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 .

February – Mostly at home in Chennai – a photowalk series near by home .A day trip to Bheemeshwari near Bangalore to understand angling and Mahseer.

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.

May, 2009 – Birding trips to Galibore and a detour to Melkote, but I ended the month with the launch of our first trail – Hoysala Trail . We did 4 more trails including one to Coorg.

June 2009 – Sindhudurg and the Konkan coast thanks to Rashmi who is promoting tourism there and a weekend at Goa with hubby .

July 2009 – A new travel companion and a new destination as I reconnected with a school mate, Ramya The Coromandel coast and its colonies – Tranquebar

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

28 comments

  1. Vamsee Modugula 2 January, 2010 at 01:06 Reply

    Lakshmi,
    That is one impressive list you have up there!! You must have been more out than in:)

    Get well soon and I hope you have an even better 2010. Hopefully we will meet and travel together this year.

  2. Anonymous 3 January, 2010 at 14:45 Reply

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  3. Sleepyface 3 January, 2010 at 21:13 Reply

    well, I’d say, never talk about 2009 again, for it may make you think you’ve achieved enough! 🙂

    2010 is all about outdoing yourself. and 2010 is just a reason.

  4. mannab 7 January, 2010 at 17:43 Reply

    While congratulating you for the award of Best Travel in Indiblog, I would request you to reply the queries posted by the readers. Are they not important to you ? Please do not ignore them. I requested for the map of your driving down Coromandel coast which remained unanswered till date.This is not fair. Regards.
    Mangesh Nabar

  5. Anonymous 8 January, 2010 at 04:27 Reply

    Long time reader, but have I commeneted before? Don’t think so. Read ur articles on the blog and also on the Hindu. Love ’em. And that is so awesome amount of travelling done this past year! Do really envy you!

    A very Happy New Year and please do take care!

    Aditi

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