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L&D Team Outing 2-3 July 2005

2-3 July 2005
L&D Team Outing
Jungle Retreat – Masinagudi

Nagendra, Adith, Deepa, Pallavi, Raymond, Subroto, me, Sunita, Parvathi, Drusilla, Sudipta and Nisha (and Ethan).

Friday saw me reaching home at 8:30pm after finishing with things I had to do in town. Was tired but sleep evaded me so thought would have some scotch and watch a movie. Scotch led to hunger, so made some Maggi and sat down to eat.

Still no sleep however, now was feeling sick. Had a throbbing headache, the start of a migraine. Took a pill and sat down with the movie again. Only to run to the loo, as I had to throw-up. Finally after watching two movies slept at 2:30am to wake up at 3:30am.

Got picked up at 4:30am to go to re-group point at Symphony. Reached there feeling feverish with swollen face and puffy eyes. Had chai and a smoke and felt a little better. Subs had to go back to pick up the cameras as he had forgotten them at home.

We left at 6:30am as soon as Subs returned. Headed out towards Mysore via Kanakpura. Everyone making a lot of noise on the way. The girls started to sings tunes of old ads on TV. Picked up Nagendra at Banashankari. Stopped at S N Upahara for a breakfast of tutta idli and tea/coffee. Took some snaps there also saw this tail of a Malabar Squirrel hanging from the roof.

We headed out again with a lot of singing. Was still feeling sick so went to sleep on the last seat at the back of the bus. Slept for sometime and woke up feeling better. We stopped just after Mysore to pick up beer, was hungry again by then (had to make up for dinner you see). Had three bananas and some murkus.

We headed out again and not started to make goodtime in the bus as the roads were good. The beer was finished before we hit the check post. Must have had 3/4 of a pint. Saw some deer and black faced langur in Bandipur. Subs got some good shots of a deer who wasn’t worried about the bus at all.

At the Tamil Nadu border the border police guy said we would have to pay Rs.500 extra to him so we went to the next check post some 10km away to pay there and then came back. Lost about 1/2 an hour there. Came back and took the Masinagudi turn. Reach Jungle Retreat at about 3pm.

We quickly went to our dorm to dump our bags and freshen up before lunch. Some beer and lunch later it was time to jump into the pool. We took off to change and get to the pool. By the time we girls got there the men were in already. Must have been in there for about 1/2 an hour (in which Pallavi almost drowned me) before the cold set in. Ear drums started hurting and we got out and sat watching all the other women play in the water.

Headed back from the pool about 5:30pm as we had a presentation at 6:30pm. The presentation started with an ingeniously made projector screen of towels. Nagendra, Adith, Pallavi, Ray and Subs took us through some presentations. Felicitation also happened for all the work done by the team. All this was wrapped up with champagne.

We all then headed for dinner. The first drink was on Deepa as she was new in the team. My only mug of beer on the trip. It was decided that Subs, Ray, Paro and me would go trekking in the morning so we headed back to the dorm to sleep.

Woke up at 5:45am to get ready for the trek. Was a little chilly in the morning. Saw Deer just outside out dorm. Had some biscuits and coffee and started out for the trail with Sidda our guide at 6:35am. First thing we saw as we looked to the mountains was a rainbow. Took some snaps and started out.

Sidda said there were elephants in the area so he was leading, with us stopping and following every now and then. We found a cottage and Sidda said we would wait on the roof for the elephants to pass by. Climbed up to the roof using bamboo, only to realize there was a ladder on the other side. Sidda went to check on the elephant. He came back to say this wasn’t a good time to see it. It was a tusker and not behaving like an elephant at all. Was throwing mud on himself and howling like a dog. So we got down and started to skirt around the area to avoid it. All that happened was we stumbled into his herd. Got some snaps and realized that we couldn’t continue this way so we had to go back the way we came and try another route. So back to the cottage we went.

