One fine day I woke up and decided to go to Karnataka for an adventure. I messaged my usual partners in crime, fixed a date and started packing for the adventure. Well, I fixed a date which was basically day after. My friends pleaded but there was no going back on our pledge to do a wild trip every year. It was already 27th December, we hadn’t gone anywhere the whole year and I didn’t want to break our vow. So 5 of us, Satyajit, Satyam, Prasanna, Sharmi & me began preparations.

We packed on the day of departure; tents, sleeping bags, mats & clothes. We would buy the food later. After work, we rushed to the railway station, got our seats in the general bogey (it was empty), had a quick bite and chatted until late night until one by one we all drifted off to sleep.

We woke up with a start and realized we were in Bangalore already. Now that’s where the fun began. We got off the train, grabbed some breakfast and sat discussing about the next part of action. Basically, we were in two minds: Go to Hampi or go to Madikeri. Before a fighting began, Satyajit came up with a brilliant plan.

There were two train lined up at the station; one heading to Mysore and the other to Hampi. So he announced whichever train left earlier will be our final destination. That was a master stroke. We quickly checked the schedules and the train to Mysore was to leave earlier than the one to Hampi. This meant we were heading to Coorg.

We had no plans basically. We hadn’t decided where to stay. I had told them all we will find a place once we reached Madikeri and as they are so sweet, they agreed to my plans (or no plans). The idea was to trek to the forest, pitch the tents, cook food and sleep. But alas, only if the life was that simple.

By the time we got to Mysore and then by bus to Madikeri, it was already late evening. This was our first time to Madikeri. That’s when panic kicked in. But that didn’t stop us from buying vegetables and groceries for the night. Now that’s what I call confidence. While 3 of us were buying food, others were calling friends and friends of friends to get a contact of a tea estate owner. We obviously didn’t want to stay in a hotel nor did our budget permit us that. And after all those calls, all that we got was galis from our friends.

We were now all set, to go nowhere and stood in the mostly deserted bus stand. As luck would have it, a young man approached us and enquired about our plans. We told him we were looking for a place in the wild to camp. At the same time, I took a picture of the number plate of his car, making plans in case we were kidnapped.

He readily agreed and introduced himself as a farmer and said he has just the place we were looking for. But instead of cramping us up in his big black fancy chevrolet, he dialled a number. Within minutes a jeep appeared, the one that is common in all the tea estates.

We stuffed ourselves into the tiny vehicle and drove towards his land. Suddenly, he pulled out his phone and started following directions on Google map. Now this freaked us out. Did he not know the way to his own farm? I glanced behind from the front seats, whispered to my friends to get ready with knives in case things didn’t go as planned. We were all equipped with swiss knives and waited silently, sweating and praying, for the farm to arrive.

It was pitch dark outside, there was no one on the road, and we were driving with a stranger in an unknown land. After an eternity, he stopped his jeep at a plateau, surrounded by wilderness and an open sky and asked us to pitch our tents there. We were still expecting 6 guys to appear and beat the hell out of us. But nothing of that sort happened. The guy turned out to be very influencing, rich farmer and helpful human being. He helped us get wood and water and left after seeing that we were comfortable.

Oh, what a night that was!

Click here to read Part 2 of Adventures in Coorg.

Categories: Travelogue


Traveler. Adventurer. Nomad