Ive travelled the most in 2009 and I guess thats the best thing about this year. While my personal milestones and journeys were nothing to write home about, most of the destinations have been new and I have had new travel companions as well.Its been the year of Incredible India for me. I saw the Himalayas for the first time in Ladakh and in Shimla .Arun and I launched Travelwise and we did 4 weekend trails this year – Hoysala Trail and Vignettes of Coorg.
I attended the NTP, a Naturalist Training Programme organised by Jungle Lodges in Bannarghatta and got hooked on to birding. I did a lot of birding tours in and around Bangalore and in some of the JLR properties this year. I also visited Kumbalgarh and Shimla thanks to Club Mahindra as a part of their activities – Cerebrate and Bloggers Meet. I also got my new DSLR this year thanks to my brother and attempted photography . Cities like Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai were part of my itineraries.Its difficult to compare each journey or rate destinations as they are unique, but I believe that every trip has had something special for me..so here I go, on a nostalgic trip as I recall some of the key destinations in 2009
January 2009, Mysored – First Destination of the year
I spent my birthday last year in Mysore, one of my favourite cities after Chennai and Mumbai. January also saw me going to a new destination, thanks to Club Mahindra. I had an assignment in Ashtamudi, in Kerala and a tryst with ayurveda . I visited Kollam on the banks of the lake and an old Portuguese settlement,Thangaserry . I also got my new DSLR and used it extensively during this trip .
March 2009 -Pilgrimages galore .The coffee blossoms were in season when I went to Malnad, Chikmagalur and a visit to Sringeri . Yaadgiri near Gulbarga and a visit to Mantralaya .Rivers crossed – Tunga,Bhadra,Hemavathy,Bheema,Krishna. Pepper picking in Malnad and chillis near Mantralaya . NTP in Bannarghata and an addiction to birding . A lot of birding in and around Bangalore subsequently followed during weekends.
April 2009 – Kumbalgarh, Rajasthan – part of Cerebrate. An amazing fort and a mix of interesting people, this was a wonderful trip. I still remember star gazing the entire night when I saw my first meteor.
August 2009 – A trip to Mahabalipuram to watch the sunset with a friend , Kamalee and another day trip to Kanchipuram, Sandras ,and more temples with Aarti,cousin and a new travel companion. Left for Ladakh towards the end of the month
September 2009 – The craziest spell of travel . Ladakh followed by Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri,back to Bangalore, Chennai, Bangalore and then Shimla for a week and finally the jungles of Kabini . The sun became villain , as I turned allergic to UV rays .
October 2009 – A quick weekend at Coorg, otherwise a month of rest , mainly birding around TG Halli, Hesarghata lake and a visit home to Chennai. The allergy just got worse after every birding trip.Had to make a quick trip to Mumbai to visit an ailing person .
November 2009 – Anniversary weekend to Daroji and Hampi and lots of sloth bears and birds to give me company. Another quick trip to Delhi and a weekend in Orange County kabini – luxury and birding at its best . Had to miss Coorg trail cos of severe rashes.
December 2009 – Malnad and Sringeri, followed by a weekend in Chennai and a trip to Galibore and Doddamakkali on an assignment from Jungle Lodges. Travel came to a halt as my health gave me a reality check. Landed in the hospital and now recuping for a while . January 2010 looks like will be Bangalored at home.
To end the year, I finally won the Best Travel Blog in Indibloggies -2008. Thanks everybody who have voted for me and for being part of this journey