Though its a hill station, but dont expect The Shimala like weather in Karnataka, its still hot in the day and slightly cooler than Bangalore in the evenings, say 17-18 deg in the evening. There are alot of small small places to visit in Coorg. To name it a few, Bylakuppe is known for The Great Gompa of Sera Je and Sera Mey which are buddhist monasteries, Abbi Falls which are good only during monsoons when they have enough water and for the other attractions you may refer http://www.holidayiq.com/Coorg-Sightseeing-339.html
Since it was our third visit, we did not have the same tourist attraction list as above. We wanted to have a fun, relaxed and kids oriented sight seeing this time. Out of the four days we had aloted only one day for sight seeing because the main attraction for us in Coorg is the Club Mahindra resort of Coorg. We have been to a lot of resorts earlier and in that many from Club Mahindra also, but we love the Coorg property more than anywhere else. I will gradually tell you what makes the holiday special in Club Mahindra, Coorg for us.
So here we go in the flashback... On Thursday morning 6.40 am, we all head towards Coorg, the much awaited holiday after our Thailand trip in December last year. Luckily for us, we had a smooth ride without much traffic in the city and reached Kadu Mane (small but popular south indian restaurant just after Bangalore) by 7.40 am. From the concrete jungle of Bangalore that placed seemed like heaven. We ordered our food and the kids went into a small park with few slides and swings. There were three interesting cages in the park with lovely yellow, white and greenish yellow with red neck love birds in them. Their houses inside the cage were made of small inverted teracota pots (matka) with a big hole in it. The restaurant people fed them with a plate of vegetables and it was amazing to see how coordially they ate in turns. Avani and Khushi both were very amused to see these birds.
After a hearty breakfast we reached Club Mahindra, Coorg around 12.30 pm. We all were very tired at the same time excited about the holiday, so we decided to eat lunch, sleep for couple of hours and then start our holiday. CM offers alot of options for dining. They have three different restraunts namely Coffee Blossoms, Green Cardamom and Mercara. Green Cardamom and Mercara hosts buffets mostly and with our prior experience, the spread is nice but not that enticing for our palate. So we opted for Coffee Blossoms which has A-la-carte and the food is scumptuous. The North Indian, South Indian ,Chinese, Italian and Thai dishes all are quite nice. So we opted for North Indian food and went back to have a nap.
CM has a nice culture of hosting colorful events every evening, the day we arrived it was Housie and DJ nite. We lost horribly in Housie, but the DJ made up for the loss. The music was amazing and both the kids freaked out. Khushi got a dance partner so she was insistent on being around her and Avani showed her classic moves and attracted the whole crowd towards her. She was quite amused by the disco/lazer lights flowing around and wanted to catch them. It was a lovely dance floor with people from all walks of life.
Then we returned back to the room, made some dinner for the kids. Ordered food for us and went to sleep.
Next day as planned we got ready by 8.30 am and headed to Dubare Elephant camp. We have visited the camp in our earlier visits but kids are very fond of elephants, so wanted to get them a real feel of this huge beast. Avani has only seen her EEE in her book and wasnt sure how she will react when she sees the real EEE. So we reached the camp and what we see?
The road was under construction and our cars cannot go there. So we have to hire a jeep or an auto to cover that 1.6 km to reach the actual camp near the banks of river Cauveri. After alot of argument between the both of us(me and Ashish), we finally choose the auto as the kidos had never taken an auto ride till now. And I was sure they would love it.
