Coorg : Zavi's first road trip
Road trips are always fun especially if it is with your loved ones. So even we planned to go for a road trip right after purchasing our new Isuzu Dmax Vcross. Isuzu being a 4 x 4 off roader was the perfect vehicle as it was perfect for unexpected road conditions and provided enough comfort to the rider and passengers. Here one of the passenger was our then 10 month old Zavi and this was going to be his first road trip. We jotted down the places we would love to visit and with great difficulty narrowed down to Club Mahindra Madikeri, Coorg.
Both of us were a bit sceptical about this trip as we were not sure if its okay to take our little one out for a road trip. After a lot of research we came to conclusion that we need a break and we should take our kid along with us for this road trip.
To give you an idea of the route which we chose from Cochin to Coorg.
Kochi -> kozhikode -> Vadakara -> Mahe -> Iritty -> Virajpet -> Madikeri
We trusted the maps, and started at 0530 AM IST ,hoping to reach Club Mahindra Madikeri, Coorg by around 0530 PM IST. This including all our pitstops, like photo points, breakfast/lunch/snacks etc.
We had our breakfast from Thirssur, and was enroute to Kozhikode when we got a call from home, asking us to check the route as there was a news stating that some bridge on route to Kodag was swept away by heavy down pour. However we were under the impression that this was not the route we were taking and decided to go forward.
By noon, we reached Hilite Mall, a shopping mall located in the city of Kozhikode in the Malabar region of Kerala. We took a stroll around the mall, and had lunch from Mc Donalds. Zavi had a great time too, playing around.
We started from there at around 02:00 pm IST. And the drive was smooth for another one hour or so. Then we reached some place where it started to slow down and then it came to a standstill. The route was heavily crowded with narrow roads.
In the meantime, Zavi was jumping around inside the car, climbing on his seat and playing with all the stuffs he could put his hands on :-)
We reached Iritty by around 07:30 PM IST, and it was already very dark and the fog was starting to settle down. We started climbing the forest road crossing Perumbadi Check-Post, via Brahmagiri Wildlfe Sanctuary towards Virajpet. We were going slow as it was pitch black and it was drizzling. We were enjoying every moment of the wild nature. Suddenly a white Swift car started flashing lights at us from the opposite direction. I was startled to see this and was moaning why he was flashing lights. Just as he passed our car, he stopped. I also stopped suddenly.
I thought he would be warning us about some wild animals spotted. So I reversed and went back to where they stopped. He was accompanied with his wife and a young baby and was on route to Coorg. He was so generous to stop us and warn that the bridge got swept away by heavy rain. He suggested to go back to the nearest town and stay for the night and take another route tomorrow morning.
Did we start regretting over the decision we made ? Not yet, we started searching for a stay near Iritty Town. This was turning out to be a very eventful road trip after all. It was raining, and was difficult to spot a good place to stay with the family. After 45mins, we found one near the town itself. We enquired with the caretaker there about the incident, and he said that the road that connects Virajpet to Kerala via the Perumbadi Check-Post has been cut off, thanks to incessant rains and it will take two months to restore the road.Till then, vehicles moving from Kerala will have to take the road via Gonikoppal, Ponnampet, Kutta to reach Manandavadi in Kerala.
We had a decent room, ordered some dinner, played with Zavi for sometime and hit the bed after the long and eventful day.
Next day early morning we took the other route towards Madikeri via Mananthavady. We started by around 0530 AM IST.
Iritty -> Mananthavady -> Kutta -> Madikeri.
It was a wonderful ride, through the Mananthavady forest. We had couple of off roads, due to some re routing which google maps did. However, we enjoyed. It was perfect for testing our 4x4. We also spotted deers and monkeys on route but unfortunately Zavi was asleep and he couldn't see them.
We took around 5 hours to reached Club Mahindra Resort Coorg, Madikeri, Karnataka. The weather was cold and kinda wet but nonetheless the whole feel of the resort was awesome.For Zavi,this was a different experience. He never allows us to put a cap or hat on his head back home. But here it was a totally different story. The moment he stepped out of the car, he demanded for his hat and sweat jacket.
|Zavi with his sweat jacket and his cap on.|
We were given welcome drinks while we checked in and we went directly for breakfast. The food was really awesome, this could be because the other day we had a disastrous dinner at our Iritty Stay.
We settled in our room, and after quite some time I started to feel uncomfortable. I was not sure what happened, could be because of the dinner I had from Irrity. Anyways, I slept off for sometime. Mean while our baby was crawling around, picking up things and kept my wife fully occupied.
We did some exploration in the resort itself and relaxed. There were lot of activities which can be done during the day at the resort. For adventurous guests, the resort would arrange ATV rides, farm ride & hiking, backwater rafting, rock climbing, etc. They also had kids play room, table sports, Tennis courts, barbecue facilities , library, etc. Not to mention, some shops with spices, and other cultural items were also available.
The resort was very close to the nature and this itself helped us to unwind and relax.After spending some quality time in the resort, we decided to get back home the next day. This time, we decided to take another route towards Kochi.
Madikeri -> Mysuru -> Sathyamangalam -> Coimbatore -> Palakkad -> Thrissur -> Kochi.
This was a smooth ride, and the roads were much better than the route towards Madikeri via Kozhikode. And we are back with lots of wonderful memories
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We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.