Monday, April 17, 2006

Kodai Trip, a sequel - 2

June 3rd 2005


I woke up at 2 and began to wake up everyone. Pattar made black tea for all and we were ready to go at 3.30. Bastian took the driver’s seat and took the Kanakapura route to go to Coimbatore via Satyamangalam. Pattar was the sole supporter for this route and was obviously the common attacking point as none of us know the route. Gijoy called some of his fiends this early morning. His masterpiece dialogues viz. “Tell me Yaar”; “Is it so” got the answer for everything. We stopped at tea on the way and get the route confirmed from the locals. We paused at Shivanasamudram which is a hydro electric project. We took some snaps and continued our journey. We stopped at Kollegala for breakfast. Pattar got us a banana bunch on discount! That bunch stayed alive for the next day even. Gijoy drove the car thereafter. We stopped near the Chikkahole Reservoir and took photos and video sessions. And then came the biggest disappointment of the trip; the audio player was not functioning. Anyways we had a substitute for that; the evergreen Radio city 91 FM – Our own Pattar. We went past Chamaraja Nagar from where S. M. Krishna got elected. And now we were going through the Satyamangalam forest which was once the habitat of the forest brigand, Veerappan. The place is beautiful and Pattar was really when we saw the place finally. Instead of Pattar’s repeated yelling for a stoppage to take snaps, no one even paid attention. Pattar started a song session and it went on for a long time with the Bastian’s commentary. Pattar starts a song and Bastian ends it in funky lyrics. Pattar pauses and then again starts. It was fun. Pattar was attacking everyone with his witty dialogues. Pattar’s gr8! At one time we noticed that the distance to Coimbatore is increasing. We couldn’t understand the phenomenon. After traversing the hairpin curves, we climbed down the hill and took snacks from a bakery. We reached Coimbatore by 11.30 pm. We encircled the city with Pattar’s instructions. We tried to rectify the audio system, but they said they will give back the car by 6pm. Pattar was asking whether we can give it there. Mandabudhi! Then we fueled the car and took the Pollachi route. The L&T bypass road was amazing.

We reached Palani by 1pm and had our lunch including the Cassata slice and Sweet pan. We stopped for a minute in front of Palani temple entrance and then started climbing the hill. It was getting really hot and we were really confused about the Kodai’s climate. We even thought of leaving the place and going to Ooty. But weather became milder as we were reaching the spot. We reached our destination– Kodaikanal translating to “Shade in summer” – The favorite honeymoon spot of South India at 4.30pm. Now all we want was the ideal cottage like the one we saw at Ooty. We came here during our college days and stayed at Daney’s Inn. We were searching the same and got the information from one Aziz. He also told he has some old British cottages. However we said we’ll come back. Somehow we found out Daney’s Guest House and it was not worth it. So went back to Aziz bhai and then to his cottage. It was good and the tariff was 600 per day. 2 bed rooms were there and the surrounding was also good. So we settled down fast and everyone started refreshing. And believe me; the water was colder than the ice water. My goodness, my body literally froze. However we got ourselves out at 7 pm and we were searching the city for one important place. Yeah, you guessed it right; Bar. First we went walking and then we came back and took the car. We covered the complete town and to our surprise, there’re only two good bars in Kodaikanal. One is Carlton that we can’t afford. Then we went down to Hotel Kodai International, a three star hotel. This one was too good, both at aesthetics and cost. He just had a glance of the hotel and then went to the bar. It was really good looking with wooden architecture. We were not surprised to see the tariffs, basically because it was the treat of Ranjith for starting his own firm. I stopped at one peg basically because we were really exhausted with the search for a bar. We finished by 11 and then reached our cottage fast. Fortunately, this time we could fine our destination fast unlike Ooty trip. No talks and everyone went straight to their bed.

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