“Where are we going next?” I asked when we threw the last backpack in the trunk of the car when Sadik put a sleepy Yaseen in the back seats. I didn’t really care where we’re heading. The journey itself has always been the best part of the trip.
We’re going to Bangalore; that’s all I knew. How long, how far, which route and when we’re going to reach weren’t on my mind. We drove from Kerala to Bangalore before, 4 years ago, when Yaseen was only about eight months old. My sister was with us and we had so much fun on that trip.
This time we took a different route via Mudumalia National Park, Tiger Reserve and wildlife sanctuary in the Nilgiri Hills. The national park shares its boundaries with the states Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. It was about 5 am, and the road was still silent when Sadik told me we expected to see wild animals crossing the road while passing through the national park.
At Sunrise, Yaseen woke up in the car, and we had breakfast at the restaurant on the highway. We had fresh appams with humble chicken curry and spicy fish curry that seemed thick and intense like it was reheated many times during the weeks with more fish added in the same curry every day.
That was golden– a good find. Before getting back on road again, we stocked snacks and drinking water because the next stretch would only be isolated mountains and hills. If we’re lucky, we would find some small tea shacks on the sides of the road.
Soon the nature took us in, embraced and almost bragged about her beauty. Luscious tea and coffee plantations shuffled between thick hills. We rolled down the windows, and the fresh air swarmed in—sweet and cold, and we could observe the glorious wilderness more closely. We spotted wild peacock crossing the road as we entered the national park. Yaseen was so excited to see the giant bird outside the zoo when the peacock strutted inside the woods. From then, we cautiously drove and looked for the next wild animal we might spot soon.
And soon after that, we found elephant on the bank of the river. I wish I could get a better shot of it, but I left my zoom lens in the truck. I remember jumping out of the car without wearing any shoe to get the closer look at the elephant. It was exciting. I had seen wild elephants when I was a kid, and this time it made me felt exactly the same. I completely let down my guard and jumped up and down like a happy child.
As we drove further, we found a heard of deer on the side of the road. Oh they just minded their own businesses and strolled around the park. I guessed they knew they’re protected, and the visitors wouldn’t harm them. We saw them everywhere. Every other kilometer we met a new herd.
Out of the park and back on the endless highway, we had local snack and sang random silly songs. Soon we reached Mysore, and it was time for lunch.
Crispy fish Kebab, chicken lollipop and chicken biryani with massive chicken legs were served.
Everything was delicious in the restaurants on the roads, I found this always been 80% true.
5 pm, we reached Bangalore and I realized I enjoyed the company of nature better than the city. Oh, I have a really funny story to tell about the hotel we’re staying in the heart of Bangalore. We booked the room at a hotel close to MG road so we could explore the famous street in one night. Turn out our hotel is under-renovation, and no one else was staying there other than us. The room wasn’t even ready. The whole place has been tearing apart to be redecorated and furnished. We so had no mood to fight traffic and look for another hotel so we decided to spend the night there.
The hotel gave us their best room that seemed hospitable enough to spend a night. This is not recommended to do because so many things could turn out wrong in terms of hygiene and security. I know we’ve been so careless about this. Remember we even spent the night with a swarm of bees in our hotel room in Shimoga before. However, I always love and cherish how all these weird experiences become parts of our travel stories.
Until next time … (which basically tomorrow when I’ll write about our night in Bangalore)
Tes (tweet to me at @Testerfly)