A Lazy Weekend In Coorg

It was Thursday, 2nd of October, Gandhi Jayanthi and Saturday, 4th of October was Dasara – A Friday’s leave invested meant another long weekend on offer! Yay! We had planned this well in advance! Actually Jyothi did. We had our stay booked at Meriyanda Nature Lodge. While going through the reviews, this had turned out to be one of the most sought after stays in the Coorg area. We were skeptical about the availability – even three weeks before the actual dates. Fortunately, one of the Planter’s Cottage was still available and we grabbed it without a second thought.

The resort cottages are excellent with a huge sit out opening up to the view of the coffee plantation and the Coorg hills and mountains beyond. One of the walls of the cottage is mostly  glass and fully open giving you a very nice view of the surroundings.

Also, one unique thing about the cottages – no TV, no Cellular signal and other distractions. This meant lots of interactions with other folks in the resort. We made several friends there during our stay! Along with others, Donald Pereira and family were friends we made and got along well – we had breakfast , lunch and dinner together for the rest of our stay there in the woods. Donald and Zarine are originally from Goa and settled in Doha and were visiting their kids – Christian and Stefan, who were on Dasara vacation. What a time we had together!

It was Dasara! That meant, a lot of fun and frolic in the resort! It was a totally festive atmosphere out there! Meriyanda had arranged numerous activities – Dandiya, games , a professional free-style drummer troupe etc.

Sharing some memories from the trip.

Us and the Pereiras

Us and the Pereiras

Dubai And Abu Dhabi

Dubai – a city which needs no introduction. Mention Dubai and you will hear – Shopping Festival, Electronics, Sheikhs, Oil, Money, Buildings, Opulence, Filthy rich etc.

It is all that. And much more – You have to give it to them. From being a small town with a port in the beginning of 1900s  to being a infrastructure and construction hub of the modern world, it’s transformed drastically.

As a traveler, we can expect some interesting “things-to-do”, apart from the usual “touristy” shopping malls, visit to the big buildings like Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab etc.

Overnite desert stay which includes dune bashing, camel rides and camping in the desert are the things to look out for.

Old Dubai ( Bur Dubai) has its own charms and offers some interesting Souks ( markets) – Gold Souks, Spice Souks, Textile Souks, Utensil Souk etc.

Dhows – traditional boats which transport cargo , people and other stuff from one bank of the Dubai Creek to the other.

Bastakiyah – The old quarters. Dubai Museum is a  pleasant surprise.

Abu Dhabi, a hour away and the capital of the UAE, has the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – one of the most beautiful buildings I have been to.

As usual, I present here a small collection of some pictures from Dubai.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque | Abu Dhabi

Photo Blog:

Friday Evening @ BFlat

It was a new band, formed by a set of people from other band(s) who I followed to some extent. It was called the “Peepal Tree”. A band that describes themselves as below.

“Their music can be described as Indian melodies sitting on funk grooves with overtones of electronica, and sung in Indian languages. This combination of elements makes for a very interesting new sound. Each musician in the band brings a wealth of experience to this new project, having been part of some of the most successful bands from India. Peepal Tree has collectively played more than 1500 concerts globally, in their other projects, and has been a part of the Hindi and Kannada movie industries.”

More here on their soundcloud page : PeepalTreeOfficial

One of my opinions on the band: A band that is sure to bring some respectability to the regional languages especially Kannada language songs, poems and literature. Hope to see many more performances from them.

Some pictures from the event @ B Flat. Pardon me for the quality, all shot from my mobile in a dimly lit environment.

The Setup

The Setup

The Band

The Band

The Band

The Band

Saturday Morning: Bullet Ride

I got the Bullet Electra serviced the previous Friday evening and was raring to go out. The coming weekend was the planned day. As I woke up the morning next, I could not wait,  Saturday, the 28th of June 2014 it would be then . I fired up the Google Maps Engine and prepared the map of the route I was going to take. Me and Jyothi headed to Adigas 8th Block for breakfast. After breakfast, Jyothi headed for work and I headed south on Kanakapura Road. The picture below shows the planned route and the executed route overlayed, again using the Google Maps Engine.

It was an awesome ride, the weather  was mostly overcast, a little wind and occasional sunshine – just perfect for the ride.  One strange thing I noticed was the number of butterflies on the move. It is that season, just after a couple of rains, the butterflies migrate. At times, the flying butterflies were a problem because it hit the visor of my helmet. It is very difficult to avoid the hit without losing your concentration on the road.  It is a beautiful sight though, I must confess. Most of the ride was on the country roads, entertaining you with beautiful sceneries on either side. Some pictures from the ride below.

All pictures shot on my Samsung Galaxy S II  with lots of dust on the sensor, as can be obviously seen in the pictures. Please bear with the same.

Collage - Bullet Ride

Collage – Bullet Ride

 

GPS Route

GPS Route – Planned and Executed

 

Route Stats

Route Stats

 

Finally a panorama of the scenery around with the ride!

Bullet Panorama

Bullet Panorama

 

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Karadi Betta [Bear Hill]

It is the season – the season of the hikes. It has started raining here in Karnataka with the monsoons arriving, although it was a week late than usual.  The right time to start hiking in the Western Ghats is after a couple of rains. The vegetation turns green and pleasant to the eyes. Sun will be milder ensuring a pleasant hike. During the monsoon itself will be a very bad time, most of the places are leech infested and it would not be a pleasurable experience.

With that said, I wanted to start the same with a hike. I got the opportunity to go on a small hike when my father-in-law informed me of a hike arranged by Koramangala Club through BMC. The place decided was – Karadi Betta. It is also known by multiple names like Mari Betta, Bananthi Betta etc. The rocky hill is located around the Kanakapura Town. It is located 3 Kms from the town of Kanakapura. Kanakapura itself is around 70kms from Bangalore and 1.5hrs  of travel time ( See map for the locations).

Some pictures from the hike here.

Karadi Betta

Landscape From Half Way Up The Karadi Betta

Karadi Betta

View Of The Karadi Betta From The Starting Point.

 

For the interested:

Distance: 6.04Kms | Moving Time: 2:52:07 Hrs | Avg. Moving Speed: 2.11Km/h

Karadi Betta Hike Chart

Karadi Betta Hike Chart

 

 


View Karadi Betta Hike in a larger map