Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ha Ha.... She turns 29…a year older & elder!!!

Last week, on 21st March, my wife turned 29, a year older & elder than me. I am really happy for her & she hates me for the same…… :)

Realizing that this would be her last year in her twenties, she had developed cold feet since a month before her birthday. Thereafter, she had completed a maniacal assessment of she should have, must have, done this, bought that, had this, reached here, gone there etc & prepared a to-do list for the coming year. One of the first things on the list was to visit the Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary, situated midst of the Western Ghats of Chickmaglur district.

21st March being a Monday, we decided to travel on the weekend. We had booked are stay with Jungle Lodges. We started early, by 5.15AM & took the Tumkur- Gubbi-Tiptur-Arsikere- Tarakeri- Lakavalli route to reach the River Tern Lodge. Located at the edge of Bhadra River; adjoining the northern boundaries of the Bhadra Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, the property offered a perfect blend of nature & wildlife.

We checked in at 11 AM & caught up with some lost sleep. By 1.30 PM, we freshened up & headed straight for lunch at the Golghar.

At 4.30 PM we had our first wildlife safari. Bhadra Wild life Sanctuary offers safe haven to a variety of wildlife including spotted deer, tigers, leopards, sambar, wild boar, etc & also houses a rich avian life with birds like the Grey junglefowl, Fish Eagle, Painted bush quail, Emerald dove, Great black woodpecker, Malabar parakeet ,Hill myna, etc. It is also a breeding ground for migrating birds River Tern. The resort gets its name from this. On our two hour drive inside the jungle, we got to see sambar deer, herds of wild boar & spotted deer, barking deer & couple of peacocks. On our way back the b’day gul was lucky to get a glimpse of a leopard. Known for its agility, the leopard swiftly escaped into the thick bushes even before I had turned my face. Our bad luck of not spotting a tiger continued on this jungle jaunt as well.

After the wonderful safari ride the evening was followed by beer, chicken & bonfire. The night ended with a sumptuous dinner.

The next morning started with a boat safari into the back waters of Bhadra reservoir to yield some great wildlife viewing opportunities. We could spot variety of migratory birds like river tern, fish eagle, grey jungle fowl, white ibis & Egret just to name a few. With growling tummies, after the safari, we headed straight for breakfast.

With tummies fully satiated, we went to try our hands at some water based adventures viz. water trampoline & kayaking. Swimming was never our forte, but the joy was jumping off the huge floating donut was super fun!!!!

By the time we finished with the water sports activities, it was 11:30 am & it was time to go back to Bangalore. With fond memories of Priya’s birthday we headed back to Bangalore.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kit Kat Break!!!

It was a regular lousy Saturday morning. The sun rose a little later this morning for us; approx at 10 AM. The morning started with the regular dose of grumping, screaming & thrashing from Priya. The reasons were numerous & all well known to me; news paper lying in toilet, clothes not put for a wash, wallet & laptop left in the drawing room, etc. Within an hour’s time, we put everything in its place & assembled at the breakfast table with a big question in mind, “What to do next?” Nothing much to do, we decided to drive down for the umpteenth time to Mysore.

We packed & left the house by noon. With Namma metro construction in progress, traffic sucked & it was about 2’o clock by the time we hit the state highway SH17. We halted at around 2.30 PM @ KADU MANE to grab a quick lunch. It was 4.30 PM by the time we reached the hotel. Sehwag & Kohli had already completed their centuries & India was nicely positioned to smell its first victory of the 10th ICC world cup. Damn, I had missed it all!!

With 375 runs on board, I decided to give a miss to the second innings & drive down to the Mysore palace, illuminated with more than 96,000 lights. Nothing can ever supersede the magnificent images of the illuminated palace. We spent the night at the Hotel Park Lane enjoying cold beer and listening to soothing Indian classical music.

Next morning, I rose early to catch up with the highlights of yesterday’s game. The highlights & Priya’s sleep concluded at the same time. Having caught up with a good sleep, Priya was all excited to go for a morning walk at 10AM to get some breakfast & also to shop. Luckily, the weather was pleasant & we enjoyed our walk till the DevRaj market. We checked out at 12.00 & started our journey back to Bangalore.

Mysore continues to charm us each time we visit it. The old architecture; the deserted streets; disciplined traffic; the green cover; the majestic palace; the famous Mysore market; the not so famous clock tower, etc, keeps beckoning us for yet another visit. We hope the city never changes & continues to amuse us each time we decide to sneak in a Kit Kat break…… :)