|Peppers at Coorg|
The restless Travel Bug in me was set free, yet again as we embarked on our journey to Coorg. This was an extended weekend and we decided to visit Coorg only a week before. As we started calling the various resorts, cottages and homestays, we realized we were a tad too late. Everything that had good ratings on Trip Advisor was booked! But, what came to our rescue was a referral by a resort to this particular homestay. So we spoke to the owner, looked at the pictures on their website. Satisfied enough, we transferred a certain amount to the owner’s bank account and we had our booking done. This was the ‘Coorg Bamboo Grove’.
Where we stayed: Homestays are very common in south, particularly hill destinations. Many are not the authentic homestays though. Several cottages/rooms built on a tea/coffee estate and run commercially are also termed homestays these days. However, we stayed at a proper homestay in the Ammathi, Vontiangadi area of Coorg. We were with the owner’s family in their house; having meals with them and sharing their personal space. Of course we had a room to ourselves with an awesome balcony. The experience is akin to visiting some distant uncle’s house. It’s a bit weird in the beginning but you get used to it as Coorgis are really friendly, open and a hospitable lot.
How we travelled: We set out from Bangalore at 6:00 am in our car and reached the stay at 12:00-12:30pm (distance of approx. 260 km). The drive wasn't much though. The road condition is pretty pathetic in some stretches. Some patches are so bad it’ll make everything you've had since morning squished and churned into a frothy foam.
What we did: This March, it was really hot during the day, so mostly it was morning walks amid-st the coffee estates, lazing around in the homestay balcony or verandah. A visit to the Cauvery river nearby in the evenings and driving around on narrow roads surrounded by green. We did drive down to Madikeri with plans to check out the various tourist spots (Abbi Falls, Raja Seat, Dubare, Bhagamandala etc.) But after our visit to Abbi Falls and Dubare, we realized they were nothing out of the ordinary. Things we can easily skip without remorse. And with the heat killing us, we did a U-turn to our cool homestay retreat.
Chilllax-ing and Eat-ing is what you can do best at Coorg. Pandicurry anyone???