Just got back from a couple of days in the wilderness – well it was only as wild as coffee plantations go but it was nice nonetheless. I had the opportunity to accompany a group of students from Indus International School (my local host partner) on their annual leadership camp and this time, it was held on a sprawling coffee plantation in Yercaud, a hill station in Tamil Nadu, about 6 hours away from Bangalore.
Even though I stay in the relative quiet of the outskirts of Bangalore, sleeping a couple of nights in tents under the stars (when the clouds didn’t obscure them), going on treks on the plantation trails in the area were a nice change. The fact that we were in the hills in late autumn helped too – the weather was very cool and quite pleasantly refreshing. It was nice to get back to nature after living in my comfy room in Indus, to be amidst the swirling mists and sound of overexcited crickets and cicadas.
Getting out to the hills and living under the stars is something of a treat to us – I’ve been lucky enough to get the opportunity to do this practically every year for the past few years. We often forget how lucky we are to be able to have a solid house to get back to after we tire of living ‘rough’ – I’ve realised that what’s a rare treat to us can very much be a tiresome chore and quite uncomfortable for the long haul. While this was lost on the students for the most part, it was good for them to get a taste of living without luxuries for a while and a good excuse to continue procrastinating from doing the work that I should be getting onto. Will let the photos (which will come soon) speak for themselves…writing might not do the trip justice.