We made it!

We made it!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 16 Walk from Bidadi to Bangalore

Last night we had our farewell dinner for our friends Nicola and Eibhlin. We decided to go and have a pre-dinner drink at the leisure bar. Once again in its day it would have been a thriving little hot spot in the hotel. Unfortunately it continues the theme of a ghost resort with no water in the water feature, dusty glasses on the shelves behind the bar and generally a very run down area. Regardless we all had a great chat about the girls Indian adventure and shared memories and experiences of their time here. Indy and Mags dressed up nicely enjoying their time with the big girls. Meanwhile Gus was on his scooter dodging bats, looking for bugs and spiders and generally being a boy. He came up to me and said he had a splinter, there was a little bit of blood on his finger, nothing serious. Then he let on that in fact he had cut his finger on a blade, which seems unthinkable really, but this is Gus. He took me over to the water feature, which was basically a small tiled plunge pool really with no water in it. On the base of the pool there it was, a razor blade. I immediately grabbed nurse ratchet and we both had a mini meltdown thinking about what could be on the blade. So I was sent down to retrieve the troublesome object. It was dark near the pool so I couldn’t see very well. I jumped over a bar on to some steps which decided at that moment to give way and my foot went straight through the step and grazed right along the top and up my shin. I had fallen through the stairs and in the process done a little bit of damage to my leg. Anyhow I climbed out of the steps, over the railing and into the pool to retrieve the blade. Fortunately it was a new blade, no rust, blood or any other visible problems. Back to the room for some first aid, Gus first who was very brave as Bec doused him in every type of antiseptic she had available and taped up his little cut on his finger. In the scheme of Gus and his injuries this is very minor and had we not been in India we wouldn’t have probably done anything with it, but we are in India. Next Bec turned her attention to me with three bloody grazes on my foot and shin. She took great pleasure (I think) in applying some antiseptic to my cuts. I wish I could say I was as brave as Gus but he was witness to his father’s screams of agony as Bec worked her magic. Gus too showed some Ratchett tendencies as he was wanting to get in there too and apply some pain to his dada. Fortunately that was the end of the drama for the evening, we returned to the abandoned restaurant and enjoyed our final dinner. This was not Bec’s favourite place to stay, in fact the worst we have encountered so far and obviously far from its best.

Today the walk team included Popsy, Nicola, Eibhlin and myself for the first leg. We decided that Indy should take it easy today and Maggie was still asleep when we left. We made ourselves some porridge today and were on the road by 7.30am. Poor Raju was just getting out of bed when we got to the car at 7.20am so he quickly got himself dressed and we were on the road. The walk this morning was again quite basic and straightforward. We are on the road to Bangalore so it is basically a highway walk, not much in the way of villages and the scene getting more urbanised with each step. We stopped for our best coffee of the trip at a small roadside shop. Nothing flash, a clear glass with a beautiful milky coffee inside. Eibh gives Popsy some last minute stretching advice as we wave to all of the school kids on the buses going by. We hear word from the girls that they have packed up and are on their way. Sure enough just up the road a few hours into our walk the bus pulls up and we do the changeover, Eibh and Nicola say their goodbyes to Popsy and myself and Indy jumps back into the walk team. We have walked about 15km and there is another 20kms to Bangalore at this stage.

The three of us continue to walk as the girls and Gus head to the hotel, or at least we thought. As we progress we hit the city fringe and with it comes the smog, the dust, the traffic and the poor footpaths. Bangalore is known as the garden city and I remember it to be that from our trip here in 1996. Now it far more resembled the concrete city with a monorail under construction and roads being built and changed seemingly everywhere. It was not an enjoyable stroll into the city. We hear from the girls that they are caught in a gridlock traffic jam and going nowhere. The plan was to check into the hotel, for Nic and Eibh to have a wash after their walk and then head to the airport. Now the plan was to try to get the girls to the airport in time for their flight. Unfortunately they would not get time for their shower today. We also realised that Raju would not be back to collect us for several hours so after a quick drink stop we press on to find a spot in the city for a break. Again unfortunately we find our way into a labyrinth of construction zones and traffic gridlock, to which we as pedestrians do not fair high on the priority list. A friendly police officer helped us cross one road but after about 15 minutes of very cramped and dusty traffic I suggest we jump in an auto and head into the city. Popsy had a better idea, lets just head to the hotel.

We find ourselves a new auto and a driver who spoke English very well. He agreed to take us back to the hotel, using the meter which is not our usual experience but a welcome option. We were all very pleased to be out of the dust and into our brand new auto that was darting its way through the traffic very effectively. Even the auto driver joked the garden city was more like a concrete city! He took great pleasure in pointing out the major attractions on our route as we headed to the hotel. The drive all up took over an hour as the hotel we are staying at is out of the city near to the international airport. Our hotel appeared like an oasis as we drove along a very dusty road, nothing really resembling our hotel anywhere and then as if out of nowhere the sign for the ‘Angsana Resort’ appeared. As you pull through the gate you immediately enter another world of green grass, coconut trees and a very expansive garden. We were very relieved to see Raju there meaning the rest of the team had also arrived.

We have made it through 6 consecutive walk days, traversed almost 150kms and made it to our Christmas rest stop. Here we will recharge, give the kids a chance to have a swim and rest their bodies and minds and share Christmas together. My sister Kate and her kids Ally and Max will be here soon and we are all very excited about their arrival. The kids are planning a special welcome at the airport with flower garlands, welcome signs and a small welcome ceremony. We hear from Nic and Eibh that they made good use of the butt washer at the airport to clean what they could and were enjoying a relaxing drink as they waited for their plane. You can tell the kids are all very excited about the coming days and particularly some time by the pool. They are busy choosing which room is theirs, we have for the first time on the trip a 2 bedroom apartment and the girls ofcourse choose the master bedroom and are busy organising their gear in the walk in robe. Bec and I are relegated to the loft bedroom, which we are not unhappy about.

The girls and Gus order up some fries and well all take a breath and relax. Jen and Nick are right next door and we know we are in for a nice stay here.

No comments:

Post a Comment