CHIKMAGALUR – The Coffee Land of Karnataka

Summer begins early in Bangalore, largely in the past few years. For reasons I won’t bore you with in this post, come February 2013, all we wanted was a getaway to escape the soaring temperatures and avoid getting baked in the afternoon sun. Chikmagalur seemed like the perfect place to do that and more. Located at the foothills of the Mullayanagiri Range, this little town bestows the clichéd “picture perfect”, watercolour painting-like scenes that not only deceived us into being in a parallel universe but also astonished in a way because this beauty lay so close to home. Well, close because it’s a short road trip away, about 4 hours although it did take us longer since the husband and me were keen on a stopover at a little town called ‘Channarayapatna’. Significant mainly because my husband spent a good chunk of his childhood here. A serious case of nostalgic fever was evident on his face as we clicked away pictures of him and a bunch of students from the alma mater. The little things, no? Continue reading “CHIKMAGALUR – The Coffee Land of Karnataka”

THE SERAI, KABINI

Amidst river banks, wilderness & light drizzles, we rang in the husband’s 30th, back in 2013. Nothing like a birthday falling on a weekend, nothing like a road trip to celebrate and nothing like an indulgence like The Serai.
A five hour drive from home( Bangalore) which included stopping at Kadambam for breakfast( if you ever happen to be on the Bangalore – Mysore highway & have a soft corner for South Indian food, don’t miss this place!), we were finally at The Serai, Kabini just in time for check in. There’s a minor possibility of finding yourself blankly gazing at the silent waters & the lush greens without a care in the world. Of course, if you’ve gone through some of my other posts, you know how I love escaping the city life into a quieter world, even if it’s for the shortest time (this time it was a one night stay). Continue reading “THE SERAI, KABINI”

WAYANAD – VYTHIRI RESORT

” And forget not that earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”
– Kahlil Gibran
As I sat in the car by the husband’s side , I could hear faint chatters from the boys, him & the little brother…faint because my mind was occupied reminiscing a previous journey to Kerala. It was a long time ago, back when I was a little child and despite my best efforts, I could only put together smithereens of a simpler past. I remember we visited Cochin and stayed at a friend’s place, I remember not being able to sleep all night and the “aunty” telling me to close my eyes & count sheep ( which was a completely new concept to me), I remember the vast tea estates and what I remember vividly is our mode of transport, an Ambassador car. These were popular at the time especially for trips like these for reasons I’m not sure but it’s massive roundish shape & tinted glasses sure made it impossible to forget if not cherish. The vacation was a necessity for my parents more than us,( at that time just me & my first brother) since my dad was frequently travelling & my mom did the other kind of travelling…running behind her two children. Continue reading “WAYANAD – VYTHIRI RESORT”

LE PONDY – PONDICHERRY

At the break of dawn on the 4th of June, 2014 we began driving to Pondicherry or Puducherry, a union territory along the east coast of South India. We entered a hot & sultry Tamil Nadu after a 5 hour journey and countless stops asking for directions & embarrassments owing to my Tamil speaking attempts. We finally made it to Le Pondy, a resort boasting of the beach & luxurious cottages. We were a little apprehensive about the weather but the resort looked tempting & I would never deny a French experience, even if it was to be in small measures. Continue reading “LE PONDY – PONDICHERRY”

Goa Vacance – 3

Hi, I’m Mr.DM, D’s other half. I was greatly excited when my wife pitched in with this idea of me contributing here specially about Goa. So I got started from that moment on & hope you enjoy yet another one of our “stories” about Goa!

LOCATION: IAF AIRBASE, BANGALORE
DATE: 21-FEB-2015
TIME: 1400 HRS
EVENT: AERO INDIA SHOW 2015

TRANSCRIPT:
D: We were planning for the Goa trip this time last year
Dee: Well, we could go this year too
D: DM, what say?
DM: Hmmmm…OK.
D: But this time, not in a car.
Dee: Hahahaha
DM: Ya…Not again
Dee: I heard there are cheap air tickets on offer.
D: Let’s go then!!!
DM: Roger that
Dee: Over and out

…And that’s how another Goa trip and yet another very special chunk of something called life came into existence. Tickets were booked, resort was booked, leaves applied, approved and we were all set for yet another wonderful holiday in Goa by the end of March. This time, unlike the rest of the times we were ready well over a month in advance. D, Dee and DM all set and waiting for that amazing day to arrive. From then on, we had 99% of our brains used up by one thought…the idea of a holiday in Goa.
However, what’s life without some drama 🙂 … Much had changed by the first week of March, both professionally and personally. We were staring at a possible expedited relocation from Bangalore into one of possible 3 continents, with the relocation date somewhere in the first week of April. We had to make a choice and the options were hard to choose from and to add to that there was a heap load of work coming our way in terms of packing, paper work, etc. D would ask me this once every morning, afternoon and night – “DM, with all this going on, you think we should cancel the Goa trip? How will we wrap everything up if we go on a vacation?”. I kept telling her every time – “I think we will be able to manage, let’s wait and watch”, though being equally or more anxious about the situation. Goa 2015, what seemed like a sure shot on 21st of February, was turning into a highly likely dissolution.

