Coorg. “Off the beaten track”

We wanted to get to the west cost of India, with not a lot in the guide-book we picked somewhere on the map and done bit of research and had a look at what was about. We found out that there was a lot of national parks and an elephant reservation. We picked to go to Coorg as it was close to ‘Dubare Elephant Camp’.
 When leaving from Ooty to start our 6 hour journey to Coorg the journey cost us 3,500 Rupees (just £40). I don’t think any of us expected the drive to be as awesome as it actually was and most probably the most exciting drive we had ever been on. About 45 minutes into the drive if that, we turned down a road which was signposted, ‘Very very dangerous road’ (which ironically we recommend telling your driver to take)! We were literally the only car that seemed to turn down here so we all looked at each other not knowing what to expect but had no other option than to put our trust into the driver. The road started with a lots of hair pin bends being above the clouds one minute and below them the next, the views were exceptional. After eventually reaching the bottom of this winding road, we arrived at Mudumalay National Park and Tiger Reserve. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we didn’t see any tigers but to our amazement we saw; sheep, goats, wild deer, wild monkey and by sheer chance a wild elephant which Leila saw in the corner of her eye. Due to the excitement the driver quickly reversed the car as much as he could so we could witness the mammal cross the road. We then continued through the national park onto Coorg.
 Coorg was our first attempt at using Air B&B. We stayed at Elephant Trail, Valnur, Coorg. It was completely off the grid, we couldn’t even find it on our map! The taxi driver started to get fed up with after driving for 6 hours and then going back and forth to different places. Noticing the driver getting fed up we had two choices of where the homestay was. Leila volunteered to run up the drive to check the first property. When she reached the top of the drive two German Shepard guard dogs noticed her before the owner and started running towards her aggressively. Realising the owner was finding it hard to get the dogs back Leila had no choice but to run for her life back down the driveway. As she did, she slipped and screamed alerting everyone else in the car but luckily the owner got the dogs back just before they reached Leila. She was grazed on her hip and hand but luckily no dog bites!
 After being shaken up and realising the homestay must be the other property, we were greeted with a warm welcome. The three of us and our taxi driver were happy we finally found where we were staying! The room was lovely, we had a balcony overlooking the coffee plantation in the middle of the jungle. We stayed here for two nights and decided to eat with the family too. The food was some of the best we had in India!

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 The first morning the owner arranged for a Taxi to take us out for the day. We were first taken to Abby falls, not too far from the homestay, a small waterfall but still lovely. We then went to Madikeri view-point where the views were breathtaking. We stopped for lunch and then continued to Talakaveri Temple. This Hindu temple sits at 1276m above sea level. Past the temple there is also another 407 steps which we climbed to reach view point. While we were here the clouds came in around us, It was amazing. On the way back down we stopped for a chai and then it was a long drive back to the homestay.
 Our second morning we went to Dubare Elephant Camp, 5km from the homestay, where you get a boat over the river to the elephants and for the price of 200 Rupees (£2.30) you can bathe them too! After our morning with the elephants we were dropped off to the bus station to get our 3 hour Volvo bus to Mangalore.
Tip: Avoid booking the ‘Dubare Elephant Camp’ online, just turn up as it will the be the cheapest way of paying.
Tip: Make sure you have the correct place of accommodation before walking into somebody’s random house with dogs.

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