July 29, 2010

Trip to Coorg

Yet another wonderful trip to coorg (Kodagu) and it was adventurous. River rafting and Rappelling were the main events in this trip. We were 7 guys planning to go to coorg  especially for river rafting during the monsoons (mid july to mid oct). Starting from the left we are, luggage less Rajesh in Blue, the smoker RajeshB in red, the photographer Kiran in Yellow, Santha in Green, Romantic hero Dhilip in pants, coolest Rajesh punch in red shorts and the rocky mobile player Shiva in jean.

Everyone write their experience beginning from day 1 to day n, but here you will be viewing out experiences starting from day 3 to day 2 to day one.

On day 3, we had our breakfast at Silver sky hotel (some Idlis, Dosas and Kodagu special Upma's) and took a jeep in the morning from Gonikoppal to reach Chelavara waterfalls (Route Gonikoppal - Virajpet –kakkabe- Tadiyendamol- Chelavara). Jeeps are available just behind the bus stand with owners driving them, so don’t go for any travel agents who will charge you more. On our way to Chelavara, it was a new experience for all of us. There was a football tournament held and it was played on a empty paddy field filled with water. It was the final match and we could see a decent crowd watching the game, where the penalty shoot outs were in progress. When I (Santha) was shooting the goal keepers and the shots, Kiran was shooting the opposite xes and ...........(censored). We then headed to meet Ganapathy of www.noworneverland.com, who organizes rappelling. Upon crossing virajpet, there was no signal as there are no towers at all. We reached Chelavara waterfalls but couldn't find ganapathy for half an hour. We couldn't find wehere rappelling was happening and I started searching for Ganapathy, in the meanwhile Kiran again started to shoot the opposite xes and later we came to know that ehs could be secretary or .... for Mr.Ganapathy. Anyways kiran was interested in taking pictures that looked beautiful to him.
Atlast Ganapathy came to the car park zone and we proceeded to rappelling. It was a 10 minutes trek to the spot and unfortunately our rockstar couldn't climb up as the path was too narrow and slippery to climb. Shiva gave up rappelling and came back to the jeep watching ......... Now we had to do this rappelling thing on the side of the falls (10ft away from the water falls) and the rock was almost 80 to 90 degrees, wet and slippery. A rope was tied to an auto locking device to each one of us with the end of the rope touching the bottom of the falls with some persons for safety. Ganapathy tied the knots to the device and it was fun to descent. People who don't fear for thier life will have absolute fun and would like to do it again and again to expertise it. Me and rajesh were the first to descent and came down easily. Dhilip was supposed to descent third and he murmured some name saying (....... kappathu ma), which we were anticipating to come from his mouth, but we couldn't hear that name. Dhilip came down very nicely, but when he was nearing the end, he turned himself facing opposite to the rock and came down which was real fun.

Kiran was almost hugging the walls and was doing a kind of walking on the rocks, holding the rope very tightly expecting a safe landing. Later we came to know that he was a nature lover and he was doing some research on the creepers peresend in the wet rocks. Rajesh punch had a scratch on his leg, while RajeshB rappelled safely. The climax of the show was that when Rajesh wanted to take a snap holding to rope, he fell down and slided on the rocks for about 10 feet without any inuries. Chelavara falls was a beautiful falls with wind blowing at great speeds and the water drops falling upon us when we are at a distance of around 40 to 50 feet. We can't get below the falls to enjoy the water falling on us, as the force of the water varies depending on the rains and there is a great depth down the falls.

We spent some time overthere and returned on our jeep to virajpet for late lunch. There was a kerala restaurant and they served fish curry and fish fry which was a good feast after rappelling. We then headed to Dubare Forest around 5pm, where there is a park with elephant rides along the side of cauvery river. Unfortunately the water in the river was flowing heavily and as the elephant ride was not available as the place turned out muddy due to rains, we had skipped this place and moved to Bylakuppe. As I have a previous experience at Dubare, its a place to be visited before monsoons. There is a park with full of bamboos and monkeys, with a elephant ride for around ten minutes and then you can take bath in the cauvery river for hours along with monkeys. It took around 30 minutes to reach Bylakuppe from Dubare and we visit the tibetian monastery. The only fun over there was, when Santha was focussing to took pictures of the other six, the other six were highly disturbed by the beauty (especially Rajesh punch) and disturbing myself as well, with the picture becoming a little naughty. Kiran was asusual focussing on coloured chicks, sparrows with water droplets on their head, and the green dressed stems. It was clearly visible on Dhilip's face that he was missing someone and planning for another trip with the special someone.
  To overcome this, he asked me to takpe pictures of him along with a girl passing by him using tricky photography. We spend an hour at this place and we headed to Kushal nagar to catch our bus to Mysore and we reached mysore travelling for 3 hours. We then headed to railway station to catch our train to Chennai. It was on the train we came to know that Dhilip had proposed with his colleague and is waiting for a reply and is already very very delayed from this girl named ,/!@#$%^&*(). Our trip at Kodagu was very nice with full of natural scenes unpolluted air, unseen and untasted food varieties, completely adventurous, with jeep rides,
getting wet in drizzles, leech bites, away from computers and phone calls except for shiva's, where he had to take calls from his wife within the count of 10, where his mobile's ring tone has the count that starts from 10 and goes to 0 in reverse. We reached Chennai the next morning and had to rush to office for lunch. The next day except for Dhilip the non alcoholic and the complete alcoholic shiva, rest of us were all sick with severe cough and fever, which is usally spreaded in the poupulated cities.

