Monday, October 16, 2006

Rafting in the Garden of Eden - Dandeli

Continued from East Coast to the West

Day 1 @ Dandeli

We had booked our stay at the Kulgi Nature Camp, as we found the rates reasonable and we were promised tented acco in the wilderness– the camp itself was very nice, and the tents… well, they really aren’t the roughing out tents – more like cottages made of canvas… We reached only by around 2'O'clock, so we decided to push rafting for the next day and go on a short trek for the evening. The trek was to a small water fall outside the Dandeli wild life reserve itself– we rested at the water fall, to mostly remove the leeches that had gotten friendly along the way and before we knew it, we embarked on a water splashing war!

Back at the camp, the dinner that night was one of the best – being with nature has a way of making you feel savor the simplest of things -The reguar dal that you would crib about suddenly transforms to a heavenly delicacy and you devour it with such speed!! And ofcourse this was followed by a “party” hosted by the udaipuri duo (btw, this refers to 2 guy from udaipur and who were friends from school ;) ) in their tent. I wont elaborate , but there was a documentary made, a lot of spice dug up, and lots of liquid splashed about.

Day 2 @Dandeli

The next day we were scheduled to go for rafting with the Jungle lodges resort. We were told that we needed to get ready by 8 so we can get to the dandeli town by about 9 … after a few false calls, we got a sumo – to the town – from there to jungle lodges. JLR arranged for a jeep to take us to the river Kali for rafting. While I was disappointed that the river was dirty brown, the actual patch where we raft is a beautiful green. After donning our gear, we were off. John, the rafter who accompanied us, spent 30 minutes in giving us instructions as to how to raft etc., which was really good cos u actually get a feeling of learning something and knowing what you are going to be doing. The training included jumping in to the cold green water to be “rescued” by the rest. We also swam for a while before we set off.

The first couple of rapids were really good, but the others were quite small, so not so ‘thrilling exciting’. After about half an hour we entered ‘Eden’s Garden’ and I have to say it lived up to its name. Green foliage interspersed with patches of auburn brown of some trees, unruly climbers touching the clear green river – it was certainly a stretch untouched by civilization! In the evening, we went off on a safari around the wildlife reserve and watched the sunset at a peak near a mining area reclaimed by the forest.

The one thing I didn’t like about dandeli was that, I assumed that the area where we would be staying etc, where we would be rafting etc., are all ensconced within the forest. But that wasn’t the case and we kept plying into the town and back – so it wasn’t a totally ‘lost in wilderness’ weekend. Anyways, another night at kulgi singing old hindi and English melodies our trip at Dandeli came to an end.

Next Sunset on the West Coast - Gokarna


Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics.

Anonymous said...

really,.. my dad was into forest department soin karnataka for almost 20 yrs so dandeli is not new to me... but seen thru ur photograps.. i feel like goin to that place again...nice ... have fun