Feb 26, 2012

Destination: Linger [56/365]

It had been a while since we went on a vacation together.
Deciding on a place was easy since we has been always wanting to visit Coorg. And I knew just the place to visit in Coorg - Linger!
Owned and promoted by a biking buddy of mine, I decided we should getaway.
I kept the destination a closely guarded secret and decided to ride 350 kms on our trusty motorbike.
We'd planned on starting at the break of dawn but eventually started at 8am on a Saturday morning. Now, I would still recommend that you start before the rest of the city wakes up if you have to travel across the city just to get out of the tarmac madness. Starting from RT Nagar, through Corporation Circle, taking the Sirsi flyover, unti we reach the gridlocked junctions of Mysore road. Negotiating this took us about 30 minutes. Time taken to travel the distance from RT Nagar to Kengeri: 3 hours!
The roads after Rajarajeshwari Nagar are as deceptively wonderful as they are scenic. Its a pity that we don't sell common sense and the ability to drive carefully as a standard accessory when we buy cars. Traveling at about 70 kmph, most cars and SUVs zipped by us as if we were standing still. Dotted with McDonalds, Cafe Coffee Day's and a dozen Darshini's (restaurants serving low cost local cuisine) we took plenty of breaks every hour or so.
Passing through the historic town of Channapatna, takes you back to your childhood. We just had to stop and buy a wooden toy for the child in us.
Ofcourse, entering Mandya, it is obvious to see the clout and influence that it's most famous sons have had on the town. Complete with four signals, traffic cops equipped with radar guns traveling through the town it is like a oasis in an otherwise deserted highway.
Entering Mysore, we hit a lot of slow moving traffic to reach the Outter Ring Road that is being built. And public construction in India directly translates into infinite dust, complete chaos and signage's in poor English.
Time taken to cover a distance from the Country Club restaurant as you enter Mysore until Industrial layout at the other end of the Ring road: 1 hour. Curiously, we couldn't find a single restaurant worth mention on this route.
The roads, however appeared to improve vastly as we continue towards Hunsur, Virajpet and on to Madikeri. Kudos to the State Government for making sure that the roads are well designed. With the government's penchant for speed breakers, I had to rely on signage when I was traveling at 70 kmph for any speed breakers (aka humps) on the road ahead, and I found it to be accurately marked except for a couple as you approach Kushalnagar. Beware!
I can't stop raving about the roads but entering Madikeri was a rude awakening. We had to proceed towards Talakacaveri.
If this is your first time to Talacaveri, prepare to reach before it gets dark. Certain patches of the road downhill are bad, really bad.
The route is breathtaking.


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We reached Linger at Chettimani in 12 hours. While we were exhausted, tired and famished, we were in for a huge surprise! Read more about our experience at the Resort here.

Important if you're heading towards Coorg:
  • Getting there is half the fun. Don't make the mistake of zipping by all the wonderful sights (Channapatna), sounds(Virajpet) and smells (Mandya). Take plenty of coffee breaks and lots of sunscreen if you are on a bike.  
  • Drive Defensively. Logic tells that big city road users are better educated and polite. Reality: We had the most pleasant driving experience once we were out of Bangalore and Mysore. Drivers always gave right of way and were polite and most importantly followed traffic rules. 
  • Once in Coorg, slow down and smell the coffee beans. Quite literally.
  • Shop! Buy the insanely low priced coffee, freshly ground / beans. We bought a kilo of freshly ground coffee at just Rs80!
  • Carry a BSNL cellphone. Idea works as well.
  • If you are non vegetarian and won't mind eating pork, gorge yourselves on the local 'Pandi curry'. Its finger licking good!
  • The people are friendly but knowing Kannada can help you get around.
  • Trek!
  • Don't bother carrying work. Linger is all about kicking back and slowing down. But wait. You'll have to read about our experiences here..
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