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Old 29th May 2009, 17:21   #16
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OT: Can you please ask Jeni if she knows any place where I can get a good pair of snake tongs and the approx cost. Need a pair badly here with so many snakes around in the estate.
You dont get tongs here you have to get them made, you only need tongs if you wanna pin down their heads, for just relocating the snake you can use a hook and a bag, shyam had one custom made and it works, let me know if you need more help i will pass on his number, he is a great guy.
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Old 29th May 2009, 17:24   #17
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We reach Agumbe by 9:30 and we see a police check post and a shop. I walk into the check post and ask for Gauri Shankarís house and they tell me the way. I go straight and then take a left about 1 KM from the check post and I am about 4 kms in dense forest, both of us thought we got lost hence headed back to the last human settlement (Little dramatic again) the check post, the guy comes along till the mouth of the forest and tells me follow the tire tracks, finally we see a man holding a torch about 4 Kms inside the jungle and we finally stop. There were jungle sounds all around us and trust me itís not for the week hearted. Cannot see a thing and finally we meet Prashanth who was holding the torch, we were greeted in nicely, Gauri was not there in Agumbe he was in Bangalore.
I had been to ARRS this January. Me and a few friends were on a tour and dropped in unannounced. We saw the famous Agumbe sunset and then proceeded towards ARRS en route Sringeri - Chikmagalur. When we asked for the address, some one directed me to a dirt track. After driving a few mins, as we were entering the forest, it was already dark and the track was getting narrower. I thought of driving back to the main road to confirm if that was the right way (I was driving an Innova and was scared that I may not be able to turn back in the narrow track). None of my friends were willing to get down and check the route ahead. Finally, I took a gamble and moved forward and then saw a bike parked on the track.

Then we found the gate and went in. We were greeted by someone (I forgot his name) and then he introduced us to Prashant as Gauri was away in Bangalore. prashant then explained to us about the activities they do and all the related stuff. He also showed us a presentation on the 'Ophiophagus Hannah' (King Cobra - for those who don't know). Finally, after talking for a while, we left ARRS amazed the beautiful location it was located in and happy with the activities they were doing.

I hope to go back to ARRS once again, this time not as a vistor but as a volunteer. But, I don't know when this will happen
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Old 29th May 2009, 17:31   #18
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this time not as a vistor but as a volunteer. But, I don't know when this will happen
PM me for more details.
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Old 29th May 2009, 18:55   #19
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Ha ha ha. You sure could expect me where there are snakes.

OT: Btw guess who visited me at 2am the same night you left Coorg? .
Wow! which one? which place (in the estate)? Boy, the ladies would be thrilled.
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Old 29th May 2009, 23:10   #20
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Wow! which one? which place (in the estate)? Boy, the ladies would be thrilled.
The cook said it was a venomous tree dwelling snake but I have my own doubts. It did look a bit scary considering it was 2am and the snake was coiled in an S position ready to strike. It was in the hall inside the house.

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You dont get tongs here you have to get them made, you only need tongs if you wanna pin down their heads, for just relocating the snake you can use a hook and a bag, shyam had one custom made and it works, let me know if you need more help i will pass on his number, he is a great guy.
Ya I know we need to get the tongs made but the quality would always be a bit shoddy. we can procure them from some place in pune but I do not have the contact details for the same. I dont need to relocate the snakes because they are all around in my estate. Just wanna catch them, admire them from up close and let them back in the estate. Of course iam not foolish enough to do that with the venomous kind until iam confident enough.
I know Snake Shyam is a great guy. Genuine, honest and down to earth. Thanks for the number offer, I do have Gowri Shankar and Gerry Martin's number already but havent used the same at all.

Btw would it make sense for you to quit your job and go to ARRS, considering the bad market phase? A friend of mine volunteered last time for the telemetry program at ARRS and her description of things there made me so jealous.
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Old 30th May 2009, 12:57   #21
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Btw would it make sense for you to quit your job and go to ARRS, considering the bad market phase? A friend of mine volunteered last time for the telemetry program at ARRS and her description of things there made me so jealous.
My friend I know it sounds kind a crazy when people speak about quitting their jobs for something this crazy, but trust me one day of snake tracking will brainwash you and help you take that decision more easily, people like Rom, Elvis and Gauri have spent their entire life for this madness. I consider myself to be a sensible guy, however since I have been there I would love to do it again and guess what if you do it for a month or two you might get paid as well , apart from that there is hardly any money you end up spending in those jungles, i will not be wrong if i say people will end up saving more in there than they do in cities. BTW Jeni wants to go to US to study herpetology, who knows I might just join in.


