Almost exactly a year since our previous holidays to Manipal and Udupi, we took our next holidays / road tip. This time, the destination was Coorg and Mysore.
We headed out at 8 am and had to navigate through traffic to hit the Tumkur highway. The route we decided to take was via Nelamangala, Channarayapattana and Kushalnagar. It took us a while to get on the Hassan highway and our first halt for breakfast at Malgudi Mylare Mane. We had traditional dosas and filter coffee before continuing onwards.
Our next halt was after we turned from Channarayapattana to Kushalnagar. We stopped for freshly squeezed sugarcane juice. Interestingly, a family that was having breakfast at the same restaurant as us also stopped at the same small juice stall while we were there – what a coincidence! Refreshed, we headed for our lunch stop – the Tibetan settlement at Bylakuppe.
There are many traditional Tibetan restaurants around the Namdroling Monastery at Bylakuppe. But our first port of call was a Pizza restaurant, which had spacious open seating. While enjoying our pizzas, we also ordered thukpa from the adjacent Tibetan restaurant, which was delicious!
We then drove the short distance to our place of stay while in Coorg – the Econest Treehouse near the Dubare Elephant Camp. More about this unique place to stay in a subsequent post!
Today’s articles reflect the diversity and appeal of India.
How a village in Maharashtra is helping vultures make a big comeback – What’s the big deal, one might ask? Well, some of you might not know that, over the past few decades, India’s vulture population has declined from 40 million to 19,000! This prompted the development of a National Vulture Conservation Action Plan, to increase the number of vultures by 2025. This article is one rare success story in the recent history of India’s vultures.
India gets its 39th World Heritage Site – Telangana’s 13th century Ramappa temple has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Read more about this site, located near Warangal. And make a plan to visit when the time is right!
A 600-Year-Old Celebration on the Shores of Pangong Lake – Moving further north to another breath-takingly beautiful part of our country – Ladakh. We (my wife) were fortunate to have visited Pangong Tso, before it shot to prominence after the release of ‘3 Idiots’. The whole experience was one of a kind with the long drive from Ladakh through some desolate and difficult terrain, standing on the shores of the lake with its stunning blue waters and barely any one else around, to eating Maggi (what else) in possibly the only stall still open at that time. Ladakh is one of those placces that everyone should try to visit at least once in their lifetime.
Life Aboard the Longest Train Ride Through India – I recently heard about the Dibrugarh – Kanyakumari Vivek Express, the longest train journey in India. I have loved train journeys since the days we used to travel 36 hours in one from Mumbai to Kerala. Read this article to learn more about what trains mean to India.
Of Reh, Rituals and Rice Beer – Keen readers might have observed a theme emerging from this list. Yes, most of the articles in this list talk about the North East of India. This is a unique part of our diverse country that I have never been to (not even been close). Well, I do hope to be able to do something about it when it’s safe to travel again.
Spring turned to summer soon after we moved into our rented flat in North London. If memory serves me right, it was, by and large, a warm, sunny summer. We decided to see some of the sights around London on a short road-trip.
I hired a car from close to our flat in North Finchley. Our first destination was Stonehenge. We reached Stonehenge in the late afternoon and were able to enjoy the place in the late afternoon sunshine, with hardly any tourists around. We did not spend too much time there, but there was something special about the place. We also visited Avebury, site of the largest megalithic stone circle in the world.
I do not recollect where we stayed that first night, but I do remember that it was the night that Amy Winehouse sadly died. The place was a lovely English cottage bed and breakfast. We enjoyed a relaxing stay at this place before making our way to Bath.
Bath was the highlight of our trip. The Roman ruins were stunning and atmospheric. In addition, the small size of the town and it’s architecture made it a beautiful town to just walk around in. We would have loved to spend an additional day there, but unfortunately, we had already made reservations at our next halt.
We then headed to the Cotswolds region where we halted at the charming village of Chipping Campden. The place was quiet and relaxed, but we were missing Bath, which took away some of the charm of the stay.
We were headed back to London the next day. The drive took us through Oxford, but we did not stop to see the place. I always thought I would be back to visit it one day, but that has not happened (so far!).
We moved into our rented flat in North Finchley in May of 2011. The flat was a medium-sized two-bedroom unit within a low-rise brick unit of flats. It was located on the ground floor and had a separate entrance through the kitchen. The place was tastefully done and perfect for a small family.
The place was about a 7 minute walk from the local high street which had pretty much all the shops one would need to frequent. The public bus terminus was a 12 minute walk while the metro stop was about 15 minutes away (it was on the other side of the high street from where we were located). It was a bit of a commute to my office (around 45 minutes) but that was an improvement over my previous commutes in Sydney and Mumbai, so I was not complaining!
May was a great time of the year to begin our new innings in London. The trees were by now all green, the weather was steadily getting warmer and the days longer. Work was also very busy, and after a couple of months, we decided to take a small road trip which I will write about later.
Finally, a note on the shops that we used to visit. For groceries and other essentials, our primary port of call was Sainsbury’s. We also had options at either end nearby – Aldi when we wanted to be more budget conscious and Waitrose for the occasional splurge! A special note for the ready-to-eat pizzas and other items we found at Waitrose – these were delicious, and far better than any we had seen elsewhere. There was a fashion store with good quality reasonably prized clothes for the entire family, Argos for domestic products as well as charity shops from where I added to my CD collection. There was an Indian store manned by people of Indian (Gujarati) origin where we could find delicious Indian and Gujarati food items. With a few cafes and restaurants nearby, the place was pretty much self-sufficient.
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