December 29, 2008

Camping at ಗಾಳಿಕೆರೆ the Windy Lake.

Long time preparation and accurate planning for a short Trip has seldom worked for our group. So this time we did not plan much, we never zeroed in on any particular place. After couple of calls to some of the group members finally three of us Me, Nag & Seena decided to venture out on a long drive. It’s so happened that Nag visited Ravi’s place and got to know about GaaliKere off BabaBuddanGiri Hills, Well all will happen for good, so we got a new place to go finally. After much dilly dallying whether we should take my Alto or Seena’s M-800(LPG) we decided that we will take M-800 as it worked out to be economical for 3 of us. We decided to leave Bangalore at 26th December 2008 Friday night. The plan was to assemble at Nag’s house at 9:30 and leave at 10:00 PM sharp. Our departure was delayed by 1 and a half hour as seena decided to have a pre party with Ravi and Vishwa, we started from Bangalore at 11:30 PM.
Night Driving on Bangalore-Hassan Highway is bit risky; of late they have started the process of widening the road and we need to be careful. Well most of the night driving was done by Seena and he is comfortable with it. It was only until Hassan the oncoming traffic was more, from Hassan to Chikmagalure it was calm smooth, Nag discovered a new way of navigation it’s called Laser torch guided navigation system. It’s so simple that you just have to point the laser torch to any reflective surface like sign board or Kilometer boards. Nag was able to spook others travelers by reflecting the light from the laser torch off the green color sign boards.
Early morning on Saturday we reached Chikmagalure around 4:30 AM and enquired in couple of hotels for a room to catch some sleep and to freshen up. Atlast we checked into a dingy and beer smelling room at least my room smelled the sprit. A quick 45 min of Nap and after morning calls we got ready for the next leg of our journey after a brief stopover for breakfast.
Chikmaglure-Bababudagiri was a beautiful drive, stopping every now and then to take pictures of the landscape. The location was so beautiful that even the film crew had come there to shooting. Seena and Nag switch and became paparazzi photographers for a while.
Bababudan giri is a sleepy town with few shops and a dingy Restaurant. Good resource for campers as you get mats for rent and food items are plenty which you might need for camping. We enquired about the camping site and security with one of the local shop owners and we were told that it was absolutely safe. When we enquired about wild animals pat can another question “ Yean sir Shikari maadthira” ( will you be hunting wild animals). Well that shop owner would have thought that we were one of the film crew and came for game hunting as Salman Khan did. We took no time clarifying that we do not intend to shoot down any animals we are here to camp for a day.
We had a quick round of parota and dhal in that dingy restaurant picked up 3 mats for rent and headed towards Gaalikere. It was 10 min slow drive dodging on coming vehicles and we reached the entrance of our camping site. First we tried to drive our M-800 near the lake, but we did not dare to drive further by seeing the terrain from the entrance to the lake which was aptly for 4X4, we decided to park our car in the entrance and went for a campsite location survey. Trekked around 200mts and we came across a beautiful lake which was surrounded by hills.
On to the far end of the Lake there is a small shrine which is frequented by locals. You will also find a small old man’s shanty selling pooja items and eatables. After initially inspection we decided to pitch our tent on the lake bed thinking that we would be having a good ground to fasten the tent pegs as the name of the lake suggest. We took no time in bring up the tent after cleaning the ground of pebbles. The old man in the shanty proved to be a resourceful guy, we outsourced our Kitchen and campfire firewood needs to him and we got the consignment in no time.
Seena and Nag prepared hot Tea and after sipping much needed Tea, I and Nag went for a short trek for neighboring hill for Sunset photography. I made couple of calls to Bangalore to update our family and friends of our whereabouts and the description of our location to other friends who missed it. In the mean time we had some locals visiting at Gaalikere for fishing and a TV serial unit for shooting dance sequence.
Once the Sun was down the temperature began to drop drastically. It was time for Warm cloths and a Camp fire. While Nagaraja and Seena started were preparing for dinner, MTR Tomato rice and Bisibele bath was on the menu. I prepared a good campfire using techniques learned from man vs wild. We had just finished our dinner and planning to settle around the campfire when a raging wind started from the valley which threatened to tear the tent apart. It was time to change the tent location, It was pitch dark and a new moon day we hardly had any light except our torch light and we had to fight the wind power to relocate the tent. We shifted our tent inside the old man’s shanty, the fun part was that we also shifted the campfire to the new location. Night was calm expect occational flapping of shanty sheets and it was bitterly cold. Nag had a good snoring sleep, Me and Seena had broken and disturbed sleep.
Above pics Nag is happly sleeping and Seena previewing his photos on his New laptop.
Next morning we woke up at 7:00 AM for a bright sunny morning. MTR Upma was on the breakfast Menu, After sipping Chocolate flavored tea we started packing the tent and backpacks. We lingered around the Lake until 10:30 AM and started towards Bangalore.
Truly a great place to stay for a day or two. At this time of year you won’t see that much greenery all I can say it was Brownery J. Same as Kodchadri minus the crowd. Lovely night sky, absolutely no light pollution what so ever. Believe it or not the only light pollution we had was of planet Venus shining at a mag of -4; we had breath taking view of Milky Way arm. Great opportunity for Astrophotography, location is very much accessible by four wheelers. And we can take telescopes to the location.

1 comment:

  1. Good pictures Naveen.
    Great place to camp