Monsoon beauty Agumbe at its Best.......
Hurray, I got a wonderful start to my Monsoon Trails. Yes, all thanks to Agumbe trip which I finished few weekends back. What a trip it was, Oh! my God I didn't expect this much excitement in Agumbe. And it was real show of Monsoon/Rain in Agumbe (Which gets Highest Rainfall ).
It all started with Sunil, who told the plan of having trip to this Rain Forest zone. Although it was a months back plan but our "Earning trails" in this concrete complex corporate world, deferred it. Its our interests, photography and birding which drove us to towards this Mist(ery) Land.
All the logistics were planned by Sunil and accordingly we started our 'To' Journey on Friday Night in Shimoga Express. Our excitement started from 'To' Journey itself. I being Lazy, thought of starting at 9 30Pm but in actual I started at 10PM. And thanks to less frequent BMTC buses from my place to majestic which gave much needed initial excitement and Finally with many uncertain thoughts I reached the Railway station at 11. Even for Sunil excitements were extreme as he left some important things in room, so had couple of Auto journeys with Time running and pocket getting drained.
Both of us finally met in Railway Station at 11.5pm and Train was scheduled to depart at 11 15PM. Our waiting list Ticket couldn't win the 'Seat competition' and we were suppose to share Single seat. We were bit down with this single seat issue and was working out our plans to share the same. But suddenly we were happy when we saw a group (had couple of Gals) who were seat less( they booked Train for Morning trip but ...). At around 1am we got other seat and finally had enough sleep.
We reached shimoga station at 5:45 and Shimoga BusStand by walk at 6am. By someones grace we got a car to Agumbe for cost same as bus charge and boarded that car after finishing Post Brushing BreakFast.
It was 5kms to Agumbe, nothing was visible and it seemed as if we were in a white blanket. It was a nice Art by Rain n Mist. With an slow and steady drive, we reached Agumbe at 8 30Am. Driver left us at the only lodge in Agumbe, First we were surprised to see nothing and then got glimpse of that Only Lodge in that thick Fog. Surprises and excitements never damped and we again got surprised when Only lodge owner showed "HouseFull" board. But it was just a Trade trick by him and with our counter Trick, we managed to get a single Room.
Once in the Room, we shed our "Weight" and got freshen up. Soon I was on the bed, to complete my regular "8 hour" sleep but Sunil was in hurry to start Trails. With his strong urge, we started our first Trial and decide to try "Onakeabbi Falls". We got dressed up in our Trek wears and with protection gears for our DSLR, Binocular and our selves from Rain. As we started our trail, it was all clear and could cover some distance with Josh. But soon the Rain started in full fledge and within secs water was dripping from our Costumes. Thank God, there was Ganesh Hotel near by and we peeped in there to avoid Rain. With nothing to do, we just thought of recharging ourselves and had a heavy breakfast with Malnad specials Bun and NiruDosa.
Above one is the first Pic in the Trip and is explaining situation that was in Agumbe, its Rain, Rain, Rain and Rain. It was awesome, it was abundant and it was Too much too. But it was fun, exciting and a very different experience. This heavy Rain sorry usual Agumbe Rain didn't compromised and finally we ourselves compromised and thought of returning to our Room. We carried a DSLR and a binocular and so we thought of calling off this "onakeabbi falls" trail. Back in room we just started our Snaps Saga by clicking our shutters at a Drenched Rope with dew Drops(below pic). But our Room/Lodge was exactly opposite to Police Station and as expected a Cop called us for inquiry. After Sunil's explanation, Cop gave some Gyan session of not taking pics in these restricted areas and finally left.
We were in Revenge mood, we again arranged ourselves and decided to finish Onakeabbi Trail. We left our DSLR and Binocs in Room and started towards the Onakeabbi again. Even now Rain was pouring down but we got used to it. Within minutes were in Agumbe outskirts and we/I were/was happy when we saw a Red Wattled Lawping, walking around. With our eyes following the Fly of this Lawping we proceeded further and reached Starting point of Onakeabbi. Here again we had Photo session with our cameras clicking at a Flower, a Bee, a Butterfly and etc. Also we got to see a Cuckoo sitting close to us.
Just two months back towards end of Summer, I was here in the path to Onakeabbi but now it is very different than what I saw that time. Now the path is invisible with Fog being dominant and trees are Green and looking great with dew drops resting on them. And to be frank it was getting very wild and scary as we advanced. Beside this wilderness we got lost in our photography and to Melodies of Birds. There were many Bird calls but we being amateur in our interests cannot notice them.
