We started early (if 6:30 AM can be called that) for the Coorg trip. By noon, we were already driving (being driven) on the lush, serpentine, hilly roads. The weather was bearably warm, though it tended to get very humid during the evening. Great gray clouds were seen rolling over distant, misty hills. But their destination was obviously some other faraway land. Learned from the coffee estate owners there that the rains have eluded Coorg so far and most of them have had to rely on the brooks/streams/ponds in their estate to water their plantations.
Saw coffee plants for the first time and learned to distinguish between the Arabica and the Robusta varieties. Saw how cardamom and pepper are grown and sampled a bit of both right off their respective plants! Saw a water fall (Abbey falls) and walked till the microbes living on my skin thought that they were inhabiting one.
We started back for Bangalore quite late (if 11:30 AM can be called that). The shortcut our driver took, brought us on a patch that was being tarred afresh. A complete stranger came to our rescue and allowed us to take the car through a dirt-track that ran through his estate. Some 40 km later we were stranded in a jam caused by a tree that had just been felled to broaden the road.
By the time we hit the Mysore-Bangalore highway, it was so hot that we could see mirages on the road. As a car would race ahead of us, we would see it reflect in a non-existent puddle of water on the road; half expecting it to cause a splash. My wife recounted an old cartoon she had seen on TV about an Arab and his camel stranded in a desert. They chase mirage after mirage and get so disappointed that when they actually stumble upon water in an oasis, such is their disbelief, that they walk right into it and drown. Just the sort of note I should end this brief travelogue on!