The time Turner Series || The Lair of Nessie - Loch Ness

I am a die-hard romantic, and by this I mean that I love the idea of an ideal, fantastical world where humans, birds, animals, plants, nature, fairies, pixies, and monsters dwell, doing their own thing, mostly keeping out of each others' way.

I am a die-hard romantic, and by this I mean that I love the idea of an ideal, fantastical world where humans, birds, animals, plants, nature, fairies, pixies, and monsters dwell, doing their own thing, mostly keeping out of each others' way.
 
And it is this romantic in me that keeps wishing that there is indeed a Loch Ness Monster, managing to hide its colossal body somehow, in the depths of the surreal Loch Ness. And it was this fascination with the legend of the monster that partly led me to undertake what has perhaps been the most expensive trip ever planned by me - my solo travels to the Scottish Highlands.  

Wayanad: A Slice of Kerala state of India

We are now in Uravu, popularly known as Bamboo Village, in Mundupara. Our host is a social entrepreneur and journalist Suneesh CD. We are staying in his lovely home close to supari, banana, rubber, and coconut plantations, and of course bamboo forests. Morning birds greet us with their sweet chirps. There is one bird that makes a sound as if it is blowing kisses. We name it Kiss bird.Breakfast is a simple affair of Aalu sabzi and Appams, along with chicken curry to spice up the things. All meals are accompanied with warm water infused with a particular tea bark, called pathimugam, to improve digestion. After the breakfast, we start on our day tour on an auto. The auto-driver is called George and he stays nearby. We will be paying him Rs. 8 per kilometer for our day + waiting. We did not know then that this auto will drive us through the most spectacular landscapes and the toughest terrains to ensure that we are able to see all that we want to see through the day.Our first target is Banasura Sagar Dam. It is located at around 40 kilometers from our homestay. The route to the dam is scenic and roads are more or less even and well-paved. We stop at a couple of places to click photographs.The Banasura Sagar Dam is the second largest earth dam and its water reservoir is spectacular with several islands big and small jutting out of its surface. The Tourism Authority offers speed and pontoon boat rides. A speedboat ride costs Rs 500 per boat and can seat 5 people. We are able to find another couple to share the ride with us and thoroughly enjoy the 15 minutes cruising through the otherwise still waters of the reservoir.Our next target is Pookode Lake. This is where we have snacks of onion and cauliflower pakodas with chai and coffee. After the snacks, we take a long walk along the banks of the lake and en route see countless butterflies, some huge spiders snacking on the butterflies and a handful of birds. The water on the sides has several purple lilies that add to the beauty of the sea. There is crowd but there is no noise. It is unbelievable. Our last stop is the Soojipara waterfalls. George drops us about 2 kms from the falls and the terrain ahead was tricky. The walk was all downhill and at the end were some treacherous steps that were really tiring to climb down. I was worried about the return journey. There was substantial water in the waterfall, but we can imagine how big it would be in the monsoons.Several people were bathing in the waters. We were once again not prepared for it. We just enjoyed the scene around and then started back. It was a truly uphill trek. But we enjoyed it better than our walk downhill. It was Suneesh's niece's birthday, so we bought a couple of knick knacks for her from the near the ticket counters. We were slightly hungry now and had maggi and bread omelette with some tea. We will soon share our chai experience as well soon. Then we started back and stopped for a while to walk in the tea plantations. It was surreal. Cool breeze was blowing and bulbuls singing in all directions.We were back at 6 and were tired but happy. We thanked George. The total had come out around 1200 Rs and we felt that it was quite reasonable. We had spent enough time at all the places and still managed to reach back in time. We were welcomed back to a sumptuous dinner of biryani with raita. At the end we congratulated ourselves on a day well planned and timed.

Unmistakably the best way to explore Kerala is to start at the northern tropical forests that are lush green and untouched. Once our flight booking to Bangalore was done, we made arrangements for a car to take us to Wayanad in north Kerala. Flash-forward to two weeks later, we were negotiating the hairpin bends on the windy Kerala roads, we made our way to the Vythiri Resort in the Wayanad district. It began to rain as we ducked into our spacious rooms in the early part of the day.

MobileGIRI in US with phone-camera of Honor 6x


Recently I was in US for 2 weeks with lot of things planned in office and with friends around Bay Area. First week was busy with meetings, technical discussions and various networking events in San Jose and then I had some travel plans to explore San Diego, Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. During this trip I heavily used Mobile camera and loved the ease with which I could capture most of the moments during these 2 weeks. Here I sharing some of the captured moments with quick summary of things I did. More detailed posts and travel guides would be published during next month. 


15th Edition of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm || A Phenomenon Worth Witnessing

The 15th edition of Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm concluded on Saturday, 4th February 2017 in Jodhpur. After 5 days of traversing the dunes of the Thar Desert, riding and driving through thrilling terrain in the villages, towns and cities of Bikaner, Jaisalmer, and Jodhpur, the participants will go back to the relative calm of everyday lives at least for a few days. I wonder how these quieter days make these adventurers feel. Do they feel a sense of relief or do they miss the sport? Do they sleep dreamlessly after the tiring event or do they wake up suddenly in the middle of a dream in which they are still moving up and down the dunes? I believe it would be a mixture of both. A sense of relief as well as of yearning. Adventure, after all is an addiction. 


The best aspect of events like Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm is that no two days are alike. Even though all that the participants are doing throughout these 5 days is travel, each day holds its own achievements, misses, upsets, highs, and lows, which are different for each category. To understand the various categories of #MSDesert Storm, please click here


You can also follow the organizers on social media at:



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