Come 18th of March, we were still undecided, with less than 20 days to pack up the entire house and move to another continent. Goa 2015 was probably not meant to be. But wait, what the heck…. It’s GOA. In the wise words of Madam D, “We have a 2/3 probability of moving to a country with cold weather. Where are we going to get sunny beaches and a ride on the bike with the wonderful breeze to enjoy… and it’s GOA”. So, Goa 2015 was indeed a trip meant to be and a very special one at it.

We landed at the same resort we were last time around – Riva beach resort and spa, sipping some wonderful tropical flavored drink in the pool, overlooking the beach….Heaven.
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Dee by now had developed a special liking for swimming. He was in fact addicted to it, so much so that day or night did not matter.IMG_6611D by then had done a lot of thinking about the relocation and had narrowed down her choices of relocation from 3 to 2. And she was ok with either one of them and frankly did not care which one of the two it was going to be. With the weight of that decision making off her back, she was enjoying every bit of it in what I would like to call “A colony of Heaven” – Goa. I on the other hand, though was enjoying, used the tranquil, heavenly environment to ponder over various pros and cons of the choices I had.
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In Goa, there are these cool jeeps (warning: they appear cool, but are super uncomfortable for passengers sitting at the back) you can rent for cheap/decent rate depending on your bargaining skills. We also rented one such jeep to get around. We would go to this vegetarian restaurant called Krishna Bhavan in Calangute and feast on Sabudana Khichdi each morning – A must try.
IMG_20150321_102720… And in the evenings, we would sit in these cool gazebos at the resort with some fries, manchurians, and sandwiches and have long talks as the sun set across the ocean, making it a pretty spectacular experience.
IMG_6940It was already Sunday, the dreaded day where we were scheduled to head back to Bangalore. It was almost time I made the final decision about our relocation as well. I had decided to stay on with my current employer and relocate to this wonderful country, Canada (one of the 3 choices). What this also meant was that since I had decided to stay on with my employer of last 10 years, I had the liberty to buy a week or two of time to begin the relocation formalities. And what that meant was there was a possibility of Goa 2015 not coming to an end on Sunday and the party continuing for a few more days. Made a couple of calls at work and yes, more good times were to come. Sadly for Dee, it was time to head back to Bangalore. After one last Sabudana Khichdi meal for the trip for Dee, with a very heavy heart, D and me dropped Dee off at the airport.

Knowing fully well that we would be missing Goa thoroughly, D and me decided to enjoy every bit of our extended stay in Goa. We went on dinner dates to Taj, did some shopping, again enjoyed scrumptious breakfast buffet at Taj. We wanted to imbibe every bit of Goa.

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We then rented a bike for the rest of the trip. We rode around the narrow lanes of North Goa jeweled with coconut plantation, Old Portuguese styled houses and beaches. Calangute – a small, more of a commercial town in North Goa with lots of shops, restaurants, spas, coffee shops used to be a regular stop on our route. We would stop there to buy a cup of ice cold coffee or a fake designer watch or to grab a bite.
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Now, about the resort we stayed in – Riva Beach Resort was a and probably continues till date to be a good value for money resort in North Goa with access to the beach and back waters and the wonderful gazebos that I made a mention of above. The resort itself is built on a hill which leads up to the beach. You can catch a glimpse of the sunset over the beach right from the room or any of the gazebos or even the pool.

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Those talks with D and Dee at the gazebo, those moments spent laughing, and those nice little brother-sister fights between Dee and D, the strolls along the beach or along the lush green paths of the resort are amongst the best moments of my life. I was sure that I had made the best decision for us and Goa 2015 seemed like a promise, a promise from God of the good times ahead.

Goa Vacance- 2

There are times when we are handed a reality check or a “jolt”  forcing us back on the ground because we make the terrible mistake of presuming life to be a smooth & soothing journey and out of the blue, there lands a speed breaker. But, that’s what kills the boredom, isn’t it? Before I say anything else, let me clarify that at the end of it, it was an adventurous and an unforgettable experience.

Continue reading “Goa Vacance- 2”

GOA Vacance – 1

“Respond to every call that excites your spirit”
-Rumi

“The Goa Chapter”…A reunion with the husband’s friends/friend meant that we(I mean the wives) were entailed to listen to long & hilarious episodes of their bachelor- day holidays in Goa. He’d been there a couple of times and having heard so much about the place and the the fun times there, I think my curiosity was getting the better of me & I was eager to experience Goa. There we were on the 25th of November 2012 and I came to realise, what I had missed all these years. Excited  is an understatement to what I was feeling.It was finally happening & I was more than ready to soak in the sun & go beach hopping considering the umpteen number of beaches there! The weather is perfect too in the winter season…pleasant, breezy and just the right amount of ‘hot’.

Continue reading “GOA Vacance – 1”