Showing posts with label Vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vacation. Show all posts

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Just did Nothing [60/365]

Invited by Sameer, Linger! came highly recommended from a few people who'd stayed there.

The website was elegant and uncluttered, a real surprise considering how similar vacation homes are quite 'in-your-face'. Sameer, a biking buddy I met at TfN and co-founder, was incredibly detailed with what to expect and not.
Armed with just the directions to Linger, we rode the 350 odd kms in 12 hours. That's right!
Harish, the caretaker/concierge and overall good guy with an effortless smile was waiting for us. Infact, he was expecting us for lunch, while we reached in time for dinner. The cook prepared our dinner while we took that much needed shower. Detoxed, we were ready for some chicken curry that was perhaps the second most tastiest curry I've tasted (no marks for guessing the tastiest curry).

We were given the master Guest house, which was set amidst a positively idyllic courtyard just a stone's throw from a paddy field on the left and coffee on the right.

Maybe it was the weather, or maybe it was the lighting inside the rooms, or maybe it was the way the rooms were as rustic as they were spacious. We thought we just entered another dimension!

To ears that wake up with the sounds of loud neighbors, chatty crows, insensitive drivers and endless traffic, waking up at Linger was just what the physician prescribed. You can never seem to get enough of the million birds that chirp and tweet (no pun intended) through the day. This must be like how it is in heaven!

Harish is a wonderful concierge. Always around when you need him. Intuitive yet unobtrusive.
Girija, the cook stays close to Linger with her family, was always eager to cook for us. So whether it was chicken, or the legendary pandi curry or endless bajjis over coffee, she always had that smile on her face. No dish too big.

But Linger is not for all. You'll find much of the furniture and accessories very minimalistic, rustic yet appropriate.
So what exactly is Linger?!
Linger is that place you go to if you are Writer in search of some peace and quiet. Also works if you are simply looking to detox your creativity.
You'll get to rub shoulders with nature minus the nightmare.
A place where you should go to when you've had enough of the rat race and you want to slow down.
...and just do nothing.
Don't expect a swimming pool, newspapers or a television. And rightly so. While we had our reservations on how we could wean ourselves from our addictions to the TV and my daily dose of headlines, its amazing what a few days can at Linger can accomplish. We found our bodies and minds adapting to the cool crisp evening breeze and the timeless pace of nature faster than a duck to a pond.
While we were there, we lost track of time.

And before we knew it, it was time for us to return to an ordinary life.

Sunday, February 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.

View Larger Map

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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