● For full details on our route, transport info, hotel details, etc, look at our Google Maps page

Sunday, 26 April 2009


22nd to 26th April

Leg 19 – Madikeri to Mysore
Distance – 124kms
Time – 3 hours
Average Speed – 41.3km/h
Road – Half the distance on roughly surfaced back road, then the other half on brand new highway!

Winding our way slowly down from Madikeri, we sped up and slowed down as each small bridge along the road was under construction and covered in roc
ks, dirt and sand. After an hour or so, the surface improved and we took a detour via the Tibetan community at Bylakuppe for Momos. Then it was plain sailing all the way to Mysore along an empty new highway.

Finding a place to stay wasn’t
as straight forward as usual, we found that the cheap places had nowhere to park the bike. We were stalked by tuk tuk drivers trying to get commission from showing us a hotel – very frustrating when we had rode up to the hotel ourselves and we were not prepared to pay an inflated price to line someone else’s pockets! We settled on the Hotel Dasaprakash eventually – a large sprawling complex – a proper Indian hotel, catering for Indian families and not western tourists. Although the room was clean, it did remind us of some sort of institution. The attached restaurant was good though, with Thali for Rs45 with more than anyone could eat.

Mysore is a large city with several smart, cosmopolitan districts surrounding it. It was probably the cleanest city that we’ve been to so far, which made a welcome change. We planned to stay here for a few nights to relax, drop the bike in for a service and do some Yoga. As the home of Ashtanga Yoga, Sam planned on us visiting one of the many Yogashalas, but to her disappointment most of them didn’t offer drop in classes – you had to sign up for a 2 week course. We managed to find one school, in the posh Gokalum district of town, but as we were without wheels it wasn’t easy to get to. Could the bike service have been a cunning ploy by Ady to get out of doing Yoga?!

On our day without wheels we did manage to walk all around the centre of the town, taking in some of the sights, including the Rail Museum and the main shopping area. We both bought new jeans from the Levis store, for a fraction of the price back home. 3 hours were spent in various opticians, in the hunt for a new pair of sunglasses for Sam. The hunt was unsuccessful. Ady was very bored.

The following morning we felt fresh enough to tackle Mysore Palace, but upon arrival we had a slight altercation with the gate staff. When we refused to
pay the 10 times inflated price for foreign tourists, the man in the ticket office told is that we could walk in the grounds for free. As we tried to go through the gate, the guards wouldn’t let us pass without a ticket. We explained that we were just going to look around the grounds for free – they looked us up and down and tried to extract Rs100 each from us, a bribe, to which we laughed. This was still 5 times the price the locals would pay for full entry! Feeling frustrated we stomped of in search of cheaper thrills. The gallery in the Jagan Mohan Palace did not disappoint! For only Rs20 we could explore three floors of modern (?) art. On full examination of said artwork, we can confirm that it was in no way ‘modern’, but that’s our opinion – if you are in Mysore, have some time to kill and Rs20 burning a hole in your pocket, you should judge for yourself!

The next day we had the bike back, and rode to Chamundi hill, just south of Mysore, to take in the view. It was OK but very overcast, I think we were getting to the point that we are done with hills and temples and palaces… it’s been a long trip so far!

Sam got to attend her Yoga class, meanwhile Ady had to go and get the bike cleaned, because he had to do something to avoid Yoga. Ninety minutes later, the bike was still dirty as he failed in his quest, but Sam having taken a private Yoga class had been totally overhauled, limbs having been contorted into positions not thought ever possible! Ady did manage to locate a different option for dinner - Pizza Hut provided a welcome respite from the normal Indian diet! We also spotted a local clothing discount store, and picked up yet more jeans for even less than last time!

We haven’t mentioned the Hotel Dasaprakash since we checked into it. Well, as it was an ‘Indian’ hotel, the kinds of special services included were the free mandatory wake up call at 7am for Chai (even when you don’t drink it!), the laundry man at 6.30am, and the hot water for 1 hour a day between 8am and 9am, which is actually never hot. Not to mention the unruly children running up and down the corridor from 6am until 11pm… when do these people sleep?! We also returned one day at around 4pm to find a note under our door telling us that we had to change rooms. The floor we were staying on had been booked out by a group – we have no idea what would have happened had we not returned in time to move our things…! Anyway, our last night was as eventful as the rest, with power cuts, lightening storms and children keeping us awake – time to move on we think!

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