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Published: January 13th 2010
we got to Mangalore around 5pm after a bit of a mad drive and a few close calls again with coaches and buses, we now both think we will never get on a bus in India again after seeing how wreckless they are and after seeing a bus on the side of the road completely crushed after a crash, its a reality check and a half.
Mangalore is pretty cool with wide streets, pretty clean..in Indian terms and full of lots of nice people. There' shopping malls here and supermarkets, which is weird and not a beggar or stray animal in sight. On our first day we went to get a snack and started talking to a guy named Sidher. He was a nice man, rich looking and plump and told us how to get to a shopping mall to get some well needed undies! He insisted on driving us, and on the way took us to a lake that was pretty and then on to shopping. At the top of the mall was an arcade and he brought us icecream and arcade vouchers and played air hockey with us.. it was like being taken out by your favorite uncle for
the day! he then took us to a pub called "froth on top" and brought us beer then left. strange but lovely and very indian!
Stayed in Mangalore for two days then decided to go to Pondicherry, well what we thought was Pondicherry! We drove for 8, yes 8 flipping hours on the bike and finally arrived with a seriously sore ass at a big sign saying "Mahe" with Pondicherry in brackets underneath. Pondicherry was meant to have big beautiful french boulavards and a big ashram and peacefull beaches, but after driving around and finding no hotels appart from a really expensive one and only a few streets we were pretty confused and a hotel guard kindly pointed out, whilst hiding a snigger that pondicherry was 150km away on the coast of bengal on the other side of the country and that we were in Mahe owned by the pondicherry government on the coast of kerala, so feeling like big twats and a tad embaressed we gave in as it was getting dark and checked into the big expensive hotel. We had a night of white, real white bed sheets, air con, duvets, a telly and complimentary flannel tooth brush
shampoo the lot and our first hot shower in months and a free breakfast, it was slight heaven after a week of no elecricity and 2 months of slumming it!
Headed off reasonably early for Wayanand wildlife sanctuary where we have been told that we can see wild elephants for sure.
The journey was by far the most beautiful so far, we are on the boarder of the Western ghats, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and its all mountains covered in tea plantations, banana groves, palm tree forests and lush greenery everywhere. We climbed a potholled road winding up round the mountains and the views were breathtaking. Russ spotted a big snakey and some little monkeys here and there and then it started raining, I think it's the first time I have been happy to have rain, ever, we were riding up this mountain wooping!
The people around here are the best, they all stare with a big goofy grins and if you smile back they wave like little kids and tap each others shoulders and point or giggle, it's so cute and goofy! They also have this endearing but annoying thing in the south, where when you ask a question
they sort of wiggle their head from side to side and up and down which can mean yes, no or maybe, so you have to ask again and again until you get a verbal confirmation!
We stopped for lunch and had battered bananas, and found the first onion bajis in india yet?? yummmyy! We had a pretty close call when Russ left his bag, with our passports, photo memory stick, ipods and bank cards in, in the cafe! luckily after searching for hotels for 20 mins we noticed it wasn't on the back of the bike anymore and rushed back, luckily it was just sat on the table with a load of chai drinking giggeling men sat around ignoring our bag of goodies!
Found a big room with a view, but with a moqsue outside ( morning prayers at 4.30am over load speakers are great!) and plan to go find elephants tomorrow at the park which is 35km away can't wait! so anyway just a little note, when you write comments ( especailly the person who said could we write our name to say who writes the blog) could you put your names other wise we don't know who wrote
them! but thank you all for your comments and messages, it's nice to come on here and see people read them, I know we write a lot sometimes but it's also like a diary for us that we can keep and look at ourselves so bare with us if we ever rant!
Hope everyone isn't too cold, it's hard to imagen it and it's hard to believe but we are actually a bit jeleous to miss the most snow ever!
love to all, Lis xxx
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