Wayanad-Driving through hills, forests and a river valley-Day 1

The Holiday Resolutions:
There are too many things to do right here. I get more tired planning for and recovering from vacations. Let’s not go anywhere this time. 
Ok, we'll take one small break. But this time we’ll not drive-let's take a flight, or a train, or a cab, or hire a driver…

The Reality:
Driving for three and a half days through steep hills, sharp bends, lush forests and the Kabini river valley.

The Decisions:
Since this was an unplanned, unintended trip we quickly decided on Wayanad because it was the only non-visited destination within driving distance. We booked our hotel after a quick Face book research, packed a few sets of clothes, filled petrol, and decided to leave early on Saturday morning.

My husband decided to work from home on Friday to ensure we pack in early on Friday evening. He was determined we would leave as early as possible on Saturday to avoid the traffic jams that happen on exit roads to Bangalore at the onset of all long weekends.
I dread waking up early in the mornings. And I have memories of long traffic jams on National Highways as early as 5.30 am and continuing all the way to Mysore when we had travelled to Coorg on another long weekend.

So we took the inspired decision of leaving right then (Friday evening) and spending the night at Mysore. (We get to sleep till 7.00 am that way).

The Drive-Phase 1: Bangalore to Mysore
We also tried to avoid the other Friday evening travelers-specially the buses travelling from Madivala to Coorg/Kerala/Tamil Nadu by taking Mysore road. That was a bad idea. The entire stretch is in a mess because of the debris from the first phase of Metro construction and the excavations happening almost up to Bidadi for the second phase.

My husband tries to take over driving through most difficult stretches of the road, but due to the infallibility of Murphy’s Law, I usually get to drive through these interesting lengths. And so I negotiated through the Friday Namaz traffic, the going home for weekend traffic and the Metro mess for an hour and a half and before the city let us go.
Then the holiday began for real.

We made the customary halt at Kamat’s. The girls are now too grown up to play with the geese and too jaded to enjoy the ‘mudde idli’ but we still stop here every time we cross the place. And after the initial drive this was a welcome break.

The next part of the drive was smooth except for pockets of traffic when we crossed the intermediate towns. The big jam,right on the National Highway at the usual quiet town of Mandya was unexpected-this was first-day show for Bahubali2!

We reached Mysore without further drama and checked into the service apartment we had stayed in previously-it has homely food, enough space for a tired family of four with two teenagers and is located on the Ring Road so we don’t need to enter the city.

We had a leisurely dinner, squabbled over who’s sleeping where and usual, random stuff and planned the next day’s route before packing up for the day.

Rote Planning for-Phase 2: Mysore to Kuruvadweep
We had three route options from Mysore to Kuruvadweep, all pass through wildlife reserves and hence get closed after sunset:

  1. Mysore (road will close between 6PM-6AM) > Hand post > Anthersantha > Bawali > 6km > 2nd Gate junction (turn left) > 5km > Palvelicham > 1.8km >  (total 110 km)
  1. Mysore>Hunsour>Nagerhole ( closed between 6 P.M. to 6 A.M.)Divert via Gonikuppa > Kutta>Tholpetty>Kattikulam (155 km)
  1. Mysore> (via) Nanjanguad>Gundlepet> Muthanga wild Life Sanctuary> (Road closed between 9 PM to 6 A.M.) > Sulthan Bathery> Pulpally> Dasanakkara> Payyampally> Kurukkan Moola> (155 km)
We decided to take the shortest route to the hotel, check in, take rest and then explore the nearby areas.

Coming up in the next post: Welcome to Wayanad, by Kerala Police


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