Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 2 : A day at Eagle Eye

6:45 : The lizard's sound wakes us up more effectively than any alarm. We get up and hurry to get ready for the forest trek which is supposed to start at 7. After tea, the trek starts at 7:30. Within minutes from the start of the trek, we had to cross a stream of flowing water. One man tries to cross along with his kids but they slip and fall quite hard. That family aborts the trek and only 4 of us are now left for the trek. We follow our guide through the thick vegetation. I realize my fitness levels are the lowest as I am panting the hardest while the others are barely panting. We finally reach the top of a rock and great views greeted us. We sat there for a while taking in the views. And then we started our way back. I was glad I could complete the trek without falling and that feat was possible due to Anurag's support :)

8:40 : We are back at the cottage. We take bath and go to the dining area for breakfast. After a hearty breakfast, we get ready for the plantation walk

11:00 : We begin the plantation walk through the coffee estate. This time it was a larger and livelier group. We saw the two types of coffee plants: Arabica and Robusta. The guide told us that Arabica is costlier and more difficult to grow than Robusta. We had so go down a slippery slope. That was difficult. We saw the other plants which they had grown like pepper, cardamom, soapnut, cocoa, Jaiphal etc. It was pretty interesting. On the way we also saw centipedes, small crabs in the stream and a yellow frog.
Takeaways from the plantation walk

Can you see the frog?

After climbing back up the slope, we walk some more to reach the paddy fields. There is a lake behind it which is supposed to have a crocodile. We walk around the lake but no crok in sight. And we walk back up to the cottages.

1:15 : We reach the estate and to our cottage and just lie on the bed too exhausted to move. After a while, we go to the dining area for lunch. There was a waterfall nearby which we would have gone to, if the estate vehicle was free. But it wasn't and so a siesta was what came our way.

4:45 : We hurry down to the pond below for coracle riding and fishing. We wore the life jackets and got into the coracle with the oars. I was not able to get the rowing technique right and so my hands and shoulders also joined the other leg muscles in the list of aches in my body. There were water snakes in the pond. One of the snakes was right next to the coracle on my side, staring at me and Anurag had to warn me not to drop the oar in fear :) Then we were given the fishing rope and after a few attempts we managed to catch two fish. They of course throw the fish back into the water.

6:30 : Back to the estate reception area. After tea and snacks, we sit out there for a while. As it starts getting dark, I go back to the cottage to catch up with my book while Anurag plays badminton. In the cottage, I see a big lizard in the bathroom. I just close the bathroom door and lie on the bed and read. That was brave for a lizard fearing person like me. :) After a while I go out to watch the badminton match.

7:30 : There is a bonfire lit up and some music. Drinks were being served. We created our own drink by mixing strawberry juice with sprite. Not bad! After the bonfire and dinner, we check the cottage again. This time there are two lizards, two large hairy spiders and numerous butterflies in the cottage. We ask the manager to help. She sends a girl with a large broom who drives the lizards and spiders away and also gets us a mosquito coil.
Now I can sleep relatively peacefully. I guess this was the best day of our four day trip.

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