Day 2, Except for Dhilip who felt very cold during the night, rest all had a deep snoring sleep and woke up from this beautiful home. Suddenly I found that my chappal was missing where the street dog Bruno took away, which was found later. Mr.Mano served us tea and coffee and we started for a walk on his 18 acre coffee estate with some pepper trees, jack fruit trees, coconut trees. It was drizlling and the path was very narrow and slippery. It was a one hour walk in the nature with some nature calls and we reached back home with some nice pictures of kutta. We then had kodagu’s traditional breakfast which was truly delicious and stomach filing and it was time to vacate the homestay. With great courtesy, Rakesh of Bethel homestay came over here on his jeep to pick us to the river rafting spot, which was about half an hour from kutta. It was an organic coffee estate we entered and there was a river in between the estate where our rafting had to start. We met Saroj and Dawa from Nepal, certified rafters, who were our guides in each boat. We had our life vests and on the boat starting with safety commands like how to hold the pedal, about the safety of the boat, where to sit, commands like sit down, sit up, row forward, row backward etc. Then each of us were asked to get down from the boat into the still water which is about 40 feet deep, to get a feel about the life vest. It was easy for swimmers, but when Kiran got down from the boat, he was yelling at us saying ‘HIS FEET IS NOT TOUCHING THE GROUND’ and he was feeling ………….. Dhilip a non swimmer got into the water and he took a back swim nicely and unknowing he was going to the place where there was more water flow. When we had to climb back on the boat, it was a hard time for all of us as we had to be pulled inside the boat, where a pulling technique was trained to us. We had a hard time pulling Shiva and Rajesh punch. Rajesh was the easiest to be pulled in. We started to raft in two groups. Rajesh punch, Shiva and Rajesh in the first boat and the second boat having Santha, Kiran, RajeshB and Dhilip. We had to cross four important points that were named as ‘Morning coffee’, ‘Wicked witch’, ‘Grasshopper’ and ……… The first boat started to raft smoothly and passed Morning coffee, with the second boat passing through as well. During this time we found that Dhilip was not rowing at all and we moved him to the back getting Rajesh into the front. As the second boat passed by and since Dhilip didn’t execute Saroj’s commands properly, the second boat diverted from the main path and got sided and the boat was not able to move getting stuck on the grown bushes in the river. Guys in the second boat had to get down from the boat and stand on the bush which is just about 2 square feet and four of us had to stand within the 2sq.ft until the boat is turned sideways to flow into the stream. Standing on the bush was a highly risky, truly adventurous task, and brave task, since we could get into the water and get hurt if we slip from the bush. This happened twice to the second boat, while the first boat with champions had a smooth rafting till the end. When we met the points the boats were pushed by the speed of the water flow as we were floating in speed categorized as ’CLASS 5’, next to it is ‘class 6’ followed by ‘suicide rafting’. Upon crossing the four points, we reached the end point and were asked to carry the boats on our head to load the boats on a jeep, and we started travelling back to the starting point to have some tea with the fire on. Later we had a hot shower in the same spot, changed our clothes and proceeded to Gonikoppal by a local bus. It took more than an hour to reach Gonikoppal, and it was evening by that time and we took rooms in the newly build hotel ‘Pranaam International’ which is the best in Gonikoppal town. We took some parcels from Silver sky for our dinner. The quantity in the parcels was too much to each and we found we have ordered too much. Pork fry and Salt applied Soaked Sukka Mutton fry were the best for that night with some drinks on. We spent hours by listening to Dhilip’s romance scences and his love story. We then had a tired deep sleep looking for another day to travel. Early in the morning around 6am, I heard a sound as if a bullet is starting, and it was none other than our Shiva who was starting the bike in his dreams with his voice loud. I had kept my camera in the other room and I missed to take video of his. Shiva usually makes noises during his sleep like the first day on the train.