The kuccha road towards the camp amidst the paddy fields was an experience in itself. The 2 feet steep slopes made our heart skip a beat whenever we climbed them, but it was surely a memorable ride for Khushi. Then we finally reached the bank of the river and hired a boat to reach the other end where we saw two huge elephants bathing. The elephants looked on a holiday and were enjoying their bath thourougly. Avani(1.2 yrs) was pretty excited and confused at the same time. Unlike what I had expected, she instantly recognized her EEE in the water and wanted to jump in the water and touch her friends. It was tough to keep her away from the water. Khushi(3.5 yrs) being a little timid was standing 20 feet away from the beast and observing how the Mahawat(Elephant care taker) was rubbing the elephants harshly with the wooden brushes. It was funny how they stood up and changed their sides (read bum to be rubbed). One elephant yawned for almost 20 sec and gave an opportunity to the viewers to see the world famous HAATHI KE DAAT (If you dont know, we have a very famous saying in India - "Haathi ke daant, khane ke alag and dekhane ke alag, so he showed us the khane wale daant).
The actual camp where elephants stay is at a little higher level on a hill from where the elephants very gracefully climb down. We were lucky to see two baby elephants climbing down the hill and going for their bath. We then headed to the feeding area where you can feed elephants with your hands. The guy sold a nicely tied bunch of dry grass with some grains in between the grass. Avani and I fed the baby elephant with our own hands. However little the elephant may look, but still its quite intimidating to go near that huge animal. I was surprised Avani was not even 1 % scared of it, she wanted to touch it. And if I can describer her expressions and the way she looked at the elephant she was more like, "I am the tigress, you are just an elephant so I you cannot intimidate me!!".
The elephant ride was two hours away and it was Avani's breakfast time, so we decided to head back to the resort. On our way back, we stopped at a garden where they have a wonderful Toy train for the kids. The train reminded me of the 60s-70s where the small engine pulled the boggies and it whistled and threw smoke every now n then. Kids had a blast in the train ride.
Then after an eventful morning we returned to the resort. After the afternoon nap, kids were all ready for their fun zone at Crocodile club. Crocodile club is basically an activity centre for kids where they have activities for everybody from 1 yr old to 60 yr old. For toddlers they have a big, child proofed room which hosts few slides, ball pool, sea saw and some little tables and chairs. They also use that room for their fun arts and crafts session which they conduct throughout the day for all kids. This room was our main attraction to come back to Club Mahindra, Coorg. It can keep the kids occupied for hours together and make your vaccation more enjoyable. There are other board games, carrom, tt,badminton, Playstations, air hockey, hand football, pool table, books, CD/DVDs, computer center, tatoo artist and what not. You can spend the whole day just in that activity area.
So kids went to the fun zone and me and Ashish headed towards the lounge. It was a beautiful evening and it had rained the earlier day so quite pleasant. This lounge, I think it was named Planters Club was very well made. It has that cosy rich and warm getup with skillfully placed lamps, coffee books, center peices, liquor bottles, paintings, high chairs and wine glasses. I can sit there for hours together just adoring the interiors and enjoying the lovely club sandwich, chilly cheese toast and breezers. It was a wonderful Women's day evening for me and I felt liberated and happy about it.Then we returned to the fun zone.
The kids enjoyed the fun zone activities till 7.00 pm after which it was time for the Champ's night. Champ's night hosted a traditional Coorgi dance, Magic show, couple of solo performances, Women's day cake cutting, Fashion show for women and then they called all the kids on stage to dance. It is always a proud moment for the mother when your kid is on stage. They even had Mickey mouse and a monkey man cartoon characters to come at the end and dance with the kids. It was yet another fun evening for the kids. Though I was not able to sit and see even a single performance. Ask Why? Because my little one refused to sit at one place. She wanted to run all over the place and talk to people around. In a way, the whole world is a stage for her :)
Next day was allocated by us for the adventure sports inside the resort. They have some world class adventure activities in the resort itself. I had done the Flying fox and Rock Rappelling activity couple of times earlier, but this time I wanted to try all the difficult ones.So I took the package which contained Burma Bridge, Tyre Hanging Bridge, Balancing Rope walk, Commando Net,Rope climbing and free fall activity. They looked quite easy from the ground but when I actually went up and started my first activity, Burma Bridge, the Burma Bridge started shaking like there was an earthquake. I am assisted by an expert at every point and that kept my morale up. Finally I was able to cover those 25 steps gradually. The next came the commando net, my daughter shouted, Mummy Monkey net!! And that was pretty simple. The next activity was the Tyre Hanging Bridge which was the toughest. You have tyres hung next to each other and a rope tied to all of them. You are holding your body weight with your hands and that too 30 feet high from the ground. At the end of this activity my hands were swolen and red. I acted brave and after few secs of rest went for the Balancing Rope walk. This has a trick! You have to slide your feet and not pick them up, once you learn this trick, it would be doable. Your feet may hurt a little as the cable on which you are hanging is hard and when the whole weight is on that small string definitely your feet would hurt at that point. Next activity Rope Climbing again needs alot of hand strength to climb the rope, if you have done it as a child you know it is so much fun. The best part of the activity was the free fall, because you dont have to do anything in it :). I totally enjoyed my adventure sport activities.
