Tuesday, January 21, 2014

.......And We Ran For Our Lives

It was clearly not a great beginning for the new year......We spent the night in the Train.....When we reached Mysore, the restaurant we always go to, served terrible food. Our Destination , Chikmaglur. looked really far away, coz the road never seemed to end. It was about 3 in the noon, when we reached the foothills of what was supposed to be our destination and called the Resort manager of "Giri Siri Homestay". He gave us some directions and also informed us that further from that point only BSNL has network. WOW!!!! Anyways there was no turning back and we started driving uphill , till we finally reached a point , where the resort manager was supposed to meet us. After waiting for some time, somebody appeared and asked us to follow him, and so did we across the dusty , rugged roads, to finally reach something that looked more like any other house. As we were driving in, I could see through the window of the house , some bottles, like those in a tea stall, lined up ; and I crossed my fingers, as my gut told me, there's no professional cook here. And I was right, the cook was none other than the lady of the house, and damn terrible she was. It being the New year day, Biriyani was lined up for us , which was nothing but boiled rice mixed with chicken curry. Did I mention that it smelled like a dead animal. You Bet!!!!

During the Lunch(at 4 o'clock, yes it took us 5 hours to reach the place, and its not even Chikmaglur, its actually 62 km away from Chikmaglur), Uncle told us that, after lunch he would take us to see Tea-Gardens, in his Jeep( which is actually a pick up Truck, and you have to stand in the rear, yes you heard me, stand in the rear of a pick up truck driving uphill, through, boulder-y roads. Even Our driver didn't want to go after he saw the ride). I swear, as he said so, in my mind flashed an image of me running across tea gardens in slow motion with my husband behind me, like it was an 80's movie( la la la lala, la la la lala, la la la lala, la la la lala, laaa laaa laaa la laaaa......). So we politely declined the offer and decided to take rest. I didn't tell you about the room , did I???? It was a compact, outhouse kind of a thing, with two 4*5 cots , "transparent curtains, and barely any room to walk. And mind you, there's no wall between the bathroom and the bedroom, it just a partition( I need not be any more clear here).

We were all bonkers when , in the evening ,  Mrs aunty served us tea, which will make you wish, "I'd rather have black tea". And she narrated to us what was the agenda for the guests. Quoting Mrs Aunty" Tomorrow we will take you to sunset point , and we will take you to waterfalls, where you can WEAR A LIFE JACKET AND PLAY IN THE WATER" . With the agenda in our hand, I, my husband and our driver summoned a meeting, and after breaking our heads on how we, ended up here, we decided to flee the place, first thing in the morning, I wondered, if we would be able to find a place to stay,as it was new year time, but my husband was ready to take the risk, coz this place was intolerable. We even asked them if there was any forest safari to which Mr Uncle said " Oh , no no no no, there are animals in the forest". Clearly he had no tie ups with the local forest departments and was obviously growing old. So we went to him and told him, that this is not what we are looking for, and that we are really here for the forest, hence we would like to check out the next morning (we had actually booked the place for 2 days-our bad!!!!). Mrs Aunty's face changed immediately, she muttered some stuff to our driver and disappeared. All we had from her was the dinner ie uncleaned boiled chicken, needless to mention the smell, We had a bad stomach for the next few days, I couldn't even swallow down half a dosa, the next morning. You will not get such terrible food even in the filthiest dhaba, in the most remote location of India. I can bet on that. Well , the man of the house was polite enough to serve us dinner and help us checkout the next morning, with no reduction in courtesy.
Insects sang us a good night .We woke up early the next morning, and ran for our lives......

PS : Uncle's "Jeep" ride costs you 1500 extra.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Awesome Juice

I am so falling in love with left overs. They always seem to work like a charm for me.

My husband  was coming home early the other day, as we had a train to catch. So he calls me from the office and specially orders for juice made of strawberries and every other thing he could think of. I said "we ain't got any strawberries at home",to which he replies "I'm just trying to tease my colleagues".

So,I thought, let me give him something really nice. But I really couldn't think of anything because I had emptied my fridge. All that there was, were 2 oranges, 2 pomegranates, and half a bottle of maaza. Guess what I did........

The Magic Makers

Maaza             250 ml
Oranges          2
Curd                2 tbsp
Sugar              2 tsp

The Prestige

Extract the juice of 2 oranges and blend properly with curd and sugar. Now add maaza and blend well. What you get is called "The Awesome juice".

It was so so so good that I named it that way. Don't disclose the ingredients and let your guests keep guessing as they enjoy the bliss. Cheers!!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sakleshpur-A Journey into the arms of Nature

We'd been planning to go to Madurai for a long time, and with new year round the corner we suddenly decided to pack our bags. But then tickets weren't available and my husband quickly changed the plan to Karnataka. Since it was new year time it was very difficult to find a resort. So finally we booked this place called The Karle homestay for the Sakleshpur part of our trip. We'd had already had a very bad experience on day 1 of our very short trip and wasted one day. We didn't have high hopes and had less than aday to spend in Sakleshpur. So we begin our journey towards Sakleshpur at about 11, Reach Sakleshpur at 1 pm, visit the Manjarabad fort, which is  such a wonderful Historical Monument, all dilapidated and wiping itself away from the History books( Praise the Indian Govt.) and at 2 o' clock we start towards the resort which is 64 Km from the fort. We were hungry and drove very fast but only so fast we could go, coz the resort is located in a village about 7-10kms from sakleshpur and a real village it was. We traveled on dusty roadways through vast streches of agricultural fields to finally reach the place.

The moment we arrived, the staff quickly grabbed our luggage, helped us with welcome drinks and showed us our room. It was quite clean and spacious. As the lunch was being served , quickly grabbed a look around. It was a beautiful location and I said to my Husband " if not anything else, we can atleast get some great photos here".

Well, food was served, it was good and had a lot of variety, 2 kinds of rice, 2 veg curries, 2 non veg curries etc etc and the best part was an amazing "Karle Dessert", which is something made out of coconut, and I'm saying this even though  I hate coconut. So we had a lovely, filling lunch "By the river side". And so was the food story in every meal.

After this we were taken for some river activities. Amazing planning has gone into this. When we reached the river, our "Riverman", pulled a chair hanging on a rope across the river. I thought it was just a means to cross the river and took my seat, but to my surprise he let go of the rope and I went  crashing into the river. It was wonderful.We spent about 2 hours having a great time swinging on what I call "The Mowgli swing". crossing bridges, ropes and ladders.

In the night a Camp fire was arranged with music and snacks. We also played carroms( and yeah I won). This is such a great way to spend time together and a complete getaway. The next morning we went boating across the river. We didn't even realise how quickly that hour and a half drifted away. The view of the river was breathtaking....something you only watch on screen.

We really wish we had planned this trip. Atleast 3 days need to be taken out to spend time here. Really planning to go back sometime soon, coz there's so much more awaiting......It was a beautiful , beautiful, beautiful trip.

PS:Not advisable to go during the rainy season, coz the river swells....