It’s been a hectic traveling month for us, three trips in the space of three weeks, and it almost became four but because of some family obligations, I had to decline an invite to what would surely have been a wonderful trip to Mumbai for the #BNLF blogging conference. Still, I am not too upset because it’s nice to actually spend a weekend or two quietly at home for a change 🙂 .
Here’s a quick catch-up post of our travel adventures.
Snubnose and I went on a weekend road trip to Wayanad with some office friends of mine. K opted to stay at home with Piglet as he didn’t know everyone and it was also going to be a pretty hectic trip on a bus, and we were just not sure how well our homebody Piglet would react to being in close-quarters with a bunch of total strangers for almost 48 hours continuously. While he’s an adorable child at home and with family, he’s not known for his amiability with strangers.
So, with a heavy heart, Snubnose and I left home one early Saturday morning to catch our bus for Wayanad. Wayanad is about 350 km from Bangalore, but a lot of the road passes through forest area, so it takes about 6-7 hours to reach (depending where exactly in Wayanad you are going).
Plus, we stopped at Kamat Yatri Nivas for breakfast (our usual halt), and then at an utterly unmemorable joint at Sultan Bathery for lunch (here’s a tip, make the time to eat at Mysore because after that good eating options are sparse), Anyway, we ended up reaching our resort only at 4pm.
We were all feeling a little achy and battered after the drive so we just spent time exploring the very beautiful resort facilities, clicking pictures of the beautiful lake views of Karapuzha from our rooms, indulging in Ayurvedic massages (my shoulder massage was blissful), and general chilling out.
The next day post-breakfast, we drove down to Banasurasagar Dam. The dam is no great shakes, but the lake is magnificent. We spent over an hour waiting to rent a motorboat but the wait was so worth it. Normally, I am not a boating enthusiast, but this was fantastic. The water was pristine, the views beautiful, the weather divine, and the boat went at a brisk enough speed that it became a fun thrill ride unlike the boring Ooty lake type of boating.
The problem with a fast motor boat ride though is that it is hard to take decent photographs. Here are some, but really they don’t do any justice to the absolute beauty of the lake and the surrounding area.
After that, it was a very looong drive back to Bangalore.
Here’s another travel tip. Opt for the NICE tolled road over the regular Mysore Road. It saves oodles of time, and is a better drive overall.
After returning from Wayanad, we almost immediately repacked our bags to go to Chennai to celebrate the Dussehra holidays with my family.
Chennai is mostly only for visiting relatives, and some minor side-jaunts to Pondicherry or a resort on East Coast Road. But this holiday, we literally did nothing apart from a couple of evening visits to Elliot’s Beach. Piglet loved the beach outings so much that we practically went there every other day.
The only other place we visited was Vandalur Zoo. I had last visited this place when Snubnose was a toddler and we had a totally magnificent lion safari there. So magnificent, that I came back totally inspired me to start my blogging journey. Our Vandalur zoo trip is one of the earliest posts on this blog.
I wanted to see the lions again, but more importantly, I wanted to show them to Piglet. Unfortunately, Piglet was extremely unlucky. After almost a 2-hour wait, we got into the bus, only to find that the lions were in their enclosure. It didn’t make any sense at all to me. We were also caged up in a bus, and the lions were also caged up. What was the point of the safari?
Needless to say we were thoroughly disappointed. And that was before it started raining. Heavily.
We headed back quite despondent. It’s very disappointing when a cherished memory of a beautiful experience doesn’t hold up to a repeat visit.
Anyway that was our Chennai trip. Just tons of delicious food, and a good bit of rest.
This year, Snubnose had her first overnight travel field trip from school. She went to Hampi to learn more about the glorious history of the Vijayanagar kingdom. I was a bit worried about how she’d cope with so many days away from us, plus the always permanent worry about her allergies flaring up, but she coped pretty well having a blast of a time.
She came back with a lot of photos (taken by her teacher), and quite a bit of knowledge about the place.
The long bus drive to Hampi was broken with stops at the Chitradurga fort, and then another stop to view the sunset over the Tungabhadra river before they crashed at their hotel in Hospet.
The next day was devoted to temples, where they visited the Krishna temple, the Virupaksha temple, and the Vitthala temple. All the temples were beautiful according to Snubnose, but she came back most impressed by the Virupaksha temple.
The next day was devoted to the royal section, which included the Mahanavami Dibba, a stepped tank, a public bath, the Ramachandra temple, some palace sites, the Zenana enclosure which includes Lotus Mahal and the Elephant stables. They also climbed up the nearby Matanga hill to get a bird’s eye view of the entire place.
A lot of the photos came out blurred, but here’s a nice one of the elephant stables in Hampi.
Seeing Snubnose so charged up after this trip, Piglet (who is normally not fond of traveling), seems to be bitten by the travel bug, and insists that we take him also to Hampi during his holidays.
Well, Hampi is definitely not happening. But maybe some other trip might be brewing 😉 Looks like after a rather dull 2015, the year is going to end with a bang.
Really looking forward to it!