Day 6,

Jeni was extremely tired and wanted to do her laundry so we stayed in the hotel till 4:30 PM, after our check out we decided to drive till Trivandrum as both of us have slept enough. We reach Cochin by 12:30 AM, I decided to show her why cochin is called the “Queen of Arabian Sea”. Both of us were in a city were the roads were deserted and all I could hear was the down pour and my engine, occasionally she used to look at me if I am tired, she takes care of me a lot. We stopped at the ship yard and I show her couple of ships docked there, she had never seen all this in her life so she is again very excited, she was just like a 7 year old happy and excited. We again started driving, by 3:00 AM we reached Kollam, my home town; this is where I did my engineering at the TKM College of engineering. So I decided to take her down my memory lane. For a change I was the kid, I told her the significance of each block in my college and the crazy things I had done there during my days there. Then I took her to the place where the old men’s hostel used to be (now ladies hostel after a big riot in 2005), Then we started from there as well. We reached chathanoor and I decided to refuel, and within 30 minutes we reached techno park it was late hence cannot go inside, told her about my office and finally started driving down the bypass and suddenly I asked her if she wants to see the sun rise at very special place, She said yes and in the next 2 hours we reached Kanyakumari and gues what, i looked in her eyes and i said "sweety we finally ran out of roads". The sky was cloudy and hence cannot see the sun rise, both of us went to a nearby hotel and checked in and took a good 3 hours nap.


To Be continued.....

Last edited by pramodkumar : 30th May 2009 at 13:03.
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Old 30th May 2009, 13:48   #22
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I had been to ARRS this January. Me and a few friends were on a tour and dropped in unannounced. We saw the famous Agumbe sunset and then proceeded towards ARRS en route Sringeri - Chikmagalur. When we asked for the address, some one directed me to a dirt track. After driving a few mins, as we were entering the forest, it was already dark and the track was getting narrower. I thought of driving back to the main road to confirm if that was the right way (I was driving an Innova and was scared that I may not be able to turn back in the narrow track). None of my friends were willing to get down and check the route ahead. Finally, I took a gamble and moved forward and then saw a bike parked on the track.

Then we found the gate and went in. We were greeted by someone (I forgot his name) and then he introduced us to Prashant as Gauri was away in Bangalore. prashant then explained to us about the activities they do and all the related stuff. He also showed us a presentation on the 'Ophiophagus Hannah' (King Cobra - for those who don't know). Finally, after talking for a while, we left ARRS amazed the beautiful location it was located in and happy with the activities they were doing.

I hope to go back to ARRS once again, this time not as a vistor but as a volunteer. But, I don't know when this will happen
Oh how can i forget the stone track leading to the ARRS. For a long time we felt we were lost until we came across a govt vehicle and asked them if we were on the right track. It was in June with the rains belting down heavily and me in my poor alto abusing it to the core by making it jump on all those rocks and mud.

Prashanth is a great guy. Never got to meet Gowri since he was in bangalore, as always.

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My friend I know it sounds kind a crazy when people speak about quitting their jobs for something this crazy, but trust me one day of snake tracking will brainwash you and help you take that decision more easily, people like Rom, Elvis and Gauri have spent their entire life for this madness. I consider myself to be a sensible guy, however since I have been there I would love to do it again and guess what if you do it for a month or two you might get paid as well , apart from that there is hardly any money you end up spending in those jungles, i will not be wrong if i say people will end up saving more in there than they do in cities. BTW Jeni wants to go to US to study herpetology, who knows I might just join in.
I know how addictive tracking can be. People like me who dont do the regular kind of jobs can manage it. Just wondered in your case if it was more of an emotional decision.And yes it is true that in the jungles, or atleast at ARRS, you spend a lot less as compared to your expenses in the city. I had been planning to volunteer for the same telemetry program but my mom always freaks out at the mention of the word "snake".

Regarding your study of herpetology, I guess you cant do it unless you have a related background. If Jeni is really interested in going there then I think she can talk to a friend of mine who had spent about 6months at ARRS and later left to the US to pursue her further studies in the same field.
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Old 30th May 2009, 16:31   #23
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Thats a good novel that you have going on here Pramod. This brings back memories of my college days in Manipal and the umpteen number of trips to Agumbe forest, trekking to the ledge, staying in the night there and then trek through the Jungle to Sringeri.
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Old 30th May 2009, 21:50   #24
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Hi jeni here guys - ill be glad if you can get me in touch with your friend in the US . so that i can plan my studies aswell.
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Old 1st June 2009, 09:29   #25
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Day 7,

This day was our last day of vocation, a very strong and emotion packed day, She ask me PK tomorrow this time I will be in my train will you miss me? And thatís it, I felt so restless that I cannot explain it was like some idiot just dropped a huge rock on my head, this is one situation which I would recommend all of you to avoid, it is one situation you cannot avoid in a long distant relationship. I was so upset that I could not explain, after some silent moments we step out of the hotel. We did some shopping for friends and families, we decided we want to go to the Vivekananda rock, we went there took some pics stayed there for another 2 hours, no talks about the next day. Let me admit the truth, both of us were extremely silent with occasional glimpses and smiles, The sea was extremely turbulent like the way my heart was, they had to try a great deal to get people on and off the boat the way i was trying hard to put that stupid smile on my face as if nothing happened. At around 7:00 PM we return back to the hotel to sleep, as we had to reach Trivandrum by 7:10 for the train, but it was getting difficult from me to sleep. i dont know when i fell asleep but i knew one thing i dont want to wakeup form this sleep, cause that means i have to bid farewell, which i hate the most.


To be continued......
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Old 1st June 2009, 12:54   #26
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Day 8,

Finally Jeni woke me up at 12:00 AM she said she wanted to talk, both of us were in the balcony of our hotel looking at the sea, it was drizzling, and she pulled a chair and sat next to me. Both of us spoke till 4:00 AM and finally time for us to get ready. We checked out by 5:00 AM and were back on the road. The visibility was bad as it was raining we took couple of wrong turns and barely managed to reach station on time. All I could do is get her tickets for Coimbatore as she had tickets onwards. Ran towards the train, which nearly started honking when we were boarding it. I put her luggage at the right spot and I got down after giving her a hug, she is looking at me till the time I could no longer see her. Phew I wanted to write a travelogue and see what had it turned into. Any ways she called me immediately and asked me if she can get down at the next station. I asked Jeni time till I come to Hyderabad in Aug she said she will wait. Finally I got into the car and I realized I don’t have any money for the parking guy. Finally had to search for 10 Mins and found enough change for him. I drove down till my home finally put my bags and crashed. Woke up in the evening when Jeni called me, she said she also slept, the network was acting weird and finally she hung up. Next morning she again called me. We spoke till the time she reached home. I promised her that our next vocation will be in Goa next year (I think she will change the plan again) will be even more exorbitant but I hardly believe if anything will ever top this.
“So as I said: the journey was more fascinating than the destination”

Thanks and Regards,
Pramod Kumar

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Old 1st June 2009, 14:18   #27
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Nice travelogue Pramodkumar,
the thread requires definetely more pics than what you posted here.

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. We took our shower and went for breakfast; there were some steamed balls with freshly grated coconut chutney, my bad I forgot to ask the name of that dish, .....
Probably you are referring to KADABU, made of steamed rice flour.
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Old 1st June 2009, 14:48   #28
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Nice travelogue Pramodkumar,
the thread requires definetely more pics than what you posted here.
I was more into completeing my side of the story, the pics will follow soon.
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Old 1st June 2009, 16:34   #29
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Well written travelogue. Can you please share more details on the road, time taken, distance etc? Also did you stay in ARRS? Is this option availabe to all
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Old 1st June 2009, 17:24   #30
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Well written travelogue. Can you please share more details on the road, time taken, distance etc? Also did you stay in ARRS? Is this option availabe to all
traveled close to 3000 Kms over all, It was a very spontaneous plan hence the time taken will not be of much help, Yes we stayed for a night at ARRS, they just have only one cottage so you might have to book in advance i saw couple of other places in and around which offer home stays, don’t have their contact numbers though. They have a lot of bunk beds and the cost is INR 450/head/day (even for the cottage), all inclusive. if you go as a volunteer the cost comes down. If you stay there for 2-3 months they might pay you as well. They generally do not appreciate tourists as it’s a research station.

Last edited by pramodkumar : 1st June 2009 at 17:27.
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