Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Pelican Brief (part II)

- After a long long time, had a chance to have tea with jaggery. At six thirty in the morning, this tea tasted really sweet - more so, since I had not brushed my teeth also! A real bed tea.

- In front of the house where we spent our night, was a little makeshift place where sheep were kept. I thought the sheep-kid was really cute and decided to take a few snaps. As I went closer, it ran around and went towards its mom. Then we played some kind of hide and seek before I was able to get a few snaps. The other fat sheep was pretty too!

The Cute Sheep

The Fat Sheep

- When these huge birds fly, their wings make quite an audible sound. If amplified it could sound like a flying helicopter. These birds have a similar technique too. As Shantanu correctly pointed out, these guys, on account of their long legs, first decide where to land, slow down, and put their feet forward and then land. It's a quite involved process. It was nice experience observing them over and over.

- Our Hosts insisted that we have coffee at their house and later even invited us for a breakfast. It was too much - and they would not take any money. We felt somewhat awkward and decided to politely decline their request. We had a nice group-snap in front of their house and said good-bye.

- The next stop was a river bank. As it had happened several times on this trek, we first took a wrong route and it was later corrected by passers-by. We had to return about a kilometer before we found the right path. It was fun nevertheless.

- On this wrong route, we saw the birds at work. They were going towards the forest and bringing in the construction material for their nests. We were joking - what if Mrs Stork declares that the material was of really poor quality and sends Mr Stork again on the hunt!

- It was difficult to take a flying bird's snap - they were flying at quite a speed. And all our state-of-the-art digital cameras had inherent delay before they could focus on the object and shoot. I managed to capture on flying bird somehow by the virtue of sheer timing and pure luck.

Mr. Stork at work

- The river bank turned out to be a disappointment. The water was green and dirty, and the banks were all stinking of the obvious.

- Sand mining is one major occupation of people in this area it seems. The bowl shaped boats, made of iron were being used to bring sand from inside of the river to the bank. Some of us decided to take an outing in this boat. I should have gone - it would certainly have turned out to be better than only sitting on the bank and shooing away the flies. I didn't go primarily because I thought the boat was already overloaded ;)

- This area is sugarcane rich. Unlike the sugarcanes in Maharashtra, these canes are thin and less sweet. Along the road, people were loading a tractor with sugarcane to be transported to the sugar factory. The load must have been almost 20ft in height! I thought this was nice idea for the next fevicol advertisement.

- By the time the boat-outing was over, it was a high time for our empty stomachs to have a breakfast. And what a breakfast it turned out to be!

- On the way back to the Bellur bus stop, Shantanu, me and Mr Ra Ka had our share of adventure by jumping and climbing a tamarind tree. The fruit was really sour - as we had expected. In between the failed attempts, Shantanu tried to recall the sour grapes tale, but I stayed firm and finally succeeded in bringing down the target. It was really really sour - I still remember the taste! Yum.

- Near the Bellur bus stop is this hotel - or shack should I say. We ordered unlimited dosaas and chutney. It was really hot and spicy but obviously addictive. The trekkers with only exception of Piyush, started digging in. The doasaas kept coming and we kept eating. I guess among all of us we would have literally consumed fifty to sixty dosaas within fifteen minutes.

- Hot (and very much diluted) tea was served and that was the end of a memorable breakfast - not really end. I paid seventy rupees for all those unlimited dosaas. That was memorable too. Only last night we had our dinner for six rupees per plate. This trek was turning out to be a real money saver!

- The next destination was a dam called Iglur. There was a little confusion about this name - Sandeep and I thought it was Idlur first - easy to remember - ref. Idli. The bus to Idlur would come only at eleven and we realised we had about an hour to kill.

- People decided to roam around/catch a nap/ play cards/ and what not. It was the most unremarkable one hour of the entire trek. Especially for me!

- Finally, at the stroke of eleven the bus to Iglur came. Or shall I say, the bus came at eleventh hour. It was one and the same.

- Iglur dam is quite big. Bigger than what I had expected. To our dismay, the backwater was very much covered by weed and it had a stale smell to it. I would have preferred a bath in the flowing waters, but it was not to be. So, I decided to just have a snap and we returned.

- Luck was with us, as just as we were reaching the Iglur bus stand, a bus came by and that would take us to ChanpaTna, on the Mysore-Bangalore highway. It was highly unremarkable journey, as all of us were busy relaxing and catching naps while people boarded and got down the bus at regular intervals.

- After one hour's (or was it more than one hour - donÂ’t quite remember) we reached ChanpaTna. It was already past our regular lunch time - so we decided to have some juice/fruits/etc.

- On way back to Bangalore, the private bus offered a free screening of a Kannada movie, with ultra surround sound effects. I was amazed at how much of the dialogues I could understand. It was a junk movie, to say the least. The music was so loud that it was interfering with my attempts at sleeping.

- Fortunately for us, both the movie and the journey lasted only a little above two hours. By three thirty in the afternoon we were at Town Hall, Bangalore, and at four O'clock I was sitting in a bus that would take me home.

- It was a nice outing after a long time. Really enjoyed it. [Not really, really, but I'll pass that one] And writing this too!

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