Ashish and I also did the Flying Fox activity and this time I took Khushi along with me for the free fall. Unfortunately I only have videos of this, so couldnt include it in this travelouge.
The approach road to the adventure center is also very beautiful. There are narrow pathways made in between coffee plantations and tall trees which had creepers all over. You have a feeling of entering a dense forest when you go there and climb the machan (elevated house). Amidst the coffee plantation we also saw pineapple growing on the plants.Not sure if they were actually pineapple but they looked exactly like pineapple.
Then it was time for enjoying the pool. Pool is another fun activity which my kids love to do.We all changed to our swimming gears and went towards the toddlers pool.The water was cold, 12-15 deg approximately. Ashish backed off and I was contemplating whether I should step inside or no!! And what I see? Avani is already putting her feet in the pool and Khushi has dived in the pool and enjoying the water. Both my babies are WATER BABIES, they love water. The expressions on their face would say a million stories of their fascination of water.
Finally I gathered all the courage and stepped in the water and screamed like somebody has attacked me. Yes, the cold water had indeed attacked me; the only difference was it was a self choosen attack :). And as soon as we entered the adult pool, it started pouring. I wanted to enjoy the rains but Khushi is prone to catching cold easily so had to curb my temptation and go back to the room.
CM takes that extra effort to make your holiday a lovely experience by doing little little adorable things. When we returned from the pool, we saw two towel ducks sitting on our bed. Earlier they had demonstrated rabbit, elephant and peacocks using towels.
It was sleeping time for kids and since it was our last full day in CM, we wanted to make the most of it. There was Bull ride, A T V dirt bike ride, sports, spa and so many other things we havent yet explored but we had to choose one as all the things close by 6.30 pm. And we finally choose A T V dirt bike ride. We had done this earlier in Coorg at a place named Juegos and we quite liked it also.
The CM A T V bike ride track is not as adventurous and exciting as Juegos but it was still a decent one. We took four rounds on the rocky track and on the last round included Khushi for an experience. She loved the ride and wanted to do it again and yet again.
That was Saturday evening and it was Carnival night in CM. Carnival night is supposed to host stalls of games, food etc. But due to the rains they had to do a last minute change and organize a Karaoke and Antakshari night instead. A very enthusiastic gentlemen among the guests named Vijay Bhatt organized the Antakshari. He was sounding quite pro in conducting such events and he had jotted down lovely rounds. I was appointed as the team leader of Team Devanand opposed to Team Rajesh Khanna. I did a few goof ups but I was lucky to get such wonderful team members. And finally we won by a slight margin of 10 points. The winning feeling gives u a different high, and being the team leader I quite liked the attention I got (wink) (wink).
We had dinner and went back to our rooms. We were towards the end of our wonderful vacation. We had a great time as a family and we did everything possible in those 3 days. Such short breaks rejuvenate you for the monotonus life you live everyday. It is not the place which matters but the quality time you spend in those places. Keep travelling and keep exploring new horizons. I will remember these wonderful days forever and ever and ever!!