Category: India


Prague, my home for 1/3 of my life!

Prague, my home for 1/3 of my life!

I have had an amazing year since my family and I left Prague on July 31, 2014. In August 2014 we went to Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro. We visited Amber and her dog Paws, in the beautiful Slovakian countryside.

Amber's garden

Amber’s garden

We swam in the sparkling Adriatic Sea with our friends in Croatia.

The food was delicious! We swam and ate and ate and swam.

The food was delicious! We swam and ate and ate and swam.

We drove to some interesting seaside towns in Montenegro, and we swam in the beautiful Bay of Kotor.

It was hot and the water felt good!

It was hot and the water felt good! The dog liked it, too.

You can read more about our adventures in Montenegro here:

https://globalnomadfamily.com/2014/08/16/the-bay-of-kotor-montenegro-stunning/

We visited our Indian friends, Sally and Ram, in Slovenia. They took us to Lake Bohinj, and we had a delicious picnic.

Too cold to swim.

Too cold to swim.

Then we flew to the USA in September and visited friends and family in six different states over the next two months. We visited our friends in Oregon. We visited Auntie Robin at her amazing cabin in the mountains, in California.

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We stayed at my little cousins’ house in Indiana. We played legos, and went to the zoo. I had a surprise early birthday party, and I got Angry Birds Star Wars telepods.

I was so surprised because it was a week before my birthday!

I was so surprised because it was a week before my birthday!

We visited my Grandma, Grandpa, and sister in Wisconsin. We stayed at our friends the Zideks’ house. We spent time with friends and family, and celebrated my birthday two more times!

We went out for Mexican food for my birthday!

We went out for Mexican food for my birthday. Not my best photo!

We stayed at my cousin Morgan’s house in Minnesota, where we played Gamecube Super Mario Sunshine and card games.  Then we visited my grandparents, uncles, and aunt in Texