About a month or so ago my colleagues and I did a fun filled three day trip to Honey Valley Resort near Madikere. The trip was one of the most surprisingly fun trips of my life. Almost nothing that I expected to happen happened and whatever did happen left this amazing sense of adrenaline that is somehow still clinging on.
We traveled from Bangalore via the Mysore road and the Hunsur road towards our destination. The recent rains had made the landscape lush green and the drive was an absolute pleasure. We were a large group about 23 people(colleagues had brought their families along too) and that meant a train of 6 cars headed together.
As we reached Honey Valley the rain made its appearance. The slight drizzle gave way to heavy showers as we reached Kabbinakad Junction, from this point on we need to ride the 4×4′s to the resort that was about 4 kms away on top of the mountain. The heavy rain meant that the boys of the group were more than happy to get a ride on an open top jeep.
With rain lashing at us we clung onto our dear lives enjoying what was easily one of the best experiences of our lives. By the time we reached to the top we were soaking wet but our spirits were on top of the world. That was when I had a feeling that this trip is going to be something very different… This was my second visit to HV in almost three months and that meant that it felt very much like home. We relaxed the first day simply talking and walking around the place.
Day two started out like a perfect day. We set out after breakfast to trek to a nearby spot called the “dry pond”. From that place multiple trekking routes branched out and we decided to pick one and continue the trek.
The Dry Pond wasn’t exactly dry thanks to the recent rains. The beautiful hills behind Honey Valley were clearly visible. We made a decision to trek along a path that was called the Ridge Walk. We hadn’t planned for anything so decided to simply go along and see what came about.
The trek was really fun. It went deep into the estate and suddenly came out to a path that skirted the mountain. The view was to simply die for… Then we reached a narrow stretch that was a very steep climb. Along the way we noticed a few footprints of an animal and could not figure out what it was. It was concerning as the print was fresh and it didnt seem like a domesticated animal. The print wasnt clear and we feared it was a hyena.
After a short discussion we decided to carry on with the lead person(which was me) had been given a nice stick in case something approached. I can swear that my only concern was that if something did show up, I was hoping someone behind me to get a good photo of it in front of me :P Ofcourse I knew it couldn’t be a very dangerous animal :D
Unsurprisingly nothing showed up and we reached a point from which we could see a beautiful waterfall. We spent a few minutes there and then decided to head back. We were worried on two accounts, we had no water or food and this was meant to be a day long trek. We had really enjoyed ourselves and this seemed like the right thing to do.
As we headed back we saw a small stretch of fine grass a little distance from the Dry Pond. A friend and I decided to sit down and meditate for a while. The soothing sounds of nature and the cool breeze seemed like the perfect setup for relaxing the mind. After making fun of us for a few minutes the rest of my colleagues headed back to the Dry Lake.
So there we were, sitting calmly and enjoying nature. We meditated for a few minutes… I had kept my shoes on fearing leeches and my friend suggested that I take them off and sit down more comfortably. I thought it was a good idea and took them off. As I sat down, there was this huge roar behind us. We both just jolted out of the place we were sitting on.
We turned around to find a wild buffalo. I was clearly startled and all I kept thinking was if I had my shoes on it would be easier to run. Fortunately the animal simply looked at us and turned away. We laughed for a bit and then headed back to the Resort.
The rest of the evening was spent talking and playing a few games. The next morning we spent a little while talking over breakfast and then packed our bags and headed back.
The rain had made the surrounding a perfect muse and I wasnt going to miss the opportunity :) I got some really good macro shots and some rare animal photos too.
The fun thing about the trip was that in its narration here, I had to skip about 60% of the events that happened. You can imagine how crazy it had been.
Anyway it was a really fun trip and I totally loved it.
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