I rattled off the details of our trip at break neck speed for fear of forgetting the sequence of events but there are several other revealing things about this trip. For example the chai-coffee-icecream n tid bits shop at the entrance of Nisargadhama at the heart of coffee country (and I mean filter coffee of the strong aroma and fresh coffee bean kind) serves only nescafe instant coffee, from those typical machines! Stranger than the beef at the monastery! Everywhere else we found the refreshing filter coffee in small steel glasses. But the best coffee according to us was at Eka a restaurent which is on the road leading from our hotel to the Raja's Seat side which claims to serve 'traditional kodagu' fare. The food was good too, but the jaggery coffee there was out of this world. The Mr and I had two cups each just before boarding the night bus because we found the place on the last evening. We would have to stay awake in any case in the bus! But I did catch my forty winks after all!
I first say the flowering coffee plants on the way to Bhagamandala. My children and I were sitting on the long seat next to the diver. A couple with their two children were sitting with us. I first got the sweet smell and wondered in my mind what it could be. Then I saw orchard after orchard of these bushes full of white flowers hanging in clusters. "This must be a mulberry bush and they must be breeding silk worms here" thought I in my ignorance. Then my daughter asked me "what flowering plant is that" I said grandly "these are mulberry bushes, the silk worm lives there," after a pause I said, "silk worm rearing is called seri-culture" when my daughter said " May I sing 'here we go round the mulberry bush'?" the gentleman sitting next to me could not stand it any longer and said-" these are coffee bushes and it is springtime now and those are coffee flowers which flower in spring and then turn into coffee beans"... there was shocked silence after that speech, and it all started coming back to me--'Madikeri, coffee country...strong coffee... coffee plantations 'etc read in the traveller's guide books. OOps goof up! I reminded myself of the lady in Delhi zoo who saying to her son in front of the rhino's cage- "beta ye dekh hippopotamus"- and when they came to the hippo's cage I heard the lady enquire "ae ki hai?"
Anyhow ,humiliation over we became quite friendly with the family. A young relative of their's had boarded the bus from a plantation. She smiled when we said that the coffee flowers smelt very sweet, she said after sometime they give you a headache. I realised that too much of a good thing may not be good.