Sunday April 2nd:
Day 2 was supposed to begin early, but due to our tired and aching bodies that cried out for more rest, we had no other option but to begin late, in fact much later than initially anticipated. After getting ready, we made a trip to the famous Kadri Temple of Mangalore. Though we did not spend too much time within the temple, the calm and serene environs of the place gave me a lot of mental peace. Also, this temple is one of the more well maintained ones I have seen.
Soon, we left Mangalore for Kudremukh, the five of us. The first stop for refreshments was at Nitte, opposite the famous (world famous in Mangalore i.e.) college. After the appropriate energy boosters that we had, we moved on. Now, I have to say that I have been on few drives in South India that match the beauty of the drive in the Kudremukh National Park road. Of course, thed rive to Ooty or Kodai comes to mind, but these roads are very crowded, when compared to the near empty Kudremukh road.
The next stop was at South Kanara Border, where there's a breathtaking view of the ghats from a vantage point. Also, the adjacent hi-tension power lines keep giving a constant hum. It's quite a freaky experience to actually hear the electricity
passing through. This is also the place where I coonvinced the rest of the guys to pose for this photo. Looks like the thin air on that altitude got to them. (No offense guys).
The next stop was at Hanumangundi, which is a waterfall in the Mountains. I had last been there during my PU days on our class trip (Ah, how can I ever forget that time...those beautiful dames...sigh). It was a sense of deja vu for me, as the memories came flooding back (literally, when I was under the waterfall). There were a few changes out there too. For one, there was an entry fee to go down to the waterfall. Secondly, now there are steps to make your climb down and up easier (debatable). But still, the beauty and the charm of the place remains intact. It's nice to see the government taking some initiative in promoting tourism in these areas. But guys, one word of advice. Please don't overdo it. We dont wanna end up with another one of those crass commercialized resort kinda place.
It was great fun getting into the water again, after having been to the beach the previous evening. Of course, beach water is salty and warm, thanks to the heat. But here, the advantage of the waterfall being in the mountains worked wonderfully to the benefit of us sweaty and tired guys. The water was cold and we were in the lake in a jiffy. Though it was a little diificult to adjust to the cold water initially, after around 5 minutes, we didn't really give a damn and went the whole way. Boy, I have to say that the two hours that we spent in the waterfall was the best part of the road trip for me. Adding to the beautiful sight of the gushing waterfall were the women(pretty one's too) who'd come there. Seemed to us at that time that it was the best 30 bucks we ever spent. Seems like it even now.
After having a rollicking time in the falls, we moved to Kudremukh. It was a bit of a dampener that we did not get the permit to take a hike in the National Park. That was the biggest loss for us on the trip. Nevertheess, when you're hungry and tired, such things matter little. Heading to the lone restaurant in kudremukh (of course, the keenly observant Vivekananda spotted a board that said Hotel Ravi, but if that's a hotel, then I'm a monkey's uncle), we asked for the menu. Here's how the converstaion proceeded :
Us : What's there for lunch? Waiter : Everything's over, only South Indian meals left....
10 seconds of silence
Waiter : So, what would you like? Us : You haven't left us with much of a choice, have you...
I have to say, the South Indian meals tasted like the most delicious food we've ever had. And all for damn cheap too. Cost us like 25 bucks a pop, taking extra everything. Content and full, we drove our way back down, but not before stopping at the picturesque Lakya dam for another photograph session.
The next stop was at beautiful Kapu beach, where I had my usual Beer and Fish fry. I have no photographs to show because my camera ran out of battery. But skipped climbing to the top of the lighthouse beacuse i wa stoo tired. I just sat there by the sea shore, soaking in the cool breeze and enjoying the view.
The drive back to Mangalore and dinner at Dolphin, both of them weren't spectacular. All in all, it was a great day, the only disappointment being not being able to take a walk in the National Park. After dropping off Keshava to the bus stand, I headed home wards, and crashed soon after.
Monday April 3rd :
The drive back to Bangalore began on schedule (by this I mean only a slight delay). Nothing out of the ordinary happened thankfully, and we were back in Bangalore and heavy traffic by 5.
T'was a great trip, this one. And i'd like to thank my friends for joining me and helping keep the trip economical. All in all, my expenditure came to around 1200 bucks. Quite good, considering the last time round, when I travelled by bus all over i spent over two grand. But i'd like to thank them more, because without them, this trip would have been a big bore. Till, the next road trip then....Watch this space