I could bore you with another blog post with more musings from suburbia and what not. But frankly, I find that dull. And since this week I am in one of those “screw home ownership, boring corporate jobs, and bland American food” funks, I figured we’d all reminisce over our adventurous trip to India. Or at least we’ll reminisce. Yall can just tag along for the blog post 🙂
So hop on board kiddos! We’re blogging back to the Motherland!
And what better way to kick off our trip than with an Indian Safari?! How’s THAT for fun, eh?
Since this was our first trip to India as newlyweds (aww – shut it) Somanna’s parental units very graciously gave us an overnight stay at Kabini River Lodge so that we could consummate our marriage enjoy some of India’s spectacular wildlife. But first let me say again a big THANK YOU to Mavi & Pop! Because they rock and deserve a shout out for such a sweet gift.
So we kicked off our Kabini Romantic River Lodge get away with another fun and fabulous road trip through Indian countryside. As you may recall, road trips in India are especially entertaining. Just remember to take your Dramamine. Or plead for the front seat due to motion sickness like I did 😉
And no, I’m not driving on Indian highways. They drive on the opposite side of the road in the Motherland, so this is me chillin’ like a villain while I snap various pics of roadside scenery. During our trip, I asked my father-in-law more questions than a four-year old and if it annoyed him, he didn’t show it. He answered all 7,195,768,513 questions like a super trooper, which was really very informative.
First, we rode through Nagarahole National Park en route to Kabini.
In Nagarahole, you can see small villages of indigenous tribal peoples living in very basic mud huts. The government is trying to incorporate these various ethnic groups into more mainstream Indian society through housing, work and education initiatives. Naturally there are pros and cons, like anything else in life. While waiting at the gate to enter the park, I snapped a few pics of some locals kids who are all too friendly and eager to wave hello.
Except for this girl, who I evidently scared the crap out of with my face. Sorry sweetie! It’s the jet lag!
Countryside and small town scenes like these next few pics dominated most of the scenery.
According to my travel diary, I learned a lot about Indian agriculture from Pop. But apparently that is as specific as I got in my post-info session notes. I rock at taking notes like that. It really helped my college career. NOT.
Let’s see, I do remember seeing crops of ‘bacca (that’s tobacco to all you Yankees out there) in addition to crops of Mango trees (pictured just above), ginger fields, sugar cane and dried rice patties. (Rice is grown during the monsoon season.) We also saw lots of bamboo trees too. In general though, most of the land appears cultivated and typically in use for commercial crops.
However, the real reason I don’t remember my social studies lesson is because we had some drama on our ride to Kabini. While I happily played the part of National Geographic writer/photographer extraordinaire, Somanna got to play a rousing game of Delhi Belly.
Now friends, let me go ahead and tell you. I had already suffered through my first, and fortunately only, round of Delhi Belly earlier that week.
While we were in town, shopping.
With the whole family.
What better way to cast off the “I am still new to this family” feeling than to bond over discussions of my lower intestines? If we weren’t close before, we sure are now. *So intimate.*
So Delhi belly no es bueno amigo. Fortunately, my mother-in-law recognized what was going down immediately and found me a loo faster than a speeding rickshaw. This is quite an accomplishment considering that “public” restrooms are not really an option in India. (As in, you don’t want them to be an option, if you catch my smelly drift.) This is so incredibly important because when Delhi Belly strikes, your time is limited. Limited to approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
So back to our car ride. We’re bumping along, with me chatting, taking pictures up front, Somanna’s dad graciously chatting back with me. But Somanna is quiet. I figure he’s just watching the scenery. But then I notice that his Dad keeps speaking to him in Coorgi, which I obviously don’t understand. And their conversation has very hushed tones. Hushed tones that I don’t understand. I became suspicious.
Maybe they are having a disagreement? Something has irritated Somanna? In an effort to cheer up, my main man (aren’t I nice?) I turn around and take his picture saying “Yay! We’re going on safari and aren’t you like, totally excited?!!?! Ican’tfrigginWAIT!!”
This was his response:
Actually his response contained much more crass language. But I didn’t hold it against him. Poor fella. About 30 minutes into to our 1.5 hour drive, Pooh Bear here felt a little rumbly in his tumbly. And he was counting down every.last.kilometer. Now that I knew what was going on, I spent the remainder of our road trip scanning the upcoming roadside for “emergency possibilities.”
But remember how I said that the majority of land is cultivated? Yea, that means there are no woods along the roadside people. It’s like frickin’ Nebraska with palm trees and fields as far as the eye can see. Only in India, there are lots of other eyes to see your squatted self with because someone else is always traveling down the road.
Poor Somanna. He just had to grin and bear it. Except he really wasn’t grinning.
So we soldiered on and eventually reached Kabini, despite an additional 20k road detour and not one, but two signs promising Kabini in just 3k’s when it turned out to be closer to oh, 7k’s away. (I believe Somanna’s exact response to the second “Kabini Lodge: 3 Kilometers” sign was “ARE YOU F*&%^#G KIDDING ME?” I could be wrong, but I’m fairly certain those were his words.)
Anyhoos. We reached and checked in, while Somanna became very acquainted with the Kabini Lodge lobby loo. You know, the normal routine to kick-start a romantic holiday.
After some medicine and resting, we then moseyed on over to the dining lodge for lunch. Meal times differ in India. Breakfast usually begins between 8 and 9 am and consists of a fairly large meal. Lunch time falls between 2 and 3 and is usually the largest meal of the day. Afternoon tea and snacks usually happens around 4:30 or 5, followed by a light dinner around 8 or 8:30 p.m.
Here we are kicking it with our delicious lunch at Kabini. Yummy!
The piece of bread on the both our plates is called a chapati and the piece of fried, crunchy bread that Somanna is hiding behind is called a papadum. Also on our plates you’ll notice some rice, lentil curries and sambar. Many Indians are vegetarian for religious reasons, so it is very common to see menu items / restaurants listed as “Veg” and “Non-Veg” to denote their carnivorous status. Kabini had a mostly vegetarian buffet, which suited us just fine. It’s been my experience that the veg dishes are usually much tastier than the meat dishes. So next time you find yourself near Indian food, embrace the lentils! They just might surprise you!
After lunch, we walked around the grounds and explored. Here’s a picture of our lodge with our room. All of the buildings feature old world, colonial decor with dark stained wood, white walls and stuffy portraits of old generals sporting large mustaches and swords.
Walking around the grounds, you had to share the road a little bit:
Just don’t share your lunch!
Later we climbed up some fun tree houses and tooled around a bit.
I mostly looked like a tool.
And then it was time for our evening safari!! Whoop, Whoop!
But that will have to wait until next time.
So stick around yall!
There are chickens, elephants and tigers oh my!