Saturday, April 29, 2023

Homestay Experience at Kudajadri Drizzle: Finding Hidden Gems Amongst the Average

Day 3 : A Trip to En Ooru: A Mixture of Adventure and Disappointment

On day 3, We woke up to a breathtaking view of mist from our beds in the morning. We bid farewell to our host, who had been incredibly helpful during our stay. 

As we set off on the next leg of our adventure, we reached En Ooru. After two days of trying tickets, we finally managed to book online tickets and hopped onto a jeep, excited for the adventure ahead.

Despite the rush of the weekend, we enjoyed the Jeep ride and the thrill of traversing through rough terrain. However, our excitement was short-lived as we reached En Ooru. The weather was hot and uncomfortable, and we were disappointed to find that there was little to see in the area.

There were few huts, and there was nothing of interest to explore. Perhaps if the climate was pleasant, we might have appreciated the beauty of the surroundings. 

Tribal Archery Museum: A Fun-Filled Adventure
In En ooru, there was a tribal archery museum that offered an interesting opportunity for Archery. My husband was excited to try his hand at it. The museum provided us with three chances to hit the target, and if successful, we would win a gift.
To our surprise, my husband managed to hit the bull's eye on his third attempt and won the game. Myself and Hethvick were thrilled and couldn't stop applauding him for his incredible shot.

The Key Mishap: A Halt in Our Journey

After a tiring morning, we decided to head towards our next stay Kudajadri Drizzle. However, just as we were about to do so, we received a call from the owner of the Bodhi Hut. It turned out that we had accidentally taken the room key with us. We rushed back to return the key and continued our journey. 

Although the food at the India Gate Restaurant was excellent, we were keen on exploring other dining options. However, we soon realized that finding decent hotels during our journey was a challenge. 
Despite this, we continued our journey with high spirits and stopped at Taste and Mist restaurant in Kalpetta, and while the food was delicious, it did come with a hefty price. However, what truly made the experience memorable was the breathtaking view of the forest from the restaurant. It was a truly enchanting sight, and I found myself lost in the beauty of nature while enjoying my meal. 

Boatless Bustle: Banasura Sagar Dam : A crowded Saturday

On the go, we decided to visit Banasura Sagar Dam and later check into homestay to unwind in the evening. The weather was hot and the place was crowded on a Saturday, which made it difficult to get tickets for the speed boats. In light of our Hethvick and the weather conditions, we opted for a van to reach the top and admired the stunning view of Asia's second-largest dam. Hethvick was traveling in van for the first time and he thoroughly enjoyed it.

Our Homestay Experience at Kudajadri Drizzle: Finding Hidden Gems Amongst the Average
We checked into Kudajadri Drizzle Homestay, a 95-year-old Jain Tharavadu (ancestral home of nair Joint families in Kerala). Though it was amidst the lush greenery, upon arriving I was initially disappointed with its average appearance, considering the cost of around 3500 INR per night (without food). The homestay would cost at a mere 1500 INR only.

Having previously stayed in a treehouse amidst nature for two days, it took some time to adjust to the room.

As we explored the homestay, we stumbled upon an inviting pond and a variety of big blooming flowers. It was a delight to take a walk in the natural beauty. Upon encountering large, red ants, we quickly fled the scene.

A Traditional Family: A Story of Love and Care
On seeing our car's registration from Tamil Nadu, One uncle, who looked around my dad's age, struck up a conversation with us. We quickly bonded with him and his family, as they were from our hometown of Erode.

They came as a group of 14 people, consisting of 6 families, and were making their own food. They graciously invited us for dinner, and since we couldn't find any good restaurants nearby, we shamelessly agreed.

I joined them and helped in cooking by chopping vegetables, making dough and washing utensils. It was an amazing experience to connect with them and be a part of their cooking process. The family were so traditional and could sense their love and care in making it healthy and tasty for the family rather than eating out.

Despite heavy rain, lack of power backup, and leaking water due to an old building, we couldn't help but reminisce about our childhood and grand mother's house.

The next day morning, We were fortunate enough to pack a couple of delicious idlis for Hethvick that was prepared by the kind family whom we met last night. It was a heartwarming experience, and it reminded me of the kindness of strangers becoming friends or family and the beauty of sharing a meal together. 

Warm Send-off: A Touching Connection:
The grandpa from the homestay gave me a warm send-off, feeling a connection with me, perhaps seeing his missing daughter-in-law in me.

We had plans to visit Kuruva Island and return to Bangalore so that we can take rest on Monday. However, my son and I never wanted the trip to end. Little did we know that was an even more beautiful experience was waiting for us.

Kuruva Island to The Journey That Never Was:

We started our journey on the sunny Sunday after a lovely send-off from the homestay thatha. Kuruva Island was our destination, a beautiful and serene island located in the middle of the Kabini River.

We were filled with hope that we would be able to get tickets to the island. We knew that only 575 tickets were available per day, and we were anxious that they might be sold out. Upon reaching the island, we were greeted with a massive crowd, reminiscent of a carnival festival. It was overwhelming to see so many people in one place.

My husband was looking for a place to park the car while I went rushed to get the tickets. However, to our disappointment, the ticket counter had already closed for the day(even after 9.30 am) and we had missed our chance. We were disheartened, as were eager to explore the island.

At this point, we were feeling a bit lost and disheartened. As per our plans, we decided to head back to Bangalore. As we wandered, we stumbled upon a quaint tea shop. The shopkeeper was friendly, and we struck up a conversation with him. He was a local, and we learned a lot about the near by places. While sipping the tea, the shopkeeper suggested to explore Coorg, which was just 20 km away. He described the route as mesmerizing, and we decided to give it a shot.

With no network on our phones, we set off on our journey.  As we drove towards Coorg, we kept asking locals for directions since there was no network for 20 kms and we could not rely on Google maps. The excitement of the unknown and the thrill of the journey had taken over us.

As we continued, we were awestruck by the scenic beauty of the route. The lush greenery, the winding roads, and the cool breeze made for a refreshing and rejuvenating experience. 

Traveling can often lead to unexpected adventures and experiences that one would never have imagined. One such experience happened to us is on this trip to Kuruva Island, which ended up turning into an unplanned trip to Coorg.

As we neared Coorg, we realized that finding accommodation would be a challenge. It was a long weekend, and most places were booked. However, we were determined to find a place to stay and continue our adventure. 

Click here to read the next post to discover whether we were successful in securing accommodation for the night.

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