This past weekend IKC treated us to a weekend excursion to Coorg and Mysore. We left Casa Friday morning around 11:00 am and arrived at Abbydhama guest house in Coorg by 6 pm. The room was far nicer than anything I deserve. We unpacked and spent the rest of the night playing ping-pong and Capitalism, a card game I shared which has proven to be a hit. Suman even got in on the action!
The following morning we ate a breakfast of Idli and Vada, a popular South Indian dish of steamed lentil/rice cakes and deep-fried legume dough served with a variety of chutnies and sambar. I’ve had the best cup of coffee in my life several times since arriving in India but I think the coffee at Abbydhama, which comes from the plantations in Coorg, takes the cake.
When the British populated Southern India, many Scots came to Coorg and farmed its first coffee plantations, noticing the similarities in landscape between Coorg and Scotland, they coined it “the Scotland of India”. A thick mist pervades through lush green forests, sometimes obstructing what you can only assume is a breathtaking view. After breakfast, we headed to Dubare Elephant Camp and Rafting. Apparently tourists were once allowed to ride the elephants but can’t anymore, probably for the best, but we were still able to walk and interact with them freely.
After seeing the elephants we changed cloths and suited up for an hour of white water rafting down the River Cauvery (Liz had the GoPro so wait for pics from her). It was an awesome time. At one point all of us got in the water and floated for a good 20 minutes, despite the apparent crocodiles Suman saw in an adjacent stream.
Saturday morning we took a jeep ride up to a hill station in Mandalpatti, Coorg. From there we hiked about a kilometer uphill to a viewpoint which the fog thoroughly surrounded. Although we couldn’t see but 20 feet in each direction, it was a sweet place to spend the morning and the jeep ride, both ways, was immensely entertaining.
Sunday morning, before leaving for Mysore, we went to Abby Falls. The pictures should speak for themselves.
This weekend got me super excited to get out in the wilderness of India. When the program ends, I plan to head north from Delhi to Rishikesh and into the Himalayas. I can’t thank Girish, Suman, Sheela, and all the IKC staff enough. They are doing wonders to help us get the most out of our stay in India, which with a group our size, is no small task.
Missing you all back home.