With our interests blocking our walk we took more than 2 hours to reach the Top of Onakeabbi falls. Although many Tourists were present in Agumbe but we could find none on our Trail. Only we two were dragging legs in that utterly wild, wet and foggy path. We heard many movements in bushes and trees but we were very clear that these forests have only antelope/deers, bisons and monkeys. On the way we met the People from RRC (rain forest research center). And with all this wild excitements when we reached Cliff of onakeabbi, we were thrilled to see the force with which water was falling down and the extreme gust ling sound. Last time I slept on a Rock at the cliff to see the Fall's base but this time remembering it self made me sweat. Even here, fog was so dense that we thought we are in clouds. Being excited, I took out my Tiny digi cam to capture this wonder and below are the outcomes.
So with lots of uncertainties and excitements we succeeded to take revenge on our Friend and foe--- Agumbe's Rain, by finishing this Misty Mistery trail of Onakeabbi. Really it was a wonderful exp, with only two of us walking in that wild track with our interests given importance.
Sorry this is not the end, its just conclusion to our first trail. We are still on Saturday evening. After this trail we again had heavy lunch in Ganesh hotel and went back to room to dump our heavily wet (and heavy because its wet) wears and to dry our gadgets. We spent few hours in that incandescent lighted single room with songs come out of my "Slim yet powerful" Nokia 6300 low batteried mobile. Then again had a brief session of Dinner and finally slipped in to sleep.
Trekking in the rain that is, walking when you are completely drenched is really a tiresome one and we had the same. So we got up on Sunday morning only at 9am. We again started our load shedding programs and I took bath to begin our Day. By 9 45 we finished breakfast and started towards Joginagundi Falls. As usual it was Raining but we were used to it. Its a 7kms round trip trail and most of it on Metal Road. With in minutes after starting our trail, some how rain showed mercy and got chans to drag out our gadgets to start clicks and looks. We were busy, me focusing on Flying colour's which were moving around including few Bulbuls, Barbets, Munias etc and Sunil with his SLR pointing at a Calote and a Butterfly. Soon Rain was back and made us to stop our activities. It was a big tussle between the Rain and our interests both being tough and dominant. With the intermittent yet considerable breaks from Rain, we had good chance for clicking and focusing. We got many good pics including a beautiful Stream and I was over joyed with sighting of a Golden oriole and White collared Munia's herds. Also a bunch of blue Drango's.
At the Snail's pace and getting stopped at almost every step we finally got into woody path to Joginagundi which was bearing a daunted look. The situation here was bit horrifying with series of incidents increasing our unnecessary doubts. Firstly we saw a Jeans trouser and a T being thrown out and secondly stinking smell of some Dead animal. This combo itself took our guts out and as we proceeded further in this lone abandoned looking path we found 3 Rain covers thrown aside and some water bottles. Altogether we were down with these but our urge to see Joginagundi made us to continue. Its a small path through woods and is hardly a 15 mins walk from Metal Road. The sound of gustling water was audible through out the trail and with in no time we were infront of Joginagundi falls. It was a mere surprise for me because during my last visit we saw a big Rock at the same place where now nothing other than water is visible. Even there were few Rocks away from Falls where we slept last time but now flowing water is all what I can see. Monsoon was so artistic, We were overjoyed by just looking at the Falls and the force of water flow.
Above one is the Pic of Joginagundi Falls at its best. Cherishing the moments at Falls we headed back to Room. We first got out of sight from Falls, after while out of the Woody path and in no time we were back to the Metal road. Our return journey from Joginagundi was dominated by Photography. Its a joy to take pics when rain just stoppe and everything looks beautiful with the Rains remains, I mean dew drops residing. Even my 7mm mini digi cam captured astonishing pics with Digital Macro mode. We had chance to see a Huge group of Crested Cuckoo's and Drango's, which had a Post Rain noisy discussion. Quite a few Butterflies were moving around us and giving nice poses indeed. At the tail end of our return trail from Joginagundi we had a long Photograph session when Sun was back. We got superb pics of some Flies, bees, ants, cricket, calote, frog and my Digi cams Macro mode really rocked. Finally finished the trail by saying Bye Bye to Barbets, Munias, Sun Birds and Diff Bulbuls. Had a malnad special lunch at some Hotel we got back to Room. Totally we took 7 hours to complete this 7kms trail with much fun, excitement and our interests given interest. Here is the link to Agumbe Trip pics (good ones).
Inevitable, so we finally boarded our Rajahamsa bus to Bangalore at 8Pm. And with time moving on we gradually getting into Concrete jungles with their increasing intensity.
This may be a long post but this itself cannot explain the overall Exp we had in Agumbe....