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Published: November 16th 2016
We left the dusty, dry desert of Rajasthan and flew 1,125 miles south to Bangaluru. From Jaipur to Bangaluru, our flight took a little over 2 and a half hours. Once we arrived in Bangaluru, we drove over 6 and a half hours to reach Coorg, India. The roads were rough and winding along our drive and every village had speed bumps so it was difficult to move at a very fast speed.
We are officially in the southern part of India. This is apparent to us because:
* The landscape has changed dramatically. It looks more lush and more tropical. There are flowers, crops and fruit trees everywhere you look. The horizon is dotted with palm trees.
* The locals have slightly darker skin coloring than those in the northern parts of India.
*There seems to be less rubbish, but this could be because we are in a very remote area and have spent our time in only small villages.
* It is much more humid than Rajasthan.
* It feels like we could be visiting Sri Lanka. The landscape looks like Sri Lanka. It is more common for people to use
Roughing It in Coorg
This is the view out the back door of our bungalow.
their hands as eating untensils rather than using forks or spoons. The Indians in the south have perfected what we always called the Sri Lankan nod--an ambiguous head nod that seems to say "yes," "no" and "whatever you want" all at the same time.
* The buildings look more like the orient than expected. It seems like we could be visiting Thailand when we look at some of the homes.
* There is less vegetarian-only meals. Chicken, fish and eggs are incorporated more into the meals.
* There is a much greater Christian influence and many more Christians living in the south, though there are still Hindus and Muslims in most villages.
* There are NO camels.
Please recognize, these are just our early observations and could easily be challenged as we travel further south and to more locations.
Our first stop in the south was at Orange County in Coorg. I know it sounds like we are in the land of plastic surgery and overpriced housing, but actually we are staying on a 300 acre coffee plantation/eco resort. It is gorgeous. It is peaceful. And it is posh. This
is easy living at it's best with hospitality like you can only imagine.
We spent our time hiking, learning how spices and exotic fruits are grown and learning how the spices are harvested to be ready for our dinner table. Oh, and we have spent some time eating...a lot of time actually!
We took a class on how coffee is grown, harvested and processed which ended with us learning how to properly drink a cup of coffee to fully embrace the aroma. It should be no shock that dad had his best cups of coffee in India so far at this coffee plantation.
We hiked the plantation and were told the high electric fences were designed to keep the elephants out of the rows of coffee, but we were also told the elephants quickly figured out that they could lay a branch on the electric fence to ground it out so they could enter the plantation to eat the mango fruit off the mango trees! Talk about smart animals.
We can tell we are in for a a very different India that we have been seeing and we are excited to be here.
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