Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kabini - here we come!! (Part 1)

We left the 'hood in the wee early hours, with Simon at the wheel, the iPhone sat nav in position and 2 sleeping lumps transferred from their beds. With a sense of adventure (or terror!!) we set off up the road, past security into the dark. The idea being to escape the traffic. However,  the title "the city that never sleeps", should be passed from New York to Bangalore. The city center was wide awake with the usual unpredictable ricks and pedestrians seemingly having a death wish! But once we cleared the city the roads were pretty clear.

At 6.30 we got to Mysore and stopped for breakfast - I hope the other early risers thought the boys were wearing t-shirts and shorts, not still in their pyjamas. Breakfast was a buffet and was quite telling. Wills made a bee-line for Idil, Vada and Sambar -his usual breakfast at school, not even looking at the eggs, sausage or french toast. Ads did the opposite, Simon and I, a bit of everything.

We then pushed on to Kabini, the roads getting narrower and the potholes more frequent, until we bumped into The Jungle Lodge where we were staying. The Jungle Lodges are run by the state government and are very well organized (one arm of the government which does seem to be efficient, friendly and helpful!!). There was plenty of space for the kids to run and play - including these huge hammocks with tree houses at the top.

In the afternoon we were assigned our jeep and headed out to see, hopefully, elephants and maybe the prize, a leopard (leopards are shy solitary beings).  The onboard noises of the safari, the ooooooooos that turn to uggggghhhhs when it transpires that shadow which could have been, wasn't after all. At one point Adam got told to calm down after an excited outburst which after closer examination turned out to be a hen. As it turned out the deeper into the jungle we got the more plentiful the wildlife. We saw deer (including Sambar - the biggest Indian deer), Guar, wild boar, peacocks (one showed us his finery), wild squirrels, mongoose, lots of monkeys swinging through the trees.
Elephants, we also saw..
and then the weather changed - so it was elephants in the rain, but they still enjoy a mud bath!!
Just as it was getting dark and time to turn homewards, the rain was falling and our driver got the call!. a Leopard had been spotted. If I thought the jeep ride a bit hairy before, that was nothing. It was time to hang on to your hats, quite literally, as Simon's did blow off!! Up muddy banks, squelching and screeching round muddy corners we soon saw the other jeeps parking up and knew we were close!!
After the Leopard sighting, we were homeward bound. And how else to celebrate the jaded glory of the Viceroy's cottage bar than with a wee G&T, ice and a slice!!


  1. Idli, vada, sambar... yumm. Spongy, delicious and healthy when done right and inedible as a hockey puck when not.
    Though Bangalore/Chennai/Mysore probably have the most places that get it right.

  2. That is so amazing! What an experience. Hope we can get there sooner rather than later.