, much better than in the past whole year.
Note: For more images, and high resolution ones, please visit my Flickr page.