Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winter Travels Part 1: South India

Will and I took off for South India as soon as my final meetings concluded. Our route mostly included places Will had lived or visited during the four years he lived in India as a kid. 

First stop: Ooty. 
Ooty is a hill station in the Nilgiri hills that hosts Hebron School, an international boarding school that Will attended for two years. We toured the school, met up with people Will remembered, and toured around the town. 

Tea plantations on the drive to Ooty.

The front gate to Hebron.

Walking up the not-as-long-as-Will-
remember driveway, which is a beautiful
road lined with fragrant eucalyptus trees!
Hebron School.

The main assembly hall.

Will giving a short talk to the students at morning assembly.

Will's former dorm parents.

Will's former principal and his wife.

Will posing like the "fossil tree trunk" in the Botanical

View from Doddabetta, the highest point in South India
at 8,652 feet.

Santa! With some wonky arms. Downtown

Will's former barber shop. (If you look closely, the barbers
are taking a picture of us taking a picture of them!)

Mmmm, monsoon delicacy?

Starting the day off right with masala dosa!

Now that's a butcher's block!

Will got excited in the Ooty market and ridiculous amount
of fruits.

And the local junk food he used to buy with his pocket

So much garlic!!!

Second Stop: Mysore.
After Ooty, we took the road down to Mysore. The drive consisted of a total of 36-hairpin turns and a few national parks.

Apparently the diagonal shot is popular among Indians...

Our rickshaw driver for a morning in Mysore.
Can you spot Will?

He took us to a beedi (Indian cigarettes) "factory."

I was skeptical when our driver dropped us
here at the silk sari factory.

Turns out the hole in the wall had three silk sari looms.

Next to an incense and essential oils shop.

We chatted with the shop owner for a long time. 

The Maharaja's Palace.

Stop 3: Bangalore
From Mysore we traveled by train to Bangalore, where Will's family lived for four years. We found his old house, met with a former classmate, and enjoyed walking around the city.

Will ringing the doorbell at his old house.
No one home.

The same sign from 10+ years ago is still on the gate!

Will chatting with old neighbors.

A nice dinner in Bangalore.

Lunch with an old classmate. Notice the
metro skyrail in the background - a new
addition to Bangalore!

Stop 4: Hampi
Hampi is a backpacker destination known for its boulder landscape and laid-back atmosphere. We biked around the sites.

View from Hanuman's temple.

Can you spot Will?

Notice the black hands and lips of this monkey! He stole my
ink pot out of my bag and ate it. We wondered if
there are now black monkey prints all over this

A saddhu's holy tree with rocks tied to the
branches with cloth scrapes.

Stop 5: Goa
Winter Break is not complete without a stop in Agonda! We ended our travels with two glorious days on the beach. 

Indulgent breakfasts are the best!

Our guesthouse was lovely.

Life is hard!

The sunset cow gang making their daily walk.

*Many photos taken by Will!

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