There comes this mandatory holiday of every year, as the year ends and when everyone packs their bags with out of office screaming on their forehead, apparently you would be inspired more to go somewhere. Off late I prefer celebrating birthdays, new year and other special occasions in a place away from the buzzing world.
After spending a decade, some friends are like family, in two cars we set out for our last road trip of the year on December 28th, 2019.
Chikmagalur is always a special place for me, and I was more than excited to welcome 2020 in this pretty little town. We had planned a five day trip and it was more of a leisurely vacation. Huddled inside the Mullayanagiri mountains, our homestay was situated inside a coffee estate, so day one after the initial travel from Bangalore to Chikmagalur, we spent the rest of the day loitering the estate and homestay.
We also got a small overview of how coffee beans are processed and packed after harvest from the friendly estate workers.
Waking up to the Mullayangiri mountains was the best thing I could ask for in a vacation, more or less it felt like those mountains were providing me a safe enclosure from the real world, to relax, unwind and rest. With campfire for the cold weather and no mobile network, minimal electricity, sumptuous food, only books and friends for company , it felt more of a home.
Next day we just wanted to visit Hebbe Falls, having already visited Jhari falls in our 1st trip two years ago, Hebbe falls was like its bigger brother. We reached the place around noon and they made us wait a couple of hours for the jeep availability to take us down to the falls. We had our lunch there in the only hotel that was available nearby and waited for our jeep slot. It was a nine km ride, even though we paid 400 per head, in a six seater jeep they packed ten of us and off we went for a total bumpy rollercoaster ride to the foothills of the falls. After the back breaking jeep ride, we had to walk for 500 metres and there she was massive and beautiful, it was pure delight to watch the water gushing like milk from the mountains.
It was already around 5pm when we went to the falls, so we had to return back before the daylight faded. Around 6 we were back to the jeep and we started our ride back to the gate.
And Boy, oh Boy what an adventure it was, our jeep broke in the mid way and in the pitch dark amidst the forest kind of setup we 11 were stranded. Even though all of us were little bit shaken inside, with help of silly jokes and mobile light we managed to cover a few meters by walk with laughter.
And with some push and pull efforts the jeep was up and running in some 20mins and after we covered the uphill bumps by foot, the jeep managed to drop us at the gate. It was indeed a tiring day after all the unexpected stranded experience and we called it a day.
Gearing up after our last stint, the next day, we wanted a relaxing time. Morning we visited the coffee museum, a small one but an informative one for a coffee lover like me. It had ample parking space and with 20 Rs as entry fee they had information on coffee history, and lots of information on how to grow, harvest, process coffee beans into coffee powder, and the diseases that might infect a coffee plant’s growth and much more. They had a small exhibit of all the coffee machines involved in the process. Also the caretaker or the responsible gave us a small overview of the history, complete farming process of coffee and processing to powder part. After spending an hour, I can say, I came back falling in love more with coffee.
After a nice lunch in café Agappe in RG road, we left to Hirekolale lake, we spent an hour around sunset, and it was a nice scenic view, and what added to the fun was, there were almost 3 pre-wedding or post-wedding shoots going on.
The last day of the year we woke before dawn and headed towards Mullayangiri, to wake the sun up. Around 5:30am in freaking cold we were the first to reach the mountain range, and we started climbing those 500 steps to go all the way up.
The view was amazing among the clouds and the sun came out shamelessly late after sometime. It seemed fit to see the sunrise from there on the last day of the year.
We woke the sun up, so shouldn’t we send it back home safe, so there we went to the Baba Budan Giri range in the evening to witness the sun going home on the last day of the year. This being my 2nd visit here, will always stay as my favourite spot in the cute town. Driving the venue all the way up was a total off road experience, up and up all the way around we reached around 5pm to the sprawling hills of Baba Budan Giri range.
Top of the mountains was a total surreal and out of the world experience. To see the lush green mountains, I always feel to let out and run like a gazelle.
As the sun was going home, I felt it was a perfect farewell to the year too, and I could start fresh tomorrow a new year, a new beginning to be precise a new calendar. In the cold weather, around the campfire, yapping some old stories we huddled together to welcome our 10th new year together. It might be the most usual thing to do, but amidst the mountains with my close bunch I felt it was the right way to start a new year and a new decade for us.
Let this year bright up all our homes with happiness and warmth. There is no time like now, to start something you have always wanted too 🙂
And on the last note, Wishing you all a very Happy and Prosperous 2020..!!