Mysore, bed bugs, and finally back to the coast
It was a long hot ride along the main highway for 2 days to get to Mysore from Ooty. We decided to spend 3 nights in Mysore to see the city and recover. Our first night here was one of the worst of the trip. We always stay in the cheapest hotels but this time we soon found it was crawling with bed bugs. After getting eaten alive we decide it was best to just sleep in our tents on the floor and find a different hotel in the morning.
After finding a cheap bed bug free hotel we set off to see the Mysore palace. It’s a very grand looking building sitting right in the centre of the city. The inside was very nice with mosaic floors and most of the walls contained large paintings, even the domes of the ceilings had clouds and stars painted on them. We received an audio tour guide and in typical Indian fashion the numbers were in no discernable order and some of them were placed in front of different points of interest, but overall it was informative and we did attain a better understanding of the history of the city and the palace.
Mysore also has a very lively market that we spent quite some time exploring. You can get anything and everything here from super sweet mangos and melons to incense and spices. We were treated to an incense making demonstration while listening to the many uses of various oils!
We really enjoyed our wanders and explorations in Mysore, but when evening came we soon realized that the bed bugs from our other hotel had hitched a ride with us. Mark got the brunt of the bites with both of his eyes so swollen he could not ride the next day!
After Mysore we started heading west and stopped in a town called Bylakuppe. Thousands of Tibetan refugees settled around here in the 1960s after the Chinese invaded Tibet and they have made this their home with Tibetan temples and restaurants serving up delicious Momos. We were fortunate enough to visit the golden temple during a religious service. The constant chanting and drums were occasionally punctuated with the traditional Tibetan horn. The mandatory silence in the monastery and the sheer number of monks made this visit very tranquil (by Indian standards!).
Alas, not knowing much about bed bugs we spent two more nights being attacked and finally found them crawling back into our bags the morning we were leaving. Upon further research we discovered they can move 100 feet and hide almost anywhere! Needless to say everything was washed in scalding hot water and our problems came to an end! We had our first bite free night six nights after encountering them!
We then had to cross over the Ghats one last time to get to the coast. Luckily there was a nice little hill station with some great views called Madikeri half way to break up the ride. We spent 2 nights here. We rode out to Abby falls for the day but the waterfall was not very impressive as it’s the end of the dry season.
It took 2 days of riding from here to get to the city of Mangalore by the coast. Its a big modern city with air conditioned malls and large supermarkets. We decided to treat ourselves to an all you can eat pizza to celebrate that we had made it over the Ghats and it would be a fairly easy 500km to our final destination.
One last thing, if you’re not see the videos from out trip yet check out the link for the videos at the top of the screen.