Continued from previous issue (which was 300th post in this blog)
Places covered: Lakkidi, Pookud Lake, Banasura dam, Kuruva island, Nagarahole Forest, Mysore Palace- Bangalore
We had a quick discussion with the hotel executive on our plans for day 2. We had to cover 4 major places today- Lakkidi, Pookud Lake, Banasura Dam and Kuruva Island. We decided to skip temples as we were not interested and had to skip those places which were full day activities like trekking spots (Chembra peak etc-We already had a mild trekking climbing Edakkal hills). Hotel executive tells us Pookud lake opens by 8 AM. So we planned to start off by 6.30 AM, visit Lakkidi, Pookud lake and return to hotel for breakfast and check out.
By 9.30 we’d checked out of the hotel, moved all luggages back in the Scorpio and left Kalpetta. Had a good peddle boating at Pookud lake. There were options of row boats as well. Lake is medium sized and well maintained. Other than boating there’re provisions for children park, shopping and aquarium. Our next destination was Banasura Dam, the largest earth dam in the world. Speed boating is the main attraction here which lasts for 30 mins, taking you deep into the backwaters at a cost of Rs 250 for 4 people. Water plashing on you while the boat cruises ahead refreshes you off all your tiredness. During heavy monsoon and overflowing dam, speed boating would be suspended. We were lucky not to miss it. Other than scenic view of the dam we could see that some parks, coffee shops and other facilities were being constructed here.
Complete details about Kuruva island and how we got lost there is available in a separate post. Our Wayanad trip had come to an end with each of us drinking 2 tender coconuts each before departing from Kuruva island.
We did a mistake of taking a closer route to Mysore-via Nagarahole forest. The roads were nonexistent from the moment we entered Karnataka border and for next 20 kms it was a real bumpy ride. Just a few meters inside Karnataka border, a villager waved us to stop, I kept moving-he came near and gently taps on the bonnet of the slowly moving vehicle-maybe he wanted to tell us that the roads are bad- go back, or maybe he wanted a lift till Mysore or something else. But my instincts suggested that I shouldn’t stop and I drove ahead ignoring him. Thank god we were in a SUV-Scorpio handled this “supposed to be a road” thing very well which would have been too difficult to near impossible for ordinary cars. We spotted a heard of Baisons in the jungle at a distance. We also heard a roar, which we interpreted to be of an elephant but not sure. After crossing HD Kote we hit state highway and rest of the journey was smooth. Had dinner at Mysore (again Kamat) and headed towards Bangalore- We saw Mysore Palace all illuminated on our left- This was a bonus addition to our trip. I was driving, hence couldn’t take proper look or photos. Others too were too tired to stop and spend some more time. Soon we were on Bangalore road and reached Mandya by around 11 PM. Again a possession was going on here and few people flagged us asking us to stop. May be they wanted to ask for some contribution in the name of their god/festival (chanda)-I instinctively increased speed and zoomed past them. I was feeling too sleepy to drive, so chose to pull over and rest for 30 mins. But it was 1 AM when I woke up. By now the road was deserted and I covered remaining 100 kms in 1 hour flat, to reach Bangalore outskirts by 2 AM and reached Raveesh’s place by 2.30 after dropping off Ravi, bringing our 2 day Wayanad Escapade to a memorable and happy ending.
Places missed: Matunga wildlife Sanctuary, Meenmutty Falls, Nanjanagud, Sunset at Lakkidi, Trekking at Chembra peak
Total expense: Rs 3200 per head. (Would have been lower if a. we had 2-3 more participants, b. had rented a cheaper vehicle than Scorpio, c. had stayed at a cheaper hotel than Woodlands)
Note: As TOI has cared to respond and promised to publish a clarification, I'm putting on hold the idea of adding "TOI don't copy my image" watermark for the time being, purely as a goodwill gesture.