I'd been planning a solo road-trip-cum-trek for some time. Just thinking about the open highway and unlimited greens gives me goose-bumps. I decided to head towards Coorg. I'd never been to Coorg before, if you disregard a school trip to Talacauvery. I'd heard a lot oohs and aahs about the place... well, thought I'd see for myself.
The plan was to leave Saturday morning, drive to Nagarhole national park, do the safari in the evening and find some place to grab some zzz's. The Sunday plan was to trek to the top Tadianda Mol. Tadianda Mol is the tallest peak in Coorg, Though it is shorter than Mullainagiri or Bababudanagiri (in Chikmagalur), it's much prettier.
Friday night at 7:00 PM Ujjal calls to say he's coming too, and at 11:00 PM I get a similar call from Archana. So now my solo plan's a three person affair. Ah well, in the immortal words of Mick Jagger, "You can't always get what you want".
I leave home at 5:30 AM on Saturday, the 8th of November. The street lights are still on and the sleepy Bangalore roads are entirely deserted. I made it to Ujjal's place in record time, only to find the lazy bum was still asleep, and hadn't packed yet. It was 7:00 AM by the time we made it to Archana's place, and then Realisation strikes! I have forgotten to pack my camera. So quick re-route happens, and I decide to take the Kanakpura route instead of Mysore Road. Longer, more scenic, and most importantly, my home's on the way.
Note to self: Throw that silly road atlas and get a decent one. I reached Kanakpura, took a wrong turn and found myself back on Mysore road, which has to be the single most congested highway ever. The only bright side was that we got to have a nice breakfast at Kamat's in Ramnagaram.
The freaky shot you see here was taken in Kamat's restaurant between a whole lot of banana trees. Don't try to make sense of it. It's just what it seems:- An riotous mayhem of colour.
We reached Mysore by about 10:00 AM, navigated through its formidable maze of streets to get on the route to Hunsur.
Hunsur is on the national highway connecting Mysore to Mangalore. Despite that, there wasn't too much traffic, and we made good time. At Hunsur is a detour off the national highway to a state highway which goes right to Nagarhole. This stretch of highway was very quiet and had very little traffic. We reached the Nagarhole park rangers outpost at about 1:00 PM.
This shot was taken on the lonely state highway.
Just as we entered the park, we saw this very domesticated elephant being led along. The majestic pachyderm ambled along at a dignified pace, while I clicked away.
My camera's batteries gave up on me again. It was the fake batteries I had bought at Sirsi. The battery indicator was flashing throughout the trip, and often the camera would just shut down. This was the last halfway decent snaps I could get out of my camera for the whole trip. Very regrettable indeed.