Spring Break 2010; Peace, Privacy, and Pachyderm Poo

We decided to see more of India on this vacation, so on Wednesday, we set out early and made our way across the river Cauvery to our first destination; The Dubare Elephant Camp, about 35 km from the resort. To be on the safe side, I took preemptive measures to avoid seeing breakfast again ... and drugged the girls and myself with Dramamine before we left the hotel.

We arrived at the camp around 9:30 am and after showing our ID cards and negotiating the local entry price, we took a small water taxi across the river, and hopped out right next to five elephants taking their morning bath. The girls couldn't contain their smiles at seeing the elephants up close and personal. Only in India could you scrub the belly of an unrestrained, 4 ton wild animal, with absolutely no regard for safety, and with little to no supervision. Though hesitant at first to get in, Sheridan for fear of getting crushed, and Riley from the floating elephant turds, they did. Albeit quickly. They were so grossed out with the poop, that it was all Matt could do to coax them in the water, splash them a few times and pose for several photos before they ran out and dried off. I can't say that I blame them.

The operable word for the camp was rustic, not very well run, but definitely interesting. We were the only Westerners there, and thus became as much of an exhibit as the elephants... with Grady in the Baby Bjorn and Riley having a complete meltdown because she had to go to the bathroom, refusing to 'go' in a bush, and finally peeing her pants in front of everyone. So much for trying to blend in... After we 'bathed' the elephants, we watched them being fed.

We opted to forego the elephant rides and instead make our way to our next location; the Bylekuppe Tibetan Settlement. This settlement is the second largest outside of Tibet and is complete with a Tibetan Monastery, 7000 monks, a Tibetan village, and a flea market. We walked through the Monastery and inside the Buddhist temple, and snapped a few photos rather quickly as it was hot, it was lunchtime, and the girls were melting down just as quickly as the chocolate ice cream bars they were eating. Maybe faster.

We spent the rest of our time on our vacation at the pool. Which is really all the girls wanted to do anyway. Swimming. Playing. Fighting. Playing. Laughing. Tattling. Time Outs. Playing with their brother. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

In all we had an enjoyable time on our vacation. The peace and solitude helped us unwind and prepare for the eleven crazy weeks ahead. As far as Indian resorts go, it was nice but exhibited quirks that at times were too much to handle. Like when I wanted to get a cappuccino. Which you can only get in the Coffee Lounge. Not in the restaurant. That doesn't open until 8:30 am. And doesn't allow kids inside as it's a 'silent zone'. And doesn't let you take the coffee out... into your room ... or better yet, even in the restaurant. Where you just want to drink it while having breakfast. Or lunch. But the Coffee Lounge doesn't stay open late. So forget having a cappuccino with dinner. Or with dessert. Because the restaurant doesn't open up and start serving dinner until 7:30 pm. So now I have no cappuccino to drink and overly tired kids who just want to eat their dinner and go to bed. And I'm now cranky too because I just want a cappuccino and to send my kids to bed, which I can't do because they haven't had dinner yet, and it's late.... and.... See my problem?

Although a little trying to get to, once you got to the resort you really felt like you were away. Which you were. Nine hours from Chennai. However, it took almost twelve to get back as the train left Mysore two hours late. And by that point, we had enough of the symphony of phlegm clearing and farting from our fellow passengers.

It was nice to finally get 'home'.

Here are some photos from our adventure...

The train ... and the potty I thought I'd have to use ...
until I discovered the Western one... which was just as 'clean'.

TGFTI (aka... Thank Goodness For The iPod) ... and for Grady finally taking a nap.

Our cottage on the left. The Coffee Lounge on the right.

Coracle ride on the river Cauvery. Hanging out in the pool.

At the Dubare Elephant Camp.

In Bylekuppe at the Tibetan Settlement.


karey m. said...

has anyone from the tourism bureau contacted you yet? because, man...you make me want to travel through india.

{i believe you hooked me with the farting and phleghm clearing line.}

let the countdown begin!

Anonymous said...

LOVE your pictures!!

Once again - I feel like a broken record - but your children are adorable!

Matt looks like he's trying so hard to get the girls to pet the elephant! So cute!

Love the comment above mine by Karey M. Too funny! Yes, the countdown has begun!

Jen said...

you guys take the best vacations.

Christy said...

What fun! Loved hearing all about your adventures and seeing these photos. I'd have been as scared as the girls at getting crushed! Good for them for getting over it!

Mom24 said...

Those are wonderful pictures! I'm glad you got this time in. I hope it does get you through the next few months.

Chiloe said...

Thanks for sharing. What a great memory for your children.

Melissa Angert {All Things Chic} said...

wow - those elephant pics are amazing! the next time we head back to India, we want to go on a safari on the back of an elephant in the tiger preserve in N India. i'm sure it sounds much more romantic and bug-free than it really is ;-)

glad you had fun!!!

(p.s. last time we took the train in india (to go see the Taj) my daughter was so afraid of the toilet that she held it for 14 hours. she was 3 LOL!!)

Unknown said...

You always do the best trips! I have missed you too... I have been horrible about blogging lately... hoping to be better soon.
I know you have to be excited to be going home.. : )

Cynthia said...

OMG...the Elephant Camp is amazing!

Teresa said...

Hey, thanks for going to Dubare. I have been looking into going myself but chickened out....now I know what I am getting into, from a reliable source!
I have to admit here...as a child I REFUSED to use a public restroom in the US. We made 11 trips over 8 years from CA to VA, by car. (naval transfers). My parents finally gave up and brought along my own potty chair...which I would use ALONGSIDE THE FREEWAY IN FULL PUBLIC VIEW. Kids are amazing, aren't they?

And look, now I live in India. Motto: "Every spot's the right spot."


Anonymous said...

Just love you .... love your retelling of a trip ... of a story ... and gosh, the phlegm clearing, farting and even the Indian way of blowing one's nose? Loveliness :)

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