At the cottage Sidda asked us to wait while he checked out the area. While waiting Paro and I moved away from the guys to take some snaps. From where we were we had a clear view of Sidda arguing with a family with two kids in their arms to go back because of the elephant only to be told by an elderly guy that he didn’t know what he was talking about and he a landowner there knew what he was doing. He told Sidda to shut-up and mind his own business. Poor Sidda was trying to get him to see reason. Only to be told that a complaint will be made about him. Sidda was so upset about that for a long time. While all this was going on Paro and I saw an elephant come to check out what the noise was all about some bushes away from the group, then turn around and go back.

The guys and Sidda came to join us then; neither of them had seen the elephant. We decided to move away and go up into the mountains. It was about 8am then. On the way we saw elephant footprints (Subs arm from fingers to elbow fit into it) and the left overs of their meal.

Saw Sloth Bear droppings. Its black berry season so that’s what they eat the most right now. Most of the droppings comprised of seeds. Saw 3 Grey Horn Bills. Sidda said there are only 15 to be found in Madhumalai forest. Three sounded like a great number.

Soon reached a height from where we could see the Kerala and Karnataka border. Could see Bandipur, Wyanad and Madhumalai distinctly. With a lot of huffing and puffing, lots of thoughts of quitting I finally reached the top. Sidda was the only one who didn’t feel the climb followed by Ray. Subs was out of breath due to his wheezing and so was I for other reasons. Midway realized I was quite fit even after smoking for 5 years now.

We sat at the top for sometime listening to Sidda’s stories about some of his treks. I was busy lensing the landscape and my unaware companions. We left to return at about 10am.

On the way back we saw a Barking Deer that took off before I could focus my camera. Saw Black faced langur, a Malabar Squirrel and bright yellow and orange birds. Was focusing on the orange bird but somehow managed to get the yellow. By the time I had clicked they interchanged places.

Took snaps of where we had been on the way back as we climbed down. Seemed quite a height once we reached the resort. On the way down also saw a stream filled with bright yellow mangoes. What a color that was.

We reached the resort at 11am with Subs tripping over a barbed wire nearby.

Quickly grabbed breakfast as we were really hungry. Had two omlettes, an idli, 2 vadas, a toast with black berry jam and washed it all down with coffee.

Next destination was the pool again as it was nice and warm. Changed and got there before the guys this time. Stayed in the pool till about 12:30pm. Its a joy to just float around feeling the weightlessness and gazing at the mountains and the sky. Played a bit and had races with Pallavi. Watched over Ray and Pals. Swam a couple of laps too.

Headed back to the dorm to bathe and change. We then headed back for lunch. I took off though to take some snaps before that. Walked around taking snaps till I got to the pool. There used to be a tree house the last time we were there. Was in bad shape now but the thought of an aerial view of the pool got me (a person with a phobia of edges and ledges) up there. Got some good shots while precariously kneeling on bamboo that creaked with the wind.

Headed back for lunch and a fresh lime juice. We left Jungle Retreat at about 3pm. Everyone was tired and soon all were asleep. I decided to sleep once we crossed Bandipur as we might get to see more animals. So Paro and I sat on the lookout. It did pay off; we saw Black Faced langur, two Peahens, a Tamed tusker and a baby elephant with her mother near the lodge.

Smsed a friend who was going for an interview to wish luck as soon as we had coverage. After which Paro and I must have slept for about twenty minutes before we hit a bump that had us flying thrice into the air. That was the end of sleep for me. The rest of the bus woke up too. The rest of the return trip was spent singing and laughing. We stopped at Channaputna for coffee.

Reached Bangalore at about 9pm. We all headed back home. Subs and I took an auto. reached home to find Rupal finally given in to hunger. Freshened up and sat to eat too, after which all that mattered was sleep.

A good trip though my only complaint was didn’t drink enough… 2 mugs… just 2 mugs of beer. Why you may ask… had planned to remain buzzed but too many things happened before I got there and some people were worried about me drinking too much. So didn’t dink… 🙁

But thats ok, enjoyed the everything else… from pool to trek, food to songs… simply super…

The snaps…

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