I would like to write in detail of my thoughts about home-stays, coffee estates and Madikeri, as this was my first encounter with all three! This post however is about what is most vivid about the place in my experience….
I have a little past in ornithology. I have done a few bird watches, bird photography and bird book reading in my younger days! This was the first time I have heard such a bird orchestra! I could not even begin to identify the birds cause the whole cacophony sounded so new to me, but it was amazing! At certain times – I think twilight times, not sure -all of them would start their chirping and its quite brilliant! There were some woodpeckers for sure. Also there was a lot of greenery so the birds remained very hidden! Amazing!
It was a lovely break to just be away from the city urbanized environment and live amongst so much nature. Being at a coffee plantation I thought on the lines of harvest season, flowering season… I had never really seen the coffee plant before so seeing it to be the stubby, fir-ry plant was cool! 🙂
Apart from the coffee plants there were dogs. The family also had some rice plantations so I went there to see paddy being harvested it was great! They told me to roam amongst those fields and house without worrying about safety or any such! I got a strong feeling that if only all us humans would ensure spending good amount of time tending to nature – plants, animals – we would be a more understanding and sensible species!
Being in the hills and low pollution environment means lots and lots of stars in the night sky! It was brilliant to look up and see the multitude of twinkling constellations and planets! I am thinking that I could take my telescope there next time! 🙂
The accommodations were quite suitable for me. I had a small cottage to myself but I had food at the families house. So I could while away lot of time on my own and with nature but for food I would go meet the family and other guests staying there! So over food there was some lively banter, very often talking about our city lives being so different from life there. I met some interesting people at the place!
One of days I went to a temple on a nearby hill. It was a wonderful walk with one elderly English lady who had come to India to spend the winter, as it is too cold in their country! The view, greenery, quaint little homes and sharing interesting stories was time very well spent! Rarely do I feel the satisfaction in such things back in the city, where the mind is full of raucous entertainment and social pressures!
What made this stay different from usual green outings was that it was a home stay. Inevitably I felt a lot more connected with the fields, coffee plants because they belonged not to some farmer.. but to the family I was staying with. It was interesting to interact and get to know these people who in some ways live such different lives! More importantly it brought me closer to the place than any hotel or sightseeing would have been able to do!
The home stay I stayed at: http://gingerhomestay.com
(No, I am not getting anything for this post from the home stay and I paid for my stay at this place! After Lance Armstrong I think we all need to be candid about such things!)