- 4 motorbikes
- 5 musketeers
- Generous doses of rain
- Dollops of delicious food
- Loads of scenic routes and trails
- Platefuls of hot bhajjiya
- A few bottles of Coorg wine to taste
- And 1 place to Linger around
Mix all of them and shake generously. And voila – you get a perfect monsoon weekend!
The rains came down on us as soon as we entered Coorg. It was, as if, the higher powers had listened to us and granted our collective wish. We started off at around 6 am in the morning from Bangalore, stopping first at Kamat Lokaruchi (and how could we not?). Many idlis, chow chow baths and coffees later, we were back on the road again. If this would have gone as planned, we should have reached, in 5 hours. Ah, but it was not to be!
We took a little longer – 9 hours to be exact. It was a trip “punctuated” with many food breaks as Sameer put it rather succinctly later.
We would have probably taken a few more hours, but lunch was waiting for us at Linger, Sameer’s cosy cottage in Chettamani. So, after Madikeri, we sped towards Bhagamangdala and at around 2 pm, we were finally rewarded with the first sight of Linger.
Nestled amidst trees and resting on a slope, with a view of the fields and the mountains beyond, Linger is definitely a place that lives up to its name. When we reached, it didn’t take us too long to relax, put our feet up and take in the lazy atmosphere.
And the food. Of course, I have to mention the food – we literally pounced on it, our hunger having reached unbearable levels after the long journey.
So what does anyone do at Linger? The name should speak for itself. We took the name seriously. Hop, skip and jump away is the Cauvery river. We strolled across enjoying the cool evening air and the cloudy skies. We got back and settled in with bhajjiyas, tea (and more tea) and then onto dinner. There was a bonfire and Sathish had gotten into rather high spirits by then. Deva admits that he was sleepy but didn’t want to hurt Sathish by cutting him off. This of course meant that they stayed up till late listening to Sathish’s tales. I, of course, did the smart thing and went off to sleep.
The next day, after a lazy and long breakfast (I did go for a short walk down the village road just so I could say I did some form of exercise!), we decided to head towards some scenic trails. A good decision indeed as Sameer took us into parts of Coorg countryside we’d never get to see otherwise.
Rain drenched and green, Coorg puts on it’s prettiest face in the monsoons. The roads snaked through little villages and up and down like a roller coaster. We stopped once just to gaze at the rain clouds coming in and what a sight it was – the perfect spot to build a monsoon getaway cottage!
Back to Madikeri village for a sumptuous lunch at Coorg cuisinette – if you’re in the town and are interested in local delicacies, this is one place you should head to. Even the locals eat there, which says something about the food! Loved everything including the yummy motta (egg) curry and all of us came out of the hotel clutching our stomachs. Back again on the trails, we discover some more narrow country roads till we hit Linger.
Once we’re there, ennui and a nice feeling of contentment settles in. There’s more bhajjiya, coffee and tea. And then there’s an intense scrabble game which goes on till late evening. Rules are broken and re-written and created. We argue about words (dewax, newlywed, ad) and some that probably don’t actually exist. I think the interesting part about Scrabble is about how vehemently you can “deny” a word exists. The other side (who is superbly confident till now) is now beginning to show signs of crumbling. “No, the word doesn’t exist,” you say confidently and calmly and that’s the end of the argument. Of course, I still lose.
Anyway, much fun and head banging ensued and the husband who was using his wordpower combined with Deva (cheating it’s called in layman’s terms!) won the game and gloated for a while. We were easily distracted by dinner and then it was time to call it a day.
The next day, had a lovely breakfast – a rice poori which is a delicious Coorg dish, teamed with potato and brown channa curry. We of course wanted to “linger” around a little more, but then it was time to bid adieu. At around 1030 am finally, got back on the bikes, packed and hit the road.
The boys decided on a “scenic route” – and that it definitely was! Even Sameer discovered new roads unknown to him till this day. Instead of 9 hours, it took us a record 11 hours to get back. And just so we didn’t forget that it was a monsoon ride, the rains hit us just as we crossed Ramangaram. From there we took the Kanakpura detour to avoid Mysore road traffic and then hit a few villages.
Around 17kms before Harohalli, when asking for directions, I smelt food. Omlettes to be precise. An old man sitting behind the counter was busy serving them out so we had our fill. From there we hit Harohalli, Kanakpura Road, and were back home close to 10 pm at night.
What a day, what a trip and what a ride!