Whimsical, Serene Kabini

After a bumpy ride, we reached a breathtaking, expansive, but secluded, property that stood on the shores of the Kabini river-dam, Red Earth. We were received by hospitable hosts who gave us their best champagne, on arrival. What a welcome!

Our first holiday together. A tingling excitement. Reason to celebrate.

The landscape was out of a painting, lush colours in the skies, gardens and water. Our cottage, one of the fifteen in this luxury resort, was built of natural, earthy red mud and housed an indoor open-air jacuzzi with a view of the river and, not without, plenty of delicious house wine. The cacophony of the insects rung in our ears and yet we were awed by the tranquility this space gave us. We could even see the striated mountains at the far end.

Like an orchestra of sights and sounds.

As the Earth moved away from the sun, we lazed by the still, glassy infinity pool, watched coracle-riders, in the distance, trying to make their way back across the river and drank and ate obscene amounts of food. And how! All our meals were prepaid, we had South Indian goodness on our plates for the entire duration of our stay. Fresh river-picked fish, coconut and cashew nut curries, am-ras, a summery mango drink, spicy homemade pickles, akki rotis, made of rice flour, and other food that was equally appetizing. We ate and ate and ate some more. So, at dinner, at about 9pm on the first of the two evenings, we were mildly embarrassed. A table was set up for us, with the three most romantic Cs – candlelight, cake and champagne. We didn’t retire for the night until we spotted the premature moon among the clouds, a pearly white crescent. The weather, withstanding, was pretty fantastic, a slight drizzle on occasion.
We thought then, this was as idyllic as a vacation could be.
Beyond the perimeter of this placid land, was the even more serene, thickly forested, Nagarhole National Park, where one rarely spots a pack of ferocious wild dogs. But we found ourselves staring back into their cautious eyes. The endangered, scavenger animals are believed to reduce the excessive accumulation of biomass, in these parts. Particularly happy with this picture-moment, we thought we’d share with you (There was a fog when we first began our safari but it cleared out fairly quickly).

Post other wildlife sightings (Indian elephants, a pair of peacocks and herds of deer) – entirely missed seeing an evasive leopard and a pace of wild asses known to be around  – we decided to take the plunge, and further, spoil ourselves silly. Red Earth’s Spa Room. This was the closest we have felt to letting our minds and bodies actually slip away from us. The masseuses’ skilled hands, the scent of aromatherapy oils, hot stones and the sound of the flickering water current, put us in a trance. Walked out feeling entirely refreshed; what, after the crazy wedding season, we needed it.
Woke up from this reverie just in time to leave. All set but our hearts not willing. This was going to be an indelible memory for the both of us, we knew.
There’s always a charm in firsts, and this was one of those.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *