Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Orange County- Kabini - Khushi's first vaccation

Looking at the picture of our first vaccation with Khushi at Orange County Kabini many people asked me about the place and the experience it was over there. For all those queries I thought I will write about it on my blog today.It was almost a year that we havent gone for a vaccation owing to my pregnancy and then as khushi was too small. When she turned three we thought its the best time to go for a vaccation because next month onwards I was going to start work. I wasnt even aware that a place called Kabini ever exists. I had heard alot about Orange County, Coorg and we had been trying to go there since long but unfortunately it never materialised. Then we booked our vaccation at Orange County Kabini on our travel agents( from Pooja Travels,Bangalore) recommendation. Initial plans were to celebrate our fifth aniversary there but then we thought of celebrating our aniversary in Bangalore along with our relatives and friends so we booked it for a week later.It was Monday and we started from home around 7.00 am in the morning, we wanted to avoid the Mysore Road traffic which would get worse after 8 am and fortunately we were out of the city around 8.30 am which was exactly what we wanted. The journey was good. Khushi was three months then, we were not sure how will she take it, new place, new environment, new people so we did not invite any of our friends to come along with us. After crossing Mysore we stopped for breakfast at a restaurant on the highway and headed to Kabini from there. Last thirty km of our journey scared us of the place. We had spent a handsome amount of money for this vacation and the last 30 km of road was a single lane kuccha road inside a desserted jungle. It wasnt scary but disappointing for sure to not see a single soul in our way. We were wondering whether we are heading to the right place.Then finally we reached Orange County Kabini.We were welcomed by the reception staff with a mango panna to drink and a steamed towel to wipe our faces. Khushi was fortunately sleeping or playing throughout the journey. First impression of the resort was average as you expect a lavish reception and lavish interiors when you have a five star property in mind. Though I knew the theme was that of a jungle resort I wasnt expecting it to be a real jungle atmosphere and huts made out of hay to say the least. Then we were taken to our pool hut(Pool Hut -207) which was a little far from reception area. And now this was luxury!! Our hut had two big rooms, one bedroom with a big bathroom and the other living room adjoining the private pool area. Bedroom was a big room with spendid interiors.The roof was made of hay just like any other hut but nobody could imagine that the hut can ever be soo cozy. Windows had bamboo to give that hut kind of look but they were covered with glass to make it an AC room. Huge dressing table and openings for natural light made it look as natural as it can be. Bathroom had an internal door which opened up in the private swimming pool and you could just walk out after a shower to take a dip in the swimming pool. Bathroom was also decorated with plants and natural light gave it a different charm. Each and everything in the room was selected with great asthetic. The frames for decoration were made out of roots of different shapes of the trees around. Lanterns were put up for that special effect. Room had a coffee machine, fridge and LCD TV. Fridge was full of colddrinks and fruits. You are served complimentary choclates and fruits every day. After getting ready we went for lunch to the lunch area which was near reception area. I would have loved it if the dining area was a little closer to the hut because with Khushi going out in sun and rain had become a little painful because of the distance.The spread was quite good. All types of salads, starters, deserts and drinks were served. But I wont suggest going to this place only for food because food is average. Then we went back to our hut and slept for sometime. We already had planned to keep the visit as relaxing as possible. We were given many activities option by the resort people like going for Jeep Jungle Safari, Boat Jungle Safari, Elephant ride, coracle ride, outdoor games, village visit etc but we choose to be in the room as Khushi needed some rest and alone time with us. Then in the evening we went to the common pool. It is an infinity pool which is made at the edge of the river and it seems that the water from the pool is falling inside the river but as the matter of fact the river is far off then the pool. But the view is amazing, sun rays falling on the water makes it shimmer like gold and the breeze is amazing. I can spend hours watching at the sun and enjoying the breeze near that pool. Initially we found the water cold so we were just taking pictures but then I couldnt resist and went to swim for sometime. Then since it was dark we went to our private swimming pool and I enjoyed swimming in a calm surrounding of our hut. My hubby was doing the baby sitting for me :). The resort has arranged for some folk dance show in the evening which we couldnt go because my little one was sleeping and I didnt want to disturb her sleep. Then after dinner I made Khushi sleep. Then me and my husband spent some quality time on the cozy chairs kept on the porch of our hut. The chairs were facing the river and cold breeze was moving the leaves which made a rustling sound which sounded like a music in that serene atmosphere. We sang songs and remembered all the good days we had spent in all these five years. The sky was full of stars and the moon was amazingly bright. I couldnt resist myself from going to the infinity pool. And as I thought it was heavenly to see the sky full of stars and moonlight falling on the pool and river which blurred the difference between the two. These are moments which you will never forget in your life. Guess this is called LIFE TIME EXPERIENCE!!Next day we enjoyed some quality time as a family in the morning. Khushi was very happy to look around and she adored our room for its beautiful interiors. Looking at the frames and lanterns kept her busy for quite sometime. She also enjoyed the hot water showers with her dad. Then after taking lunch I was all set to go for a boat jungle safari. My husband was baby sitting in our room while I went for the jungle safari. Kids of Khushi's age were not allowed in the safari so one of us had to stay back to take care of her. And by nature Ashish is not very fond of jungle or boating as much as I am so we decided that I will go for the safari. We were given a life jacket and binoculars by the Safari guide. Safari guide was a young guy from Assam who was specially trained in these activities. Initially I enjoyed the boat ride and as the climate was fabulous I wasnt too bothered about the animals and the jungle.For first hour we saw the rare wild birds with beautiful colourful feathers enjoying their freedom in their own spcae.As a rule we were not allowed to use flashes in the camera and we were warned that we should not make any kind of noise which will disturb the wild life. When we went further in the river we saw groups of deer lazing around near the bank. These beautiful animals had alot of grace. We were lucky to see atleast 10 elephants both male tuskers and female elephants in different small small groups. The most fascinating part was to see these huge beasts swimming. YEH!! Elephants are great swimmers. Infront of our eyes three of the huge elephants so easily swam across the river in 2-3 seconds in lovely rythmic movements. I learnt from our guide that male tuskers stay alone and the female elephants are usually in a group and here also female takes care of their babies exclusively :)

More is coming soon!!