Kabini with friends

OK, I realize that this post has been due for more than a month now. Sorry folks I just got caught up with maid madness and life as such :) So, now I am here trying to do justice to this beautiful travelogue of mine and making sure that you still enjoy reading my blog :)

Sometime early March 2010 our gang @ work decided to do a weekend trip. We had many options, From Pondicherry to Elephant valley, to Wayanad, to Goa, to Pune. We had almost finalized going for a 3 day trek on the out skirts of Pune and realized that it cannot happen cos we were all from the same team and all of us cannot take the same day off :( [Lesson 1: Never make friends gang from the same team...lol]

Then we said, to hell with the leave, let’s just go chill out in Goa. Praveen made the entire plan in like half an hour and we were all excited to go there! - Guess what, that also flopped, this trip would 1. cost us more than we thought 2. would need us to take 2 days leave..(back to square one). Finally, we all settled for a nice, neat nature trip to Kabini.
Why Kabini? - err simple. It can be visited during the weekend and nobody needs to worry about taking leave. Yes, some of us had already been there with a different set of friends, but that was not a problem at all.
So, as usual, like the enthu-patani I went ahead and booked train tickets, accommodation in Kabini River lodge, Cab service from Mysore - Kabini - Mysore for 8 of us. Super-duper excited that all of us are finally going somewhere!!!!! But, all the excitement came down in no time, when we figured out that out of the 8, 1 had to go to US, other had project deadlines and other two had sudden/urgent commitments at home. So our 8 person gang shrunk to just 4! [Lesson 2: Avoid making advance book for any trip :p] However, the good part is, the 4 of us stuck to the plan like glue and decided to make it come what may.
On July 23rd 2010 we took the train from Chennai to Mysore (Mysore express). The train journey was pretty historic for the reason that, Aanchal, was travelling in a train for the very first time!! (Yippee!!). She had no idea how a SL class in the train would be and it was fun answering doubts like: middle berth kaha se ayegi? upper berth pe kaise chadte hain? Koi Shoes le gaya toh? etc etc. Another historic moment is Praveen finally learnt how to play cards :) hehehe. He hates playing cards but because of popular demand (i.e. 3 out of 4) he had to learn. We first bugged him with "5 cards" and then we super-bugged him with "UNO". Our man was the champ in UNO by the end of the trip ;) [Lesson 3: There is always a chance to learn new things ;) ]. After the cards session we were all set to sleep when Aanchal said "story sunao" - and whenever she said that, the prompt response she got was "Ek gau mein ek kisaan raghu tatha. Toh kisaan ka naam kya hain?" lol... We did finally entertain her with various stories from our life. Praveen was so ignorant that he snored when Vishnu and I were animatedly reciting our love story! Aanchal also did share some stories from her life, which I would refrain from mentioning here (obviously!)

July 24th: Day 1 @ Kabini - We reached Mysore in the morning and we had our cabbie waiting with a placard. We set out for Kabini after a quick breakfast at a nearby hotel. The road trip was scenic and musical - Our driver had songs from God-knows-which-era that we had to plead him to put something more recent and understandable! We reached Kabini River lodge in 3 hours and we were pleasantly surprised by the campus. The place was well maintained and the lodge rooms looked elegant. We explored the campus, jumped on to the tyres hanging on the tree and climbed a tree and took some funny photos until we got our rooms. 
We were asked to assemble for lunch and then our Jeep safari was @ 3 pm. The lodge, not only had good rooms, they had very friendly people to help us out and also had some good food served :). After hogging well at the lunch, we started our jeep safari. the weather was simply awesome, cloudy, cold and drizzling. Praveen took out his heavy binoculars to spot Cheetahs and leopards, but it could only spot spotted dears. The more we looked around, the more dears, yeah in cycle gap we saw peacock. langur, Elephants, kingfisher and many more birds and animals. But to our bad luck no leopard came to honor our presence :( [Lesson4: Go to Kabini during summer, there are more chances of spotting a leopard] We finally ended our day with loads of UNO games and idea photos ;)

July 25th: Day2 - Our day started very early in the morning, by 6 am we were out for our second round of safari - boat safari :). The river was serene and beautiful. We spotted many birds , sambar deer and an elephant crossing from one side of the river to the other. Our morning safari ended in couple of hours, and we again came back without any signs of a leopard :(. We packed our bags and left Kabini with the hope that next time we come here, the leopard  will be nice to us :) We spent the rest of the day @ Mysore. We saw the Mysore palace, St. Mary’s Cathedral (One of the oldest ones) and did some random shopping too :) We had far too much time to spend before our train and were desperate to find a place where we could just sit and yap! We landed in the same hotel where we had breakfast on Day1. We spent 3 hours over 1 cup of tea and the restaurant guy started giving us dirty looks [Lesson 5: Never book a return ticket so late in the night]. We played decent and left the restaurant before the manager came and chucked us out! We decided to just go to the Mysore Station and wait! The friendly driver dropped us back to the station and watched people come and go and comment on every creature on the platform until our train appeared.  We were delighted to step on to it and get back to pavilion :) and that marked the end of our trip :)
So, finally we made a trip and had a super time too :) Looking forward for more...praveen where are we going next?