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Published: September 4th 2008
We had planned that our last day in Coorg would be reserved to practice the pinnacle of relaxation. So we made it a point of not setting our alarms. We woke up late and had a long and leisurely breakfast. The breakfast consisted of puttu, which is also a dish that they have in Kerala.
After breakfast we sat out on the porch and leafed through some more books on Coorg. We sipped coffee and gazed and the lush estate, and our host showed us seeds of different plants that are grown in Coorg and the estate. We even picked guavas from the guava tree and ate them! From the conversation with our host we found out that coffee came to India from Africa some time around the 70s. Indian farmers then began to cultivate coffee and soon coffee trade was flourishing in India. They made lots of profits which enabled them to have very rich and luxurious lifestyles. Our host decided to cultivate coffee when he was a fresh college graduate. He sowed the first seed himself and at the time was uncertain about the future. But he worked hard and cultivated the land. When coffee came to India
he decided to cultivate it as well and was successful at it. However, in the 80s Indian farmers decided to teach the Vietnamese how to cultivate coffee. Eventually, coffee began to be cultivated in Vietnam, as well, and this brought the coffee prices down steeply. From Rs. 60/-, the price of coffee has come to as low as Rs. 9/- kg recently, which brought about the decline of the coffee trade in India. However, the price is on the rise again, which spells good news to coffee cultivators. 😊 That is when estate owners decided to convert their homes into Homestays so that they could maintain their lifestyles and estates. Our host narrated many amusing anecdotes about the guests that they’ve hosted in their estate.
We took a little walk through the hills a little away from the estate. There was a little stream nearby and we enjoyed the sensation of just walking around without worrying about traffic. There is a species of cicadas in the trees which freaked us out a bit. These insects start making their weird noises when they sense movement coming close to them and then eventually stop as we moved away. So we would
hear the sounds from different trees become really loud and then die down as we walked through the valley. M. Night Shyamalan could contemplate using this in his next movie … how a few kids in the forest don’t know where the noise is coming from and why ‘it’ can inexplicably sense them as they walk through.
When we returned from the walk we had another round of coffee and then decided to go on a tour of the estate. Now was when I would have to face my largest fear in Coorg: leeches. I found the mere thought of leeches gross and was unsure about what I would do if I found one on me. I found out soon enough. I let out a scream and decided home is where I wanted to be. The trek before the leech incident was good. We saw the stream that ran through the estate. There were many Touch-Me-Nots and we saw coffee plants as well. There were also avocados and ginger and mangoes. It was all good until I was attacked by the leech. I showered to shake of the leech-y feeling and after that my host handed me an encyclopedia
which had everything you wanted to know about leeches. It just served to reinforce my disgust for them.
The much dreaded ‘End of the Trip’ time happened at the end of this day. We bade good bye to our hosts and were driven to the Medikeri bus stand by our driver. The bus was on time, unlike it had been three days ago when we had set out on the trip. All of us carried back memories of a wonderful trip. A trip where we got the right balance of relaxation and sight seeing, one in which we got to know each other a little bit more and ‘bonded’ in a way that’s not possible over lunch or a movie in the city. I believe now, more than ever that if you want a great trip go without an agenda and work on striking a balance. We did this inadvertently and it worked!
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