Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Coorg: The Best Part of Waking Up

 (from February 12, 2014)

We are three hours into our car journey through the narrow, winding hills of the Western Ghats, on our way from Wayanad to Coorg, when a bathroom stop becomes necessary. While we are both fully prepared to do as the locals, and drop trou on the side of the road, our driver insists on finding us a “proper” hole. He swings a turn off the main drag and into a sleepy village, before abruptly “parking” the car in the middle of the “road.” He ushers us to the door of a random home where we are welcomed by a bewildered, elderly woman. After a brief conversation in Kannada with the driver, the woman grabs Tiffany by the hand and leads her to the washroom in the back of her living space. Arming herself with a pail, the woman insists on cleaning the area surrounding the hole, before allowing Tiffany admittance.  Gracious for the unwarranted hospitality, Tiffany offers an awkwardly mispronounced “dhan’yavada” in appreciation.

Meanwhile, the driver directs Taylor to the coffee plantation on the side of the road, apparently determining that an “improper hole” is more suitable for him. If only the driver knew how much more comfortable Tiffany is with such facilities.

When we finally arrive to the remote organic farm-stay in the hills, we are greeted with a cup of civet coffee. Renowned for its exclusiveness, the coffee is produced by gathering, washing, and roasting coffee berries, after they have made it through the digestive track of the civet. Mmmmmm. These are some serious dingle berries!

Fueled up, we head out for an evening exploration in the Ghats.

We spend the night in a cottage nestled among lush gardens and aromatic plantations.

An early morning hike to see the sunrise, before another bout of pre-digested bean juice. We just cannot get enough.

Not enough civet coffee!

Our next destination: a school-visit in Bylakuppe, Karnataka.

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