28-8-2014: I was very excited! I woke up at 4:15am. Me, my sister and my parents got ready to start our journey. When we were going, there was heavy rain for some time. We were filling hungry, so we stopped at UpSouth to have our breakfast. We had awesome South Indian food. Again we resumed our journey. At last we reached the Nagarhole National Park! It is in the border of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. I was very excited. First we saw many deer and one Woodpecker. After some time we saw an elephant with a big tusk (Tusker). The tusker was eating juicy green grass and was looking at me. I clicked away happily. My relationship with wild animals started. The Park came to an end and we reached our homestay named Jungle Retreat Wayanad.
Due to rain the entrance to my cottage was slippery, I slipped a lot but I did not fall. Caretaker named Rejin uncle helped my father to take the luggage from our car to our cottage. The homestay was beautiful, surrounded by Jungle. We freshened up and had our tasty lunch. We ate Roti, Cabbage curry, Rice, Butter and Dal and several other items. The homestay had a Machan overlooking a watering hole in front of the jungle. We went and sat there expecting to see some wild animals coming out of the jungle. And yes! We saw!
Two spotted dear came out of the jungle and started eating grass. But again the rain started. So we could not spot any more animals. After some time darkness fell. There were the sound of Cicada all over the homestay. My sister and me were felling bit scared. So we came back to our cottage. We had dinner. The surrounding jungle was dark and we could hear various sounds. We returned to cottage and crashed for the day.
29-8-2014: The next day we went to the Nagerhole National Park. We took government safari. I was anticipating of seeing tigers! We saw deer, peacocks, langurs and various types of birds. I was crestfallen as I could not spot a tiger. OK, next time. We returned back. After our breakfast we went to Irrupu Falls. There we trekked through a jungle to reach the falls. It was majestic and awesome. There were Leeches too! We returned back to homestay, had refreshing mango juice. It was raining heavily. We had lunch and went to the Machan, I started scanning the jungle through the binocular. A wild boar family came to eat the grass, a peafowl flew across. As the rain was still going on, we decided to return back to our cottage. We sat at the balcony, had coffee and tasty onion bhajji.
Some wild boar and deer were grazing in the farm. Darkness fell, my mother asked Rejin uncle for a torch, he gave us a powerful LED torch. When we flashed the torch from balcony we saw deer! First we saw 3 deer then 4 deer then 5 deer. Then after some time we saw 16 deer and then 20 deer, it kept on increasing. It was awesome! Their eyes were glowing in the torchlight. It made my day. We had dinner and went to sleep happily.
30-8-2014: The next day I woke up wishing to see many more animals. I went to the balcony and saw 11 deer and 5 bison. I was so happy. I had my favourite puri at breakfast. I was very excited today as we would go for trekking with the homestay’s owner Anil uncle. I wore trekking shoes and got ready. Uncle took us in his car to the starting point and we started trekking with a local tribal person as our guide. He told us to be careful of leeches, still I was bitten by so many leeches. We started our trek inside the jungle. Uncle told that if we see a big cat we should not run, we should look at its eyes and if we see elephant or bear we should run or jump in a ditch. On hearing this I was a bit scared. Uncle showed us several trees, insects. My parents slipped and fell sometimes. We came across a beautiful jungle stream which we crossed. We saw a deadly poisonous snake called Viper, a frog and also a tiny creature which, if we touched, would roll into a ball. It was drizzling throughout. We trekked for four hours. Tired and exhausted we returned back to homestay in Uncle’s car. Rejin uncle gave us refreshing orange juice. We freshened up and had lunch consisting of lachha parota, mutton curry, rice, sambar, butter, dessert etc. We went to the Machan and saw mother and a baby deer. We also had nimbooz while watching the animals. No other animals came to the farm. Cicada sound was all over the homestay. Darkness fell. We came down from the Machan and came back to our cottage. In the torchlight from our balcony, we saw around 10 deer. After some time we saw the number of deer got increased, about 15 deer. Their eyes were glowing It was an amazing sight. I played many board games with my sister and my parents and went for our dinner. That night after dinner when we were about to go to bed suddenly there was loud cry of a deer from the jungle. The sound was unnerving! My father told that it might be a kill by a tiger. I was scared and excited and slept off.
31-8-2014 : The next day my parents woke up early and saw many deer grazing in the farm. We had a very nice breakfast of neer dosa, tomato chutney, butter, coconut chutney. Today we would be returning back. We packed our bags. I was bit disheartened as did not see big cat, but always there is a next time. Rejin uncle and Jetan uncle helped us to load our luggage in our car. I said good bye to all uncles and to the homestay and started our journey.
During our return journey we saw many deer, wild boar, hanuman langur, Malabar giant squirrel and wild cock inside the Nagarhole National Park. We reached home in the evening, thereby ending an exciting trip.
I want to go there again, may be during next holidays….
-Musings of the SunGod (Optimist’s 10 year old son)