Sunday, November 08, 2009

Moonlight Barbeque

With the Ferraboli barbeque imported from Italy, we set off on a moon lit night to put it to test. It was a challenge to get the fire started. We went the Keralite way of firing up with the dry coconut shells. We managed to get the fire started!

Menu : Fish and Chicken

And of course the thirsty ones had to be served ...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

A day at the Quarry

(click to view larger image)

My First Attempt at HDR Images . . The Betahalli Menhir !
A Bottle Opener!

The Lion Face ..

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shanghai Salsa Night

This weekend was all about Latino passion at the Shanghai Salsa. A nice chilled out restaurant in Indiranagar. Another two drinks and we could tango! We chose to sit at the lounge on the 3rd floor. The mattress type seating with pillows were inviting after a hard day at work. The food was finger licking good. The momos just melted in the mouth. And the Salsa . .

Salsa has long been a popular dance in Europe and America. Off Late, in Beijing, Shang hai, and Hong Kong it has become popular. It is a combination of Latino Dance which includes: Mambo, Rumba and Cha-Cha. The good part about Salsa is that it’s easy to learn and its fun. As an instructor stated, “If you just take a one hour beginner’s lesson, you will be able to try and dance freely.” Anyone interested ?????

A 20% discount if offered to folks from the hospitality industry on Monday. Tuesday offer is for media folks. We managed a 15% after sweet takling to Xian :)

At the end of it all, there were two Cuban White Rum Coasters missing!


Saturday, July 04, 2009

On a dark full moon day to Skandagiri

Friday's are always eventful and happy Days :) This Friday proved to be a thriller as well.
Usually a trip sheet would attract about 10-15 enthusiasts, but this one was a super whammy with a sign on of close to 100 trekkers. Most of them first timers! The challenge was to organise a 100 people to trek on a Full Moon night and, when on Friday morning, the rain gods decide to play spoil sport. We were hoping for drop outs but the crowd stuck to the challenge. We were prepared for the harshest of weather. Torches, warm clothes, water bottles and energy bars were all in the back packs.

At 12.30 in the dead of a rainy Friday night, we are at the base camp. The town and people around are asleep. But we are greeted by the forest guard who was expecting us. He was accompanied by 4 policemen who stopped us at the gates. They would not allow us to enter the forest at this unearthly hour.

For any first timer, to go to Skandagiri, you do not need permission to trek the mountains if you are a small group of trekkers. You just need to ensure that you are a group of at least 5 and you have enough armour to trek in the bushy hills. A forest guard and a few policemen hang around as usual expecting their palms to be greased. A few stood negotiating with the cops.

What you need to note is that the trek from the base to the top of Skandagiri takes approx. 2.5 hours with stops on the way. And if its a rainy and windy day, then its not advisable to hang around on the summit for long as it tends to get really cold. Be prepared to carry enough warm clothes if the weather is cold.

Since the cops held us back, we had to kill time at the base camp. We walked a few meters away and set up a bon fire to keep us warm and engaged until the cops and the forest guard gave up at 3.00 am. At 3.00 am we divided ourselves into groups of 10 with a leader in the group who would ensure that the group was together along the trek and each of the trekkers helped the other in case required. A forest guard led the first batch of trekkers and the rest of the folks followed. As we walked along the path, the torchlight’s came on, first the initial ten, then another batch and then another, soon it seemed like a trail of fire flies in the night. GPS applications were turned on. The altitude and the distance were being tracked. As the trekkers progressed, the terrain started to get tougher. The rocky terrain had started to slow the trekkers already. Narrow paths along the hill meant that we could only trail each other in a single line. There was chill in the air as we began to climb the hill. There was chillness in the air and slowly the jackets, mufflers and the caps came on.

The girls were not far behind than the guys. They were equally paced with the guys. As we gained height, a few felt the pressure build and called for frequent stops along the way. IT was cold and chilly, the wind blew the mist across our faces. A few who had capes on the jackets pulled up and strapped up to cover the face. IF you stood to relax on the way here, in the gusty cold wind, your sweat would cool and you would begin to feel colder. So it was better to keep walking up the hill.

GPS check along the way showed up that we had trekked about 2.5 kms up the hill we had more to go..

Armed with a torch light that can light up a few 100 meters, we moved on. The cold wind blower much harder against us now ..

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Spice Route

Once upon a time, the remains of the great traveller Vasco da gama  lay here in the small port town of Cochin (Kochi now). Vasco da gama the famous exporer set sail from Lisbon in july 1497, heading east. At  that time, it was believed that the Indian ocean was not connected to any other sea. Some interesting facts and highlights from history:

* Many of his crew died from scurvy, a disease casued by the lack of Vitamin C.
* He brought along 20 armed ships in 1502 to fight the traders who resisted him in India.
* The port city Vasco da gama in Goa was named after him.
* Vasco Da Gama dies in Cochin on the Malabar coast, India on 24 December, 1524

The St. Francis Church where Vasco da gama's remains were buried until they were exhumed and transported to Lisbon.

The place of burial. Vasco da Gama died on the eve of Christmas ...

The picture of the inside of St. Francis Church.

Portuguese cemetery Kochi, Kerala.

Portuguese architecture still seen in the parts of Kochi, Kerala.

Modern day 5 Star Plus luxury cruise "EUROPA" at the port, Kochi  2009.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An egg a day!

Eating an egg a day does not increase the risk of heart diseases or stroke, they say... But for for a 50 million dollars an egg, one might just kick the bucket !

The cost of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. . . Anyone seen a dime ???

But our Thursday Egg Cult members carry on the "Egg Series"..

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Masterpiece

The most beauticul and evocative masterpice from the Vijanagar Empire - Hampi.