Day 1 - We started during mid of July, the start of rainy seasons and reached Mysore railway station. First thing we learnt was there was no place named as Coorg, and we couldn't see the word 'COORG' in any of the name boards in the shops during our trip. Coorg is a just an alternate name given to Kodagu and it consists of many small towns like Madikeri, Gonikoppal, Bylakuppe, Kutta, Nagarhole and lot other places, where various activities are held. Now, we were trying to stay at Bethel homestay stay (http://www.bethelhomestays.com) on our first day, as we did some reasearch in web sites and found Mr.Rakesh of Bethel homestay was a cool person, jovial and good in organising the trip, but unfortunately we couldn't get accomodation in his place, which is at the Brahmagiri hills famous for trekking. Rakesh had arranged an alternate homestay at a place called Kutta, and the homestay was called Manu's estate. Now the cost, the people of Coorg have acres of land planting coffee trees and they run homestays in their estates and it is very difficult to fing decent lodges and hotels except in specific places. Homestays (in 2010) generally cost between 1000/- to 1500/- for a person which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and camp fire. The place where we stayed costed 1500/- per person. From Mysore we had to travel to a place called Kutta where our homestay was booked. Kutta is a place very nearer to Irruppu falls, Nagarhole wild life sanctuary and Brahmaagiri hills. From Mysore there were two options to reach Kutta. By a cab (Sumo would cost around 1800/- to 2000/-) through the Nagarhole route where we could see some deers en route. We decided to travel by bus from Mysore (bus fare – Rs.70/-) and it took around 3 hours to reach the place GONIKOPPAL (only place that looked like a town with more number of shops on one single main road). If you want to buy some booze, please buy it at Gonikoppal as you won't get any branded alcohol in any of the places where you stay. For people who find home stays very costly, Gonikoppal is the only place to find lodges and hotels ranging between Rs.800 to Rs.2000 for a decent double bed room. You will also get good food at very reasonable rate at this hotel named SILVER SKY which is bang opposite to the Gonikoppal bus stand. Again we had to catch another bus from Gonikoppal to Kutta (bus fare Rs.25/-) which took around two hours to reach Kutta. Mr.Mano was there to pick us up and we landed in a beautiful 3 bedroom house with a lovely garden, and the owner Mr. Mano was too kind in organizing things. It was late noon and we were very craving for food. Chicken Biriyani, Chicken curry, Pork fry and some veg items were on the table and we emptied it in no time. Heregoes the funniest part during our lunch – Dhilip is a person who doesn’t eat Pork, but we lied and did some acting to convince Dhilip that it’s not Pork fry but Mutton fry and he too had multiple pieces of Pork, which tasted good for him. He didn’t show his anger but instead ate half of the b bananas kept for us. Later we came to know that banana was Dhilip’s favorite. We then headed to Iruppu falls, where there was no crowd at all, but it was difficult to reach near the fall to take bath, but some of us managed to take a bath where the force of water was too high for us to tolerate as it was heavily raining. We were back to our home stay and on the eve, it was drizzling and we couldn’t have camp fire on, but we prepared Mojito using Rum and had great time. Dhilip was the odd one to have just cool drinks due to the promise he made to his …… Post dinner it was time for bed where we had a nice deep sleep and we heard Shiva murmuring something during his sleep.

Useful tips - Our trip was planned to mainly perform the events like rafting and rappelling, so we couldn’t visit many other places which were just for sightseeing and nothing much in those places.

Other activities that can be done are:

Trekking in the Brahmagiri hills for about 6km (Not permitted during monsoons – Need to contact the Government forest office over phone atleast two weeks in advance)

Trekking to Tadiyendamol peak (the highest point in Coorg) – watch for leeches during monsoons.

Staying in Tents, Quadbike games, rappelling, shooting are organized by Ganapathy (09845831675). It’s difficult to get him over phone as he will be on the hills, so keep trying every half an hour and he would respond

Elephant ride and a bath in the river at Dubare park.

July 28, 2010

Solution for Dandruff
 Nizoral - The Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

     Especially for Indian water and climate -  People who suffer from Dandruff use shampoos that are shown in TV commercials or go to doctors who will ask you to undergo tests and use other oils and creams, but here is your first step before you do so.

     I have also been suffering from Dandruff for a long time.  My uncle is a Doctor and when askem him, he told me to use Johnson's baby shampoo and not to use any other shampoos.  Also he suggested me to use Nizoral anti dandruff shampoo.  I just used Nizoral for 2 weeks as directed in the bottle and now I don't have dandruff at all.  Still I use Nizoral once in 2 weeks or so just to be safe.  Nowadays I use Johnson's baby shampoo and do see hairfall as well.  I recommend all of you with dandruff problem to use Nizoral.