We were so lucky to get a moon day followed by a Saturday because on Saturdays we get a FREE day…. Its not quite 100% free as in the evening we meet up for Banjans (chanting) around 6.30pm… but it’s free from yoga asanas which means we get a much needed rest.
Seeing as Magdalena is leaving this week we decided to hire a car and go ’play tourist’ for the day. We hired a fantastic driver (Ravi) who works with Sri Chamundeshwari Travels [I highly recommend him… if you want his contact details email me!].
Ravi came and picked us up at 6.30am and we headed out towards Byakuppe. On the way to Byakuppe Ravi took us to the BEST place for Idlys…. A tiny little local restaurant with 4 tables – all the customers were males so we were watched with interested while we at our meals.
Idlys are a new discovery for me…. They are YUM…. Little white savoury bready things made out of rice and lentils. You eat the Idlys by dipping them in the sauce that goes with them…. Yum.
We arrived in Byakuppe fairly early and had a wander around one of the monasteries. Byakuppe is an area where many Tibetan refugees have settled and there are several Tibetan monasteries and temples… apparently you are supposed to have a permit to visit there – ooops.
After that we went to some park with a swing bridge… the swing bridge itself was fairly unimpressive as far as swing bridges go and the park was very touristy – so we had a cup of tea and moved on pretty quickly.
We continued driving through some beautiful country side… simple little villages, lots of greenery and coffee plantations. We stopped at one of the coffee plantations and had lunch at one of the resorts. The resort doesn’t have a restaurant so we ended up eating at the owner’s house, which was quite nice. Magdalena and I chilled out in the garden for a bit, had some coffee and then had lunch. Just after we finished having lunch our hosts children and husband came home… so we chatted to them for a while before heading out for a walk around the coffee plantation.
The coffee plantation was cool…. I had not given any thought to where coffee comes from so it was interesting to see it growing on trees and being dried out in the sun. I enjoyed the walk in the plantation… so nice to be surrounded by trees again!
Here are some photos:
After the walk around the coffee plantation it was time to head back to Mysore for Banjans. It was a pretty full on day (lots of driving) but it was definitely worth it. I really enjoyed being a tourist again…. This is good news given how sick of it I was towards the end of my trip around the north!