We were a bit terrified as the place was right by a dense forest and full of scary night sounds. Unfortunately, there was no wood around and we had to go over a fence into that terrifying forest. I absolutely refused and gave an excuse that someone had to stand guard the tent. I had no doubts ghosts existed and didn’t want to take a chance. Sharmi said someone had to take care of me, so also decided to stay. So our brave soldiers, on whom depended our dinner, crossed the border in search of firewood.
It must have been about 20 minutes when we heard Satyajit scream followed by Prasanna’s SOS shouts. I gathered courage, I had none though, but ran to see what was happening. I was bombarded with firewood flying across and saw the two headlamps jump over the fence. The third was far behind.
By the time Satyam crossed the fence, I stood frozen. By then Satyajit and Prasanna were beside me. Sharmi came running and we both waited to know what had happened. They just said to quickly collect the wood and make a fire. Satyam caught up and we dashed to the fireplace, arranging the wood and starting the fire.
So I asked again why did they scream ran so fast. They both said they heard a growl. There seemed to be a leopard close to their heels. We knew these woods are frequented by wild cats. We were about to go into a shock but were saved due to Satyam’s timely intervention. He announced “Damn it, that was my stomach growling”.
We all looked at each other in disbelief under the glow of the fire and our headlamps. That seemed ever scarier. We were in between crying and laughing. Even though the scare was over, none of slept the whole night and barely ate our dinner, except Satyam of course.
The next morning we laughed like maniacs during our “chai pe charcha”. The campsite was terrific. There was no one to disturb us. We lazed around until the afternoon and left for another campsite. Remember, we were calling friends of friends for a place to stay. So, one of them had got back to us asking us to contact his friend’s father who owned an estate in Galibeedu. So we went, trusting our instincts.
Coorg had our hearts and we experienced much more than we had bargained for. Spice plantations, hornbills, water falls, coffee estates, a monastery and very warm people.