work and work related travel were the main reasons for being away from this blog in the last few months.
a recent weekend break to Masinagudi was a welcome relief.
about 250KM from Bangalore, it was a good drive upto mysore and then a little slow via nanjangud.
the drive through bandipur offered some close encounters with wildlife right from the road.
bathing elephants and
monkeys having the right of way to cross the road..
as a protected tiger reserve, the place is not very formally organized for ecotourism, though there are persons who offer services for those interested in some explorations.
the activities officer at the resort we stayed in welcomed us saying that is was a jungle resort, with the concept being ‘just relax’ – meaning that there are no special activities or adventure sports and we are pretty much on our own, except for a guided fishing trip
the trips with the guide, who said that he was also listed on the lonely planet took us to more interesting locations in the neighborhood.
on our walk in the Singara region, we saw some bones
just as we wondered if these bones were set up there by the guides for photo ops for the visitors, we were shown some pugmarks
we were told how lucky we were to see these clearly as it had rained the previous day and the path was very muddy and that it was a leapord that had crossed that spot less than 30 minutes earlier.
we were shown some more marks – saying that a bear had skidded, possibly while trying to escape from the leopard
our anticipation increased and the expectation that the leopard might spring on us anytime made the walk that much more exciting.
the leopard probably got its prey elsewhere and did not return, even though we walked for about 10 kilometers in that area for over 2 hours.
we decided to explore other areas around.
the walk in the Bokkapuram area was more of scenic beauty
and the horse path that Tipu Sultan had made for his trips to Ooty
our guide wanted us to hury back as it was getting dark and that it was not safe as animals would be returning to their homes.
on the way back, we spotted a waterfall – and could not resist taking a bath.
the force of the water was a good massage and the cold temperature made it refreshing.
and, this time also, no animal sighting.
the next morning, we decided to explore the Mavanalla area.
the vegetation here was different from the earlier expeditions with more thick shrubs.
this time, the guide smelt and told us that an elephat had passed that area a few minutes earlier.
we could see a startled deer, a huge male, run when we approached some shrubs – raising our hopes of spotting more animals.
but, what we spotted were – birds
and flora, including a golf ball shaped mushroom
and ‘fresh’ poop that indicated that animals were there!
a porcupine ‘nail’?
and a peacock feather
also gave us hopes that we would surely spot some of them or bears, that were supposed to be staying in that area.
but the closest encounter we had was with a herd of cattle that, we thought, were ready to charge on us
and realized soon that they were probably just amused to see us in their grazing area.
in spite of the disappointment of not seeing wild animals close, it was a very enjoyable break and would surely consider going there again.. maybe even if it to ‘just relax’!