Monday, May 16, 2011

Coorg: Dubare Elephant Camp VI

We had signed up to participate in washing the elephants, and we did two at a turn, wading into the warm water, mud squishing between our toes, and scrubbing the coarse, wrinkly hides of the elephants, somewhat like worker bees buzzing around their queen. This was the highlight of the trip. My friend was even more excited than I was, having had a lifelong dream of getting this close to an elephant.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coorg: Dubare Elephant Camp III

Soon there were three mahouts and elephants on the river bank. 
Here is one, getting ready to give the  elephant he works with a bath:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Coorg: Dubare Elephant Camp II

There were no elephants in view when we arrived, but we went up to the admissions booth and got our tickets, and then sat down to wait. A short while later the first elephant appeared out of the morning mist:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Coorg: Dubare Elephant Camp

The next stop was Dubare Elephant Camp. This is a place where people can interact with tame elephants, besides other activities like river rafting, hiking and fishing. We parked the car on the river bank and took a small ferry across the river to where the elephants live.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coorg: Goodbye to the coffee plantation

After three lovely days of hiking and enjoying nature, we got ready to leave. My luggage and my ancient hiking boots waiting to be put on:

Next stop: Dubare.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Coorg: Bus art

Most Indian buses and trucks seem to have some kind of artwork on them. Here it is the baby Krishna that graces the back of this bus.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Coorg: Kids

I took a walk with my friends down the mountain, and we came upon these kids, who greeted us politely as we went past.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Coorg: Spider

Small creepy-crawlies of all kinds are not the easiest subject for macro-photography, especially not with a hand-held camera, but I did manage to snap this photo of a spider. They were everywhere on the plantation, sitting at the mouth of their funnel-shaped webs, waiting for prey.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Coorg: At the coffee plantation

From Mumbai my plan had been to head to Goa and check out the cuisine and enjoy the beaches for a couple of days, but there was a religious festival coming up in Goa and all trains and buses seemed to be booked. Therefore I decided to save Goa for another India trip and booked a flight to Bangalore instead.

You might ask yourself what I was doing going to such an uninteresting city (from a tourist point of view), and the answer  would be that I have friends there. I stayed with them a couple of nights, and then we headed out to Coorg together.We stayed for three nights at a coffee plantation in the mountains, enjoying the sweet and pollution-free mountain air and taking hikes in the forest. I did have one bad day there, when I came down with what can only have been gastroenteritis, but it was over in 12 hours and while I did feel a bit weak for several days afterwards and unable to enjoy spicy foods, that was only to be expected.

The view from the verandah right in front of my door, with my journal in the foreground.

The guest bungalows all had these sloping roofs that shaded the verandahs.

Coffee beans drying in the sun.