Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Tour that wasn't !!!

Whew !!!
I'm back after a long time!
I've been longing to write about this so-called trip to Coorg(10-12th dec 2008), but it just didn't happen ( just like the tour :| ) ...
i had actually typed down all the events (read as mishaps) that happened during the trip in my mobile ... but i lost em.
anyways, I'm back here to try and retrieve all the data from the supposedly best means of storage that exists ( yea yea, I'm talking about the brain :D )

this one's gonna be pretty long, so brace yourself :D

Me, Ash, Mohan, Hari, VS and Srini first landed in Mysore Junction Railway station ( i had done my homework, looking up Coorg in google maps, finding that it was nearer from Mysore and that Coorg was a district and that Madikeri was the major town in Coorg, even downloading a map of Coorg district on to my mobile phone(all in vain ... :x ) )
We booked two pre-paid autos from the railway station and got to the nearest bus terminus ...

This is where the whole fiasco began ...
Not a single word of English in the entire bus terminus ...
Not a single word of English on the buses, showing where they're headed to ...
Ash (a half Kannadiga-half Marathi Madhwa), who proclaimed that he could manage with Kannada, took up the job of finding out how we're supposed to get to Madikeri ...
but he only encountered unfriendly faces all around ...
finally he gathered that there was no means of transport from Mysore to Madikeri and we were asked to head to another place called Tumkur to get there ... :/
a whopping 126 km.

D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R !!!

having no other options, we found ourselves seated in a bus to Tumkur and the conductor informed us that the same bus would head to Madikeri after a 30 min halt at Tumkur ...

after five ridiculously boring hours of bus travel, my sixth sense started pricking me.
we were supposed to be nearing Coorg, which is a hill station ...
but i never felt the need to take out the jerkin which i had in my bag ...
and all around was a barren rocky terrain ...
the bus conductor assured as that we were heading in the right direction.

after a while the conductor informed us that it was time for us to get down.

a yellow coloured board in the corner of the road caught my eye ...

Lo! finally something in English ...




We all had a big laugh!
Told one local that we landed in the wrong part of the country, and soon our story spread like wildfire ... all the local people were buzzing with talk and pointing at us and laughing ... nice !!! :|

after some phone calls and a small G.D. (read as Group Discussion), we decided to head to Bangalore (another 100 kms away) :(

we were literally laughing at ourselves looking at the condition in which we were in ...

reached Bangalore at around 10.30 in the night.

it took around 90 mins to move from the outskirts of Bangalore to the main city (thanks to the traffic and all the new flyovers coming up ... hmph!)

checked into a hotel and after roaming around for a while, i hit the sack, still managing to laugh at the series of events that lead to us being in the place we were in.

Next day we arranged for a sight-seeing one-day trip around Bengaluru.

On the itinerary:

ISKON Temple (run by money-minded folks :/)
Bull Temple
Lal Bagh
Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace
Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (fun place)

headed back to the hotel, packed up and caught a bus to Mysore (we decided to get back to Mysore, as we had to catch the train back to Chennai from there, the next day)

The Bangalore-Mysore expressway was dotted with Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) outlets every few kilometers.
(Yaarume illaadha kadaila yaarukku da tea aatharaanga? :|)

Was slowly getting back to a normal state of mind,

But it was not to be that way:


thankfully the Bus conductor waved in another KSRTC bus within 20 minutes and got us all aboard.

Reached Mysore very late in the night and checked into a hotel asap.

Arranged for a cab, the next day, for sight-seeing around Mysore with, thankfully, a Tamil-speaking driver ...

On the itinerary:

Chamundi Hill
Bull Temple
Tipu Sultan Palace
Mysore Zoo
Brindavan Gardens(the best of the lot)

then caught the train back to Chennai - Home Sweet Home -( Phew!!! ) after one helluva memorable trip ...

list of lessons that i learnt:

LESSON 2: Don't expect English signboards in Karnataka
LESSON 3: Never let people laugh at your mistakes, ALONE ... LOL ;D
LESSON 4: Unplanned trips = Adventure trips :)
LESSON 5: Kannada is a language with a delicious script (and i forgot to tell you, i like jalebis ... ROTFL :) )

P.S. -LESSON 1: Never trust Ashwin's kannada speaking abilities :D

Ciao !!!