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Old 6th March 2010, 12:01   #256
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Will do. As soon as a biker or an autorickshaw bumps into the car from behind (which happens once in 6 months in Bangalore), I will put the sticker on the bumper.

Coastal TN Kerala Trip Continued:

Pic 1: We find a lodge, dump our luggage inside and talk a walk on the beach. A boatman offers us to take us deep inside the sea to see the corals. We accept the offer and climb onto the boat.

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Pic 2: The boatman says water depth is over 20 ft now. Binny looks on nervously, holding the boat with both his hands, as it rocks & rolls. Jagga (who can't swim but claims that he can "float") can barely control his excitement.

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Pic 3: After 20 mins on the boat, deep inside the ocean, the boatman says we've reached the corals. Water depth now is hardly 4 ft. Jagga jumps out of boat into the water claiming "I saw something in the water". A little mermaid perhaps?

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Pic 4: The boatman yells at the two and calls them back. He pulls out his state-of-the-art snorkelling equipment from an old box like a rabbit out of a hat. Jagga looks like a big housefly wearing the diving mask (the boatman didn't give us the snorkel).

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Pic 5: I look like Sylvester Stallone because of my strong physique. But I wonder if my nose should be inside the diving mask or outside. Since I used to weigh only 52 kgs in 2006, the waves in the middle of the ocean would push/pull me around. I could barely stand. I quickly clambered onto the boat and stayed there.

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Pic 6: Binny & Jagga look for treasure in the dark & murky waters. After 15 minutes, they get back on to the boat with cuts on their legs (corals are quite sharp).

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Pic 7: As soon as we back to the shore, it starts raining heavily. We quickly get into our cheap lodge.

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Pic 8 & 9: Cheap it might be, but it had 5-star views of the marina & the sea.

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Old 6th March 2010, 16:57   #257
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loved your narration style. especially the caption for the photo on the pambam bridge

which part of bangalore do you stay?
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Old 6th March 2010, 19:35   #258
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Thanks Ray! I stay in Nagarbhavi and my office is in Basaveshwarnagar. How about you?
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Old 6th March 2010, 19:40   #259
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Sad. Corals die if one touches them. It's a big crime in US to touch corals. It takes millions of years for corals to form. They die with a single touch.
So your friends stepping on the sita's necklace effectively have killed them.
I don't blame your friends. I blame the stupid tourism dept who needs to spread the awareness for people who snorkel.

Your nose goes inside. There's atube that goes in to your mouth through which you breathe. And your physique is better than Stallone's. I'd give a million bucks to get a physique like that on the photo. I used to be 50 during college. Now I'm 80. I have my own flotation devices below my chest!
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Old 6th March 2010, 20:32   #260
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Oh! We actually had a talk about it on the way to the corals. But then, the only sure knowledge we had was corals are alive - nothing more than that. Are the corals that sensitive?

You will be saddened to know that pieces of corals are sold in Rameshwaram souvenir shops. This we knew was wrong!
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Old 6th March 2010, 21:22   #261
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Quote:
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Oh! We actually had a talk about it on the way to the corals. But then, the only sure knowledge we had was corals are alive - nothing more than that. Are the corals that sensitive?

You will be saddened to know that pieces of corals are sold in Rameshwaram souvenir shops. This we knew was wrong!
Yep. Pieces fetch anything from a few hundreds to 1000s. It's a racket and the govt is sleeping over it. Some of them are sold as religious artefacts which idiots buy thinking they are actually jewels worn by Sita

As I told you, it's not your friends to blame. It's the tourism dept which works hand in glove with these culprits in exploiting the whole scenario.
To top it, the govt sleeps over it.
What more can be said with the current govt dredging that area in making a shipping line that opens up our private ocean space to public, destroying flora and fauna and above all, serving no purpose, in eating up 3000 crores.
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Old 6th March 2010, 22:30   #262
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Here is an article on the effects of humans touching corals. All that Punya we earned when we visited Meenakshi Temple has gone down the drain.

Hands Off Diving: Research on the Effects of Touching on Corals

Apparently, they don't die immediately. But touching corals might make it vulnerable to other dangers they face naturally. Any other article on this issue?
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Old 6th March 2010, 22:43   #263
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Don't worry about the punya part. What your friends did was out of ignorance.
True the corals don't die immediately. But the death process is triggered with a touch.

US is tough on this.
http://coralreef.gov/intro/coralpupdated.pdf will leave you speechless.
You touch a coral, you are in for a very hefty fine and may be imprisonment as well (as I was briefed before my atlantic snorkelling trip).
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Old 7th March 2010, 12:00   #264
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TN Kerala Coastal Trip Contd:

Pic 1: Looking at all those shirtless men's photos above must have hurt/damaged your eyes. So I'm putting up a photo (taken from Wiki) of my favorite actress to provide visual relief.

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Pic 2: By the time the rains had stopped, the sun had almost set. We decided to drive down to Dhanushkodi, about 10 km from Rameshwaram. We heard that one could see lights from houses on the Sri Lankan side once we get to Dhanushkodi.

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Pic 3: The road to Dhanuskodi from Rameshwaram is truly incredible - you have the sea on both the sides of the road. At some places, the sea/beach is just 20 ft from the road on each side! Unfortunately, our camera couldn't capture the road well because of poor lighting. But once we got to the beach at Dhanushkodi, we managed to capture the lights that the sun made after it had set.

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Pic 4: And no, we couldn't see lights from the Sri Lankan side either. We spent a couple of hours on the beach, took a holy dip (Dhanushkodi has a connection to Lord Rama - don't remember what exactly) and came back to Rameshwaram at around 8:30 PM.

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Pic 5: Horror of horrors - there are no restuarants open at this time, except for a State Tourism Dept restaurant. There were hundreds of people inside this restaurant, and we had to stand near the kitchen with a plate to get our fried rice. The next day, we flee Rameshwaram and head towards Kanyakumari.

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Pic 6: We plan to hug the coast on our way to Kanyakumari and are rewarded with tree lined smooth roads.

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Vid 1: We had bought a conch at Rameshwaram, and we all try blowing our own trumpet, with varying degrees of success.



Pic 7,8,9 & 10: We reach KK late (again), after sunset. Unfortunately, we couldn't get on the boat to the Thiruvalluvar Statue/Vivekananda Rock as it was a bit too late. We take their photos against a backdrop of a raging sea.

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Old 7th March 2010, 23:36   #265
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Thanks Ray! I stay in Nagarbhavi and my office is in Basaveshwarnagar. How about you?
Sarjapur Ring Road and office is in Electronic City. Quite the other side :(

BTW, enjoying the log thoroughly, continue please.

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Old 8th March 2010, 00:02   #266
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Loving this thread to bits - your style of narration is great (as is the visual relief )!

Cheers!
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Old 8th March 2010, 00:13   #267
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This is a coastal South India trip by bachelors, and we are heading towards Kerala beaches now. So its better to grab some protective eye wear

Quote:
Sarjapur Ring Road and office is in Electronic City. Quite the other side
Believe it or not, there is a east-west divide in Bangalore. There are many who have no clue where Nagarbhavi or Sunkadakatte is. Meanwhile, I have no clue where Hennur Main Road or Adugodi is. Actually, I rarely go beyond MG Road - because it takes 2 hours for me to get to The Forum on a weekend.
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Old 8th March 2010, 11:29   #268
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Pic 1: Usually, when we are sitting on the beach watching the sunset, we go into philosophical mode and talk about the true meaning of life. But this time, we wondered if we would ever go on a long road trip togerther like this ever again. Binny had seen and liked a girl, and his engagement was on the cards. As it turns out, this was actually the last road trip for Binny.

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Pic 2, 3, 4 & 5: We capture a few images of twilight, sea, rocks and the clouds before we leave for Kovalam in Kerala.

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Pic 6 & 7: It was almost 10:00 PM in the night when we got into Kovalam. We take a resort closest to the beach. Only in the morning the next day, we realize that we got ourselves one of the most beautiful inexpensive resort.

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Pic 8: We head for the beach with all our gear.

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Pic 9: We all jump into the water. But the sea is quite rough. Jagga goes a bit farther into the sea than the rest of us. Then suddenly a big freak wave hits us. Jagga is pulled into the sea and is unable to swim back to the shore. A lifeguard senses trouble and throws an air-filled rubber tube at Jagga. He latches on the tube and the lifeguard pulls him ashore.

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Pic 10 & 11: Meanwhile, the same big freak wave lifts me up and slams me on to the beach. I sprained my leg for the first time in my life - oh man, a sprained ankle hurts! We quickly get back to our resort - we deduced that Kovalam sea likes Jagga very much (tried to take him in) but spit me out (the sea doesn't like me much).

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Old 8th March 2010, 11:50   #269
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I'm not very sure about unauthorized workshops. Sometime back, I got all the dents removed and painted by a local workshop - and the paint quality was very poor. So I've decided to use local workshops only for dent removal.
Post in TBHP when you are ready for the paint job, you should get better deal and finish without any heart burns
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Old 8th March 2010, 11:54   #270
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Will do. What would be your guesstimate on the cost? Will the colour be an exact match of the original "Blazing Red" colour?
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