It’s been one heck of a year for me with a big low in life and very short glimpse of happiness. It was my birthday week and I wasn’t in any mood to celebrate or be with friends rather wanted to give time to myself somewhere alone far from the city lights. Thus, we planned for a day out at Tusk & Dawn Jungle Resort near Sakleshpur. I was in-need of such break in my life and gateway to sakleshpur was one light in the darkness. We had gone through many resorts but all were full as it was weekend. One of the friend suggested to try ‘Tusk & Dawn’ as they had visited it and gave positive review about it. After checking with the staff there, they informed us the availability of one cottage. We discussed and booked the cottage for one day by wiring the money to them. One of the things, I was looking forward to was, getting lost amidst of the jungle and relax. And what better way to to do that other than riding on bike (Royal Enfield Classic 350), which I had borrowed from my friend. The resort is around 280 Kms from Bengaluru. This time we were better prepared with proper clothing, bike gear (not to get tanned), selfie stick and Action camera (kind of Go Pro – to record bike ride experience). We decided to start early morning in order to reach there around 11.30 AM, that’s when the cottage will be available for us. Also checked which route to be taken in order to reach in time and safely. Below was the route taken by us to reach the resort:
Bengaluru -> Nelamangala -> Kunigal -> Hassan -> Sakleshpur -> Tusk n Dawn
28 May 2016, we started early in the morning (around 5.30). Weather was very pleasant as it rained the other night due to which the chill got into our spine. We decided to have our breakfast around 8.30-9.00 after crossing Nelamangala. We stopped by to have our breakfast at KAMAT Restaurant (Idly Sambar was sumptuous). We hit back to road sooner in order to reach on time. It was time now for the Go Pro Camera show its magic as I mounted on my helmet. We started recording our bike trip unaware of the fact that it records even the sound (as we amateur about it). One of the things I liked is the road conditions, it doesn’t make you tired not even an iota of it. And adding icing on the cake was it was toll free for bikes (we travelled even by car and used to hefty toll). As we crossed sakleshpur, called up lady for route and she(resort owner) texted us clear instructions on NOT following GRPS or google maps as its incorrect. Following her instructions kept us taking in deep forest. The last 8-10 Kms were treacherous with mud and tiny particles of stones running deep into the jungle.
We reached the resort on time and the first impression on seeing it was WOW! The guy at the desk filled out the details and ordered coffee for us, informed what are the timings for lunch, what can we see around, about campfire, early morning trek, Off-road jeep travel etc. Upon seeing the cottage, I was relieved seeing how nice it was maintained even in such remote place. We quickly got freshen up and strolled around for a while until lunch was served (which was at 1.15 PM). The lunch was good and had homely taste. After having lunch, we took a walk around the place and went back to cottage for a good nap till evening. It was 5 PM when I woke up and got freshen up to visit a small waterfall near to the resort. But to our luck, it was dried out. Our disappointment was short loved as we had delicious black current fruits straight from the trees while going back to resort. The person in-charge told us that campfire would be setup around 7 PM.
We were seated along the steps of the cottage when campfire was getting ready. Once it was ready, people gathered and enjoying it. There was a group of families of which one were celebrating their 13th anniversary. We wished them and had quality time seeing them dance on the tunes of old as well of new songs. Cake was brought in and thus celebrations started. After a while, dinner was ready. We quickly got ready and jumped in for it. Wasn’t expecting such a good dinner but they surprised us yet again with variety of foods especially hot and soft gulab jamuns. We had light dinner and headed back to cottage in order to wake up early morning for the trek.
It was 7 in the morning when I woke up and quickly got ready for the trek. The excitement and adrenaline of going to trek after a long time was flowing through me. At first, the first glance of the hill looked very tough as it was steep enough but it wasn’t. The morning breeze hit us and brought a chill when we climbed the small hill. My partner was already exhausted and wasn’t ready to climb further, even after pushing a lot. This brought disappointment and made me sad as we were so close to the hill yet couldn’t climb it. We sat there for 10-15 mins and caught our breathe. Suddenly, my partner called me up and signalled lets go. I was hesitant as in the process of pushing to limits, shouldn’t get hurt. Eventually, we agreed and started climbing the last part. Slowly and carefully, we reached the top of the cliff. Once reached, we couldn’t stop admiring the beauty of the nature. It was lush green all the sides with cool breeze. All the tiredness was whooped off like gust of wind from all the group of people. Everyone was chit chatting with each others looking into the calm and peaceful scenery.
After spending good half an hour, we started our trek back to the resort. It took us merely 40 minutes to reach resort. We quickly washed our hands and rushed for breakfast. After having breakfast, we went back to our cottage for bath in order to leave on time. We packed ourselves and were on schedule for departure from the resort, so that we can reach Bengaluru before evening. It was around 11.30 AM when we started. One of the wishlist of my partner was to ride the Royal Enfield (Even though she didn’t have much idea about it). After lots of persuasion, she agreed to ride it. And I must say, she is one quick learner. She drove for around 10-12 Kms without much handling from my side. This will always remain a special moment of the trip for me, Hands down! We enjoyed the ride back to Bengaluru was yet again the weather was riding with us. It was around 8 PM when we reached our room, completing one more bike ride.
Looking forward to lot more rides with you, baby!