It’s been close to 2 years since we went on a trip to any touristy location. So, when the second wave passed by and the lockdown was relaxed after the covid numbers started going down, we started looking for a window to plan a trip to some place far from the madding crowd. Early July, it was decided that we’d go on a trip to a quiet place with two other families of friends. The hunt for the place and the dates began.
Keeping the current situation in mind, the task was to find a homestay where it will be only us who will be staying and we also decided to avoid any trips to crowded locations during the stay. The whole idea was to disconnect from the civilization while spending time with close friends.
As usual, the search started from team-bhp travelogue section and my friends were collecting information from their known sources as well. Team-bhpian @hemanth.anand suggested that we stay at Bean Aroma Homestay in the outskirts of Chikmagalur. We discussed with the home stay owner and they confirmed that 4 families can stay at their place. They agreed to book the whole place for our group even though we were only 3 families for the stay, which was nice because we had the whole place to ourselves.
Plan was to start at 5:00 am in the morning, however there was a slight delay and we started around 5:15am. Considering the pandemic situation, we didn’t want stop anywhere for breakfast. The homestay owner had agreed to prepare breakfast for us to be available whenever we reach. We had taken some snacks to munch on the way in case we got unusually delayed.
There was not much traffic on the road all the way till we reached the Chickmagalur.
It was a 20-minutes stop and we resumed the journey towards Chickmagalur.
Bean Aroma Homestay:
This is in middle of a coffee estate with good open space around the house.
- Very friendly owners
- Rooms are big and clean. 3 bedrooms inside the main house and an individual cottage are available.
- Home-cooked local cuisine for all three meals. Very delicious fare.
- Lot of open space for the kids to play
- Shuttle court, open area for free play and lot of indoor games(chess, darts, bow and arrow)
It rained incessantly with few moments of sunshine and the weather was perfect to stay warm indoors with silly games of dumb charades and cards. The owner took us for a walk around his estate and shared lot of information about the spices available there. He is a nature enthusiast and he had lots to tell us about the terrain, the flora and fauna there.
Apart from the walk around the plantation, there were no plans for the morning hours. So, I took Scarlett out for a quick drive around the town. The roads were deserted and the routes scenic. Felt like a drive through a dense jungle.
This was the most fun part of this trip for me. The owner informed us that only a 4×4 vehicle can venture to this place because this terrain is rough with lot of gravel and very slippery due to the rains and slush. The route also had steep climbs and needed a vehicle with good ground clearance.
There were two routes, one was short (around 2Kms) but tougher to handle. The second route was around 5-6 Kms which was comparatively easier. We took the longer route on the way to the peak. Even in this route, the last 2Kms were quite challenging. During the return we took the shorter route. I was on 4WD mode up and down the hill.
Apart from the challenging drive, the scenery outside was a dense jungle like terrain. Thankfully, we had enough daylight to not make it feel eerie. The view at the top of the peak was breathtaking. The mist was moving and the visibility was oscillating between next-to-nil and bright daylight in a span of minutes. It was very windy and it started drizzling after a while. We decide it was time to head back and have a hot cup of coffee to end the day and start the evening.
Here is the dashcam video captured while going towards the view point:
The dense jungle-like vegetation we went through
Here is the dashcam video captured during the return from the view point:
The plan was to start around 11:00 am and get takeaway food for lunch on the way. The options were A2B, Malnad Cafe(a bit out of the way) and Swathi Delicacy. We checked with the homestay owners if they’d be willing to cook and pack food for us so that we can avoid a pitstop at a crowded restaurant. They happily obliged and the lunch troubles were sorted out. We started around 11:45 am once the lunch was ready and packed.