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A weekend well spent at Red Earth Kabini
Entering the resort
On the Mananthavadi highway, on the way to Mysore, is a narrow road (a path if you would) to the resort. You can almost miss it. A board of Red Earth leads the way.
The path is horrid. Not tarred and just full of stones and uneven all along. My car trudges along for the next 20 minutes to reach my destination. A grand gate greets me after the turning path ends. I enter into heaven on earth.
A member of the staff leads me from the reception area to the cottage where my parents are staying on foot. Small paths with just enough space for a wheel chair to go in (there is a cottage for handicapped and old people, hence the wheel chair reference) lead the way around the resort to each place belonging to it.
The paths are surrounded on either side by flowering plants and fruits as well as some other rare plants. There is a system of irrigation pipes under them. All the water is recycled and used.
Neatly set paths
The cute little cottages
I'm led to a cottage with a small coffee table, two chairs and a dressing mirror outside. As I enter into the cottage, two easy chairs and another coffee table plus a jacuzzi greets me.
The rooms are well furnished with antique furniture collected from different places of India. There is a huge double bed, a writing desk with a chair, a dressing table and a long mirror attached to the cupboard.
The bathroom is huge! No comments.
There's a sitting place overlooking a small lake behind the cottage with again two easy chairs and a coffee table.
The roof is built out of special thatched material made and brought from Wayanad by the tribals there. The mud used to build the structure is the red soil found in the area where the resort is, hence the name 'Red Earth'.
The places and activities in the resort
There's a nice restaurant called Poshini where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served as well as tea and coffee in the morning for the early rising bird watches. The food is excellent and is made out of most of the locally available products like jams out of local fruits, cut fresh fruits, poultry and fish from the surrounding area.
There's a swimming pool right in the middle with beach chairs around it.
There's a play area for kids as well as a trampolin for everyone.
A makeshift stage is there at an elevated position in front of the restaurant where every night something exciting like a live band or a rare dance form is performed. A bonfire is also lit next to it for people to fight the night chill.
The path to the river has a huge mango tree (on which I climbed out of complete joy and excitement) where the evening tea is served with benches to sit under it.
There is a spa called Zvaasthi where you can relax and unwind your muscles and your senses.
There is also a bar called Wetlands with a board outside it that joking calls it the Husband Day Care Center where women can drop off their husbands while they go out shopping. You don't want a drunk husband in the day, please.
There is a gift shop with potpourri items and even clothes and caps with the Red Earth logo embroidered onto them. Plus stuff like locally made pickles and jams. I would recommend the Mango Jam Alphonso. It's really yum.
They also show a documentary about the wildlife surrounding Kabini and there is a magic show in the evening for children.
Adventurous activities around the resort
Speed boats are there that you have to book in advance for a ride to a temple on the banks of the river. Or you can go on a coracle for a peaceful time on the river. The river water is cool and clear and full of ducks and other birds trying to catch fishes.
The main attraction is the safari ride organized by the forest rangers. You have to book this also in advance with the hotel so that they can buy you tickets for the trip. You'll have to drive till the forest officers place but after that, they'll take you on a bus into the forest.
I managed to catch glimpses of spotted deer, sambar deer, peacocks, grey serpent eagle and a whole bunch of crazy langurs!