“Rain rain go away
Come again on Monday
I have to roam around on Sunday
You already spoiled my Saturday”
I kept on saying since Saturday evening. While the cloud went on pouring its content in full might. We entered the Sharavathi Adventure Camp by the forest in the hill with the blue Talakalale lake flowing by.
Sharavathi Adventure Camp belongs to the group of Jungle Resort and Lodge. I came to know of JRL when I stayed in Sloth Bear Resort in Hampi a branch of this chain of resorts. It was located in a sub jungle area. This is also located within a serene environment but the topography here is different and this is a more of a forest than a sub jungle.
As the heavy showers welcomed us to the resort so did the squawking calls of the parakeet from the guava tree in front of the reception. Though I could not catch a glimpse of any. The manager, the naturalist and other members of the resort informed about their daily schedule. They come to gorge on the sweet ripen guavas every morning at a fixed time.
No, they are not just any parakeet. They are the Blue-winged Parakeet or the Malabar Parakeet, endemic to the Western Ghats. I was immensely excited as this would be my first opportunity to watch them. They finish off the ripe pieces in few minutes and vanish off for the day.
With a huge umbrella over our head protecting us from this heavy downpour, we moved towards our cottage. Sometimes climbing sometimes walking within the forest then a small footbridge within a dense jungle. With the dark clouds and the forest cover, it seemed like we are entering some mysterious world.
Then again few more steps and some walk through the paved path by the cottages and again some more stairs to finally reach our cottage. The cottages are strategically placed by the slope so that every balcony has the view of the Talakalale Lake. So was ours too. All our exhaustion vanished in a blink of an eye. The view from here was magnificent.
As every group of jungle Resort and Lodge provide various activities like nature walk, bird watching and others along with the stay. The Sharavathi Adventure Camp too had these options along with boating in the Talakalale Lake. The morning calls of the Malabar Parakeets seemed to be the forerunner for an exquisite bird watching trip here.
But who has control over nature? It kept pouring and pouring in full force. Non-stop it continued for hours. All my hopes for the nature walk dimmed and gradually vanished. In some tiny corner of my heart, I still had a faint hope for the rains to stop so as to go for bird watching late afternoon.
For hours we stared at the rain and the clouds. With no network and no other outdoor activities to be done, we headed to the recreational room and indulge in some indoor games of Carrom and Table Tennis. After lunch, we retired to our room to take an afternoon nap. The afternoon scene was same as before.
The rain slowed down its pace early evening. At once we jumped onto the boat to save our day with some activity. No sooner we moved away from the shore the rain regained its power and the strong winds gave it good accompaniment. So harsh was the weather that our boat was rocking in the mid of the lake.
Immediately I asked the boatman about the depth of the lake. On hearing the variable depth of 70 ft to 150 ft I became little concerned even in my lifejacket. Although the ethereal beauty of the large raindrops digging holes on the blue water surface erased all my worries. I sang “Hakuna Matata” and enjoyed the nature in its full glory.
The strong wind got us drenched from head to toe. I saved my camera and managed all the captures through my mobile. We moved in through the fog filled, rain washed waterways within the scattered green islands. I heard of the Malabar Pied Hornbill residing in one of these islands. With lost hope, I enquired about it and the boatman showed me the island sans the bird.
I enjoyed the rain to the fullest. But the rain did spoil all my plans. I could not get into any activities that I had planned for. And alas! The last opportunity for bird watching was also gone. After so much of damage by the rains. I resorted to the nursery rhyme of “Rain rain go away”. Just in hope to see the Jog Falls before leaving for home the next day.
It rained and rained throughout the evening and through the night. The beautiful balcony of my cottage was waterlogged. Even though I enjoyed the exquisite beauty of the rain. But cursed it to my heart’s content. Such heavy was the shower that I could not even sit on my room’s balcony throughout the day and watch the tranquil lake.
Next morning, by the grace of the Rain God we were blessed with few rain-free hours. The punctual Malabar Parakeets were already on their favourite tree pecking the ripe pieces. The naturalist of the resort hurried us to the Gypsy. He wanted to make a good use of the rain-free hours. And we were driven to the circuit house to see the famous Jog Falls.
We watched the falls in awe as the mist kept roving all over the hills and valleys. Even though the dark low clouds were looming above us but there was no heavy rain. (Read my experience in Jog Falls.) We headed back to our resort. Again we took another chance of boating in the Talakalale lake.
We glided through the silky smooth green waters. In the perfect weather, we enjoyed a perfect ride. The Rain God thought it was enough of blessings for us and started pouring over again. And got us drenched again. Thus bidding a wet farewell to Sharavathi Adventure Camp and the Jog Falls we were back to our home.