There are always flowers for those who want to see them.-Henri Matisse
I took 15 days off from work before I officially resign, to work on my travel plans, to withdraw my insurance amount but I couldn’t stay for more than a day in a 4 sided wall! It is just a craving to be free from the monotonous schedule, got me into this: trekking in the forest in Sakleshpur, aroma of tea on one side & tasting coffee on the other in Chikmagalur and then here relishing the aroma of coffee flowers in Bird of Paradise, Coorg! Mr. Shivaprasad who owns this place purchased this land few years ago; being a florist and his love towards flowers made him to name this place after a flower. This flower looks a like species of Bird called “Bird of Paradise” and there goes the history behind the name.
This flower bloomed in the backyard of this small village called Kudumangalore in Kushalanagar and at the bank of Cauvery River. After 4 days of continuous traveling I needed a place to rejuvenate and this place had it all, from a river to a swimming pool & from an 80 years old cottage to a tree house. As I walk into this place it appeared like I was into a nature’s movie: birds chirping all around as the background music, hills as a backdrop, sun painting the sky as a colorful set, clouds forming patterns as artists.
First things first, food here was so delicious I would save some and eat every few hours. Hospitality at its best, they were so kind to prepare whatever I asked for. I was so pampered as much as I would be pampered at home.
Tree houses are my weakness; I get pulled towards it in a jiffy. Mostly because they are always eco-friendly and it is so much of a unique experience to live with birds & squirrels. By far the biggest tree house I stayed in, Squirrels would squeak around to remind me that they live on the same tree too. I sit on the balcony in the tree house watching the sun behind clouds playing peekaboo, squirrels cuddling, pigeons hunting for food in paddy fields, cows moo at a distance.
Cauvery River flowing calmly with trees on both the sides, I stand here observing the silence of the water and my depth of Solitude amidst nature was only getting deeper and stronger. There was silence and so was peace, Solitude seemed so much like bliss! Water was flowing so freely not knowing where the destination is, I kept wondering is this the freedom I have been looking for too?
With the pinch of freedom that has already bit me for now, and with a little grin on my face; I went to chill in the pool that overlooked a big stretch of Bird of Paradise flowers, I lift my head and see flock of birds chirping & flying around, clouds forming unique patterns: I started naming each of them on the way they appeared: Octopus, Sea Horse. There was an eagle flying at a distance, Octopus was slowly sliding through while my good old friend Moon came to say hi!
My first time to see Coffee Flowers, they smell so delicious that just the aroma filled the craving I have for coffee. Honeybees were feeding themselves on these flowers by eating the nectar; those flowers were feeding my senses by spreading the aroma. Right opposite to these coffee plantations are the 80 years old bungalow and cottages, while the bungalow has been modernized a little, the cottages still holds the old charm.
Like I always mention my love towards old & antique pieces; this cottage appeared like a place where I just had to be. Red oxide seat outs in the portico, brick flooring, and tiled roofing; sure if they could speak I would have stayed here for days listening to the stories.
Took an evening walk in the village as sun sets behind the hill, ladies sitting by the door sharing gossips, kids completing their homework in the courtyard, firewood transferred on bullock cart, temple lit up for the evening prayers! All these are definitely not new to me, as most of my holidays as a kid was spent in my village. But everything still seemed new and fresh, place was new, people were new, experience was new. This is what traveling solo feels like; even if there is something old it still feels new and this is why I chose this life of being on the road.
*I was hosted by Bird of Paradise, seemed like I had also packed “luck” along in my backpack!