Daytrippin’

Since we were back in Mysore and wanted to make sure we were good and healthy before we left again we decided to do some day trips to some sights around Mysore.

Chamundi Hill

The summit of Chamundi Hill is 1062 meters, and on top of the hill is a seven story temple.  You can walk up 1000+ stairs to get there, or you can take a local bus straight up to the top…we went for option 2, the bus.  We though it would be more difficult to figure out which bus to take but it was basically the only bus with English on it so it was easy.  It was crazy busy at the top of the hill (it was a Sunday of course), with hundreds of people waiting to get into the temple.  We didn’t want to stand in the hot line so we just walked around and then walked down the 1000 stairs back to town!

Holly Cow!! Tanya

At the summit of Chamundi Hill

Srirangapatnam

Due to the success of our first local bus experience, we decided to try again.  We were headed to an 18th century fort about a one hour bus ride from Mysore.  There are lots of sights to see around the area, including more temples and mosques and a royal palace.  It was a worthwhile day trip, the bus back was crazy packed with people!!

Mosuleum at Srirangapatnam

Painted Deities

Brindavan Gardens

If you’ve ever watched a Bollywood movie or two, you’ve probably seen the Brindavan Gardens, as apparently many scenes are shot here.  It was quite a process to get here, we just missed the bus when we got to the station so we waited about an hour for the next one, finally we got on and 10 minutes away the bus broke down and we had to wait on the street for the next one.  When we finally arrived to the bus stop for the Gardens, we realized we had to walk a bit to the entrance, and it was 4 kilometers!  But we finally got there and were glad we went, it was very relaxing, and the gardens were quite beautiful.  Apparently it gets extremely busy on weekend and in the evenings because the gardens are all lit up and they play Bollywood film tunes over loudspeakers, would have been cool to see but we didn’t want to wait around that long.  We ate lunch at a really posh hotel, and lunch was surprisingly affordable.

Giant Chess Board

Brindavan Gardens

Market (added by Kelly)

I went back to the market, if you remember a couple of posts ago we said that the Mysore market wasn’t very lively or colourful. When I went back (around sunset) it was a different market, well maybe not entirely different, but it was more lively and more colourful. My only goal was to practice taking some shot with the camera and improve my skill. I took a lot of shots and didn’t come back with a lot that I wanted to post, here are the ones that I liked.

Movement

Lost of seats

Dyes

Tomorrow we are going to try to leave mysore, we shall see how that goes.

Posted from Mysore, Karnataka, India
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Mysore…again

We have found another Cafe Coffee Day. The last one was just a random shop on the side of the highway, this one is in in the trendy part Mysore, the shopping district, where you can get designer clothes (United colors of Benetton, Pepe Jeans, Levis Store ect). Even the Cafe Coffee day is trendy, this three story coffee shop on the corner is something you would expect on Robson Street. Tanya’s Cafe Frappe is delicious and disapearing quickly (thanks to my help).

So why are we in Mysore?? That is a valid question, after we rode 60-some Km ride south of here Tanyas leg started to get tingly and hot. About 10 days ago Tanya notice some kind of bite on her leg, and it was getting better. When we got to Gundlapet her leg started to act up. We rode back to Mysore. The same road, but much busier. Traffic doesn’t really start to move until about 9am. The closer you are to city the busy the traffic. The ride back to Mysore was much busier and more trying on the patients.

We found a nice clean hotel downtown for a price that was 1/5th of the price we stayed before. As such we were giddy, only spending 1/4 of our daily budget on accomodation, we felt relief. We went to a doctor recommended to us by the person who runs the guesthouse we previously stayed at, and for Rs150 he will take a look at one’s ailments. He didn’t seem too concerned and said it was a common problem, though Tanya felt he didn’t really  understand what the problem was and was more interested in asking us questions about Canada’s medical system, he wrote out a prescription for a painkiller (which if the doctor would have listened, there wasn’t really any pain involved) and some vitamins. I think we will go get a second opinion.

A second opinion is what we got (the next day), we went to a hosptial and the intake physician sent us to a skin clinic to see a dermatologist. The doctor there said that there is an infection in the leg hair follicles (due to shaving legs with some open bites and some scrathes on her legs) and as such, provided an entry point for some bacteria. Now Tanya has some anti-botics and we both hope that is the end to the leg problems. There is a lesson here, and it is always to good to get a second opinion if thnings don’t seem right.

We also met a two girls from Holand. They are cycling for three weeks in India. One knocked on our hotel door, after she saw our bikes in the hotel garage, she had to find us. Good thing, we exchanged stories and experiences of cycling in India. It is always great to meet other cyclists on the road, we will always go out of our way to chat with other cyclists. Tomorrow is Sunday and would be a perfect day for us to leave Mysore except for the lesson we learnt a month and a half ago (which is, you don’t cycle on Sundays, everyone has the day off and the roads are congested and very hectic). As such we will spend another day in Mysore, with our cheap accommodation and a Cafe Coffee Day around the corner, we are happy to spend another day here.

Posted from Mysore, Karnataka, India
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Haircut

Why is this post at the top of the page? The reason is that I am unsatisfied by the number of people that voted on this page. I know that 41 people read this post, but only 15 people voted, come on guys, you can vote, have some fun with it. This is web 2.0 (which means it is supposed to be interactive). So I am going to leave this at the top of the page for a while so that more people can get a chance to vote. Thanks for Voting.

Today I am going to post a poll (this is my first poll) and see what the results are. The question I am asking is, should I get a haircut? I have not had a haircut for some time now and my hair is getting kind of long. I have always wanted long hair, but usually have to get it cut because I think I look like funny, or I think that the people I work for think I look unprofessional. There is no need for me to look professional while on this trip so I am going to ask the public, I have posted some pictures below to help you decide. Please vote

Gundlupet

Distance: 61km
Roads: Good
Traffic: Moderate (great considering this is a national highway).

Sitting at Cafe Coffee Day, we watch the the Indian life drive by, 200 year old trees line the highway as tractors pulling trailers filled with cocconuts and childern putter by, being passed by all sorts of different vehicles. Cafe Coffee Day is a modern coffee shop, like Starbucks, but red not green. The prices are cheap and the coffee is good, the music however isn’t enjoyabl (nothing like some Indian trance). India is hurdling towards modernization, and those that want to live a slower paced life will have to do so on congested highways breathing polluted air. This place is crazy, the polarization between the two extremes is apperent every day.

Our ride today was great, we opted to take the National Highway 212 south of Mysore. We were going to turn off the NH if the traffic were bad, but they remained bearable (not thee most enjoyable, but no where near as bad as the NH can be). We decended in elevation and had a tail wind, a recipe for a high average speed. It was great.

The people we saw on the road today were more friendly then normal. In fact, this is the most friendly group of people we have seen on this whole trip. We were passed by many people waving out of car windows. People on the side of the road were saying hi and cheering “Happy New Year!” (it is Jan 1, but I have the posts post every couple of days so there is delay between when I write the posts and when they get pulished on the internet). We even had on person try to video tape us as then drove by. Very plesant, I always seemed to have smile on my face today. The hotel we are staying at now isn’t nearly as nice as the one in Mysore, but we’ve paid for the hotel, with a deposit, had lunch, and a coffee and we still have a long way to go before reaching our daily budget.

Posted from Gundlupet, Karnataka, India
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More Mysore

We’ve decided to consider our days spent in  Mysore our Christmas gift to each other, as it is over our budget and we feel like we’re living in relative luxury.

We’ve taken it pretty easy in Mysore, but we have seen a few sights.  We went to the Devaraja Market, which our guidebook describes as “one of India’s most colorful and lively bazaars”, we went  early to beat the heat and it must have been a slow day or maybe it was too early, but it was not that colorful or lively.

We also went to the Mysore Zoo, it was pretty good, though I’m not sure what got more attention from the local families and school groups, the lions and tigers or the two western tourists at the zoo.

Mysore, especailly the area we are staying in Gokulum, is known for yoga, it is the home of Pattahabi Jois, basically the founder of Ashtanga yoga, and yoga students from around the world come to study yoga here.  The funny thing for us is there is no yoga classses between Chrismas and New Years while we were in mysore so we actuallly saw very few other western tourists, we are considering comming back in March or April to do some yoga here.

Our new years eve was interesting.  Pete, a guy from Calafornia saying at our guesthouse, invited us to come to a dinner event at the Ayurvedic centre where he was going.  We went with him, along with one other person staying at the guesthouse.  It was really interesting, there alot of local people there and there was a couple guys singing and playing Indian music, they main musician appeard to be well known and he did a speech after in a mix of the local language and English for our benefit, after was dinner and then we went home, we were glad we went, it was a neat experience.
Mysore has been good, we’ve met some really interesting people and we will likely return.

Posted from Mysore, Karnataka, India
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Mysore

Distance: 6.5km (Mysore bus station to Gokalum)
Roads: Great
Traffic: Moderate (much better then a national highway)

We left Hospet at 11:53, only 53 minutes behind schedule, which is pretty good…I think. The bus was pretty nice, only three seats in a row, and above each seat was a bed. We didn’t get out tickets early enough to get a bed so we were stuck with a seat. I met a guy from Ottawa (first Canadian that we have met on the trip) and he was working in Bangalore. We had a good talk about all the usual stuff you talk about with some one from Canada (beer, Christmas, snow, and the differences between the east and the west). As soon as the bus started I tried to fall asleep. Continue reading

Posted from Mysore, Karnataka, India
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Hospet

Distance: 32km
Roads: great
Traffic: none until National Highway, then it was crazy

We are in a city called Hospet, there isn’t too much to see here. In fact we are waiting for our bus to leave for Mysore. We elected to take a bus to Mysore becuase there isn’t too much to see on the way and there is a high likely hood that we would have to camp at least once (maybe more) and we don’t want to do that. It is now 3:30 and we have been here since noon and getting a little bored.

The ride from Hampi (actually Virupapu Gaddi, you have to cross the river to get to Hampi) was good at first. Very quiet roads, rolling hills with a slight downhill grade overall. The the road we were on ended and we were on the national highway, which was crazy busy, a ton of trucks. We didn’t know we would have to ride on the National Highway, and it confirms our reasoning for avoiding them at all costs. Luckly the ride went quick and we were in Hospet, where we ate at what we thought was a nice restaurant.

Every since arriving in India Tanya has wanted to have some Ice cream but avoided it with the fear of getting sick. That fear was pushed aside today when Tanya ordered some Ice Cream from this busy, nice (and moderately expensive) restaurant at a relatively fancy hotel. Within 30 minutes of finishing the Ice Cream she had to go to the bathroom, but didn’t quiet make it there before vomiting all over the restaurant floor. With a 8 Hour bus ride on the horizon, it should prove to be an interesting night. Here’s hoping the worst is over.

Posted from Hospet, Karnataka, India
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