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Comment book - V.

And one more (one more journey to visit the beautiful IndianSamourai...)! I'm late for the post, I have come back more than 15 days ago, but the “holiday effect” was still there and returning to the Parisian cold was not as easy as the other times.         
So what did I do this time? Nothing much in the end but so much on the other hand... I met a former Mumbai expat (a friend of IndianSamourai I had already met a few times) for a small tour in Kerala where we spent several days near the Athirapally waterfalls. For a second stay in Kerala it is a beautiful place to see, we walked a lot, unlike the Indian toursists, but nature is so much more beautiful on foot!        
Then I went back to Mumbai to live the life of a real Bombaykar, the daily life, with IndianSamourai. It was my first 'long-term' stay in this city, which, even if it has very few touristic monuments to visit, is nice to walk around, in places like Juhu beach of course (right where IndianSamourai’s office is... no comment...), chor bazaar (a sort of flea market where you can find absolutely everything, from weights to real or true-false Asian or European antiques), the Queen's Necklace and Chowpatty beach, Malabar hill (with its Jain temple, its hanging gardens and the parade of bats at dawn, Walkeshwar Mandir and the Banganga tank where locals do their ablutions).
And finally the usual stop in Goa to finish on a smooth note and go back to Paris full of energy, ready to attack the holiday periods, the sales months and the fashion weeks...”

V. 10/12/2013, travel: From 6 to November 23, 2013 (Mumbai, Kerala, Goa) 




When Jane meets Tarzan...

My friend knows by now, you must be an adventurer to travel with a samurai! After encounters with Naxalite terrorists in Bastar (Chattisgarh), with rhinoceros and dancing monks in Assam, this time I offered a dive in the heart of the jungle of Karnataka...

A good girl, she trusts me and hardly checks on the destination. A good girl, she doesn’t make any comment when we arrive in our guesthouse at one in the morning after a flight of an hour and half and a five-hour drive on a bumpy mud path. Not such a good girl, she wakes me up in the middle of the night screaming: “I'm terrified! I want to leave!” And I discover her, sitting on the bed, trying to beat the pitch darkness and see with the light of her mobile phone what beast has invited itself. Cautious me, before turning the light on, asks her if she thinks it’s a rat. Cautious her – she knows that if she answers yes I would be out of the room in no time and she would have to fight the monster alone –responds that she doesn’t think it’s a rat. So I turn on the light. Samurai til the end of the night... And bravely, I get rid of the intruder: a pillow. Yes yes! The pillow was weighing on her feet and following her movements, slyly imitating a snake. Or a rat. 

After this agitated nGlomeris_marginata,_Pill_Millipede,_Wales.JPGight, what a reward when we open the door in the morning: hibiscus, bananas, plant this, plant that! And butterflies. And dragonflies. And spiders. And insects coming straight out of Alice in Wonderland. As we are fully into observing nature, we stop dead when we come across a handsome male... Huh ? Hellooo? Whatthehellareyoudoinghere Gael*? Breathtaking! So this is here, in the asshole of Karnataka, that super hot guys hide away... Who would have thought?? 


We go straight to the point with this French chilo-italo-belgio-spanish specimen: in the jungle, no place for pretences. We girls are dressed like truck-drivers, with tans that goes with it (due to a nasty sunburn during the first walk), and hairy, the truck-drivers! (Our hairs appear to have got inspired by the lushness of the vegetation and who says jungle says no electricity says no removal and with the humidity you start looking more like Cheetah than Jane in no time!). And our Apollo spends his days gardening, shirtless, with leeches stuck between his toes, cobwebs in the beard, paint under his fingernails and a swimsuit that makes him scratch his butt constantly. And if it was only that… After a month and a half of manual chores (and loneliness) in the jungle, he is so happy to find compatriots (and girls, young and single) that he can’t stop talking.  


So he goes on telling us about the frequency of his showers (twice a week), his sexual frustration (or how he discovered how to download porn pictures on his ipod for his lonely nights), his difficulties linked to the absence of toilet paper, his Don Juan behaviour who fucks everything that moves, his failed studies and his Indian-style ‘school of life’, his macrophage attitude with girls (he painted himself as a ‘fungus’ that phagocytes his girlfriends and thrives thanks to them), his desire to run around naked in our room. Yes Yes, we also fell speechless... Especially after he clarified that he liked hairy women (a subliminal message (given what I explained above)??). And that he’d love to spend the night between us two! Ah the energy of 25 year olds!  


 had chosen the place for its seclusion: no phone network, no internet, no TV, no computer, no nothing. But fate had decided otherwise and forced me to listen to the stories of George of the Jungle, who seems to have missed out on the concept of “be beautiful and shut up”. Eight hours of non-stop blabla. I have to say he lost my attention after his tirade on zoophilia... And the worst, yes the worst, is that after this unloading of atrocities you look at him and think “how hot is this guy”! Ah women, go figure... 


During our scrabble games, my friend and I observe Georgee gardening fervently. And between games, we watch him catch cockroaches to feed his scorpion and frogs, frolic in the river, carry bamboos, respond to the smiles of the blushing Indian girls... Ah Georgee... Who also refused to answer to this sweet nickname of a “failed Tarzan”! 


There is nothing like speeches on organic farming to calm raging hormones... I had indeed chosen the guesthouse of an organic plantation run by a couple of botanical researchers (a Canadian of Indian origin guy and his Indian wife) who fled their Delhi lab to see how agriculture works in real life... We learn that extensive monocultures and pesticides destroy the soil, the ecosystem and our organisms. And the proliferation of coffee plantations in the region threatens the natural habitat of elephants, pushing them to attack the fields and villagers. We also perfect our herpetological and subarachnoid culture. Which did not prevent the eyes of my friend's to spring out of their orbits whenever they locate a huge hairy spider while she is quietly reading in bed! Or call Georgee to the rescue when a giant grasshopper decides to play trampoline on the bed! Because in addition to being beautiful, he is strolling around everywhere with his ‘girl-trap’, a small net with which he is catching frogs... 


Our hot horny male is forced to get out of his way to satisfy his sexual needs! So he invites us for a spicy rum drink by a bonfire lit up by himself, with love. It turns out that he has fallen head over toes for yours truly and... went back to his room empty-handed. Like I said, women, go figure... ;) Well, not completely empty-handed though, as I give him the end of our toilet paper roll to soak-up the souvenirs of his solitary nights! 


We heartily thank him for spicing up our jungle 3 day-stay that would have otherwise consisted only of morning treks, tasty and healthy (maybe even a little too healthy!) food, naps, games and discovery of organic farming! 


*He looks big time like Gael García Bernal.  


Coorg, Karnataka - Nov 2013


I strongly recommend Mojo Plantation, Madikeri district, Coorg, Karnataka. 

Mojo 1.jpg


50 less traveled places to discover India!

A nice article came up on (PDF version) with 50 places to visit in India – in “less travelled” places. I am half the way down the list and got good new ideas for next year trips (in bold)!!

1.     Camping in The Arid Desert of Rajasthan

2.     Eat at Chokhi Dhani and Take an Elephant Safari in Jaipur (Rajasthan) – Done!

3.     Rajasthan Trip on Bullet bike

4.     Jodhpur to Jaisalmer on Truck/Tractor trip (Rajasthan)

5.     Experience Sunburn in Goa – Done!

6.     Trek to Markha Valley (Ladakh) – Done!

7.     Experience Rann of Kutch and Gir Forest (Gujarat) – Done!

8.     Boat Trip to Andaman & Scuba diving – Done!

9.     Sikkim Sightseeing Trip – Done!

10.   Kolkata Trip – Done!

11.   Sunderbans Boat Ride (West Bengal) – Done!

12.   Munnar, Periyar and Thekkady wildlife Trip (Kerala)

13.   Rafting and Camping in Rishikesh – Done!

14.   Orissa Konark Temple – Done!

15.   Go to Gokarna and Do Nothing (Karnataka) – Done!

16.   Visit Coorg, Scotland of India (Karnataka) – Done!

17.   Visit Temples and Boulders at Hampi (Karnataka) – Done!

18.   Dasara in Mysore (Karnataka) – Done! 

19.   Experience Local Trains, Mumbai – Done! 

20.   Visit Varanasi to Experience Chaos (Uttar Pradesh) – Done! 

21.   Yak Safari in Ladakh – Done! 

22.   Wildlife Adventure Trip at Corbett (Uttarakhand) or tiger spotting in Kanha (Madhya Pradesh) – Done! 

23.   Travel in a Toy Train (Darjeeling, Matheran, Ooty and Shimla) – Done! 

24.   Spiti Valley Trip (Himachal Pradesh) – Done! 

25.   Dhuandhar Falls, Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) 

26.   Sandakphu Trek (West Bengal) 

27.   Trek to Dudhsagar Falls (Goa) 

28.   Experience Konkan Railways (Maharashtra to Goa) 

29.   Bombay to Goa road Trips 

30.   Vaishno Devi Temple (Jammu and Kashmir) 

31.   Roopkund Trek, Himalayas 

32.   Trek to Kudremukh (Karnataka) 

33.   Drive Through Forest of Bandipur (Karnataka) 

34.   Trek to Valley of Flowers (Uttarakhand) – between mid-July and mid-August 

35.   Skiing in Auli (Uttarakhand) or Gulmarg (Jammu) 

36.   Paragliding in Solang (Himachal Pradesh) 

37.   Visit Golden Temple in Amritsar & Wagah Border (Amritsar, Punjab)  

38.   Cycling in Nilgiris, Ooty (Tamil Nadu) – Done! With blue flowers that blossom every 12 years (August-September 2014 in Munnar (Kerala)!) 

39.   Backpack Across Northeast & Visit Cherrapunji, Tread on Living Root Bridges (Meghalaya) 

40.   Manali to Leh on Bike 

41.   Srinagar to Leh Bus/Truck Ride 

42.   Holi at Vrindavan (Uttar Pradesh) 


My additions: 


43.   Road trip in Maheshwar region (Madhya Pradesh) – Done! 

44.   Kumbha Mela in Haridwar (Uttarakhand) or any of the other 3 holy places – Done! 

45.   Elephant Safari in Kaziranga national park (with Rhinoceros) and trip to Majuli islands (Assam) – Done! 

46.   Helicopter ride from Gangtok (Sikkim) to Bagdogra Airport (West Bengal) – Done! 

47.   Visit a haveli in Shekhawati region (Rajasthan) – Done! 

48.   Houseboat on Dal Lake (Srinagar, Jammu)  

49.   Trek and stay in Shakti Lekti 360 (Kumaon village, Uttarakhand) 

50.   Hot air ballooning in Pushkar during the camel fair (Rajasthan) in November 


Bonus: rat temple (Karni Mata near Bikaner, Rajasthan) (done!); snake temple (Mannarasala, Kerala). 


My photos: here and there and also there. 


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