Sometimes we think others are too unfair to us. That was exactly what I felt when some devotees did not let us ride in their hired jeep, though there was plenty of space. Least did I know that Almighty had different plans for us!
Rain had given some brake in the morning. At poojari's house, we had a plate of plain and set dosa each. I never thought Dosa would be so tasty at that altitude and terrain. It was very tasty indeed. After breakfast, we did not want to trek down as the shoes were completely wet and fear of leeches. We requested some devotees if we could get a ride back to main road. Though there was space, they did not let us ride along. So we decided, it was futile to wait for more Jeeps as generally nobody comes up with vacant seats.
So we decided to trek down. I calculated that was a saving of 400 bucks!! We put our wet shoes on and started our descent. As expected leeches were waiting for us. Sun was out, no rains made it very humid and that is when leeches are very active. We had lost the leech candy that we carried previous day. So we were defenseless against leeches. We paused briefly in the clearing, but it is difficult to remove leeches without proper weapon. We covered the path swiftly and reached Santosh Hotel tight and fit. We had half a dozen leach bites in each leg and blood was oozing out, which is not scary anymore.
We departed from Santosh hotel after savoring fresh guavas and 2 shots of hot lemon tea. We decided to take an alternate route to reach main road, as the one we took yesterday for our onward trek was also infested with leeches. On the way, we thought of checking out at Iskcon temple. It was pretty big farm and Krishna temple there. We were just in time for afternoon prayer. We attended the pooja and the devotee there offered milk. That was quite tasty and gave me needed energy.
After the Iskcon temple, there is a deviation to the right, another Jeep trail. We walked along this new route. after about 10 minutes, we heard a stream flowing nearby. Few minutes later the stream was right next the jeep trail. Madhu was excited at this sight and asked a localite
Madhu - "ಇದು ಯಾವ ನದಿ?" (Which river is this?)
Localite - "ಇದು ಹಳ್ಳ.... " (this is just a pit...)
For us it was heavenly, we immediately decided to take a shot at the water. We did not realize we had spent more than 1.5 hours in the water. It was very refreshing.
The walk to the main road was easy. On the way, we bought a jack fruit too. At Kollur, had nice darshan of Goddess Mookambika. While walking back to the bust stand from temple, booked return tickets on VRL, thanks to technology. After having some light food, it was time to get back to Bangalore traffic.
The Jack fruit wasn't very tasty. Few leech bites were itching for a week. Memories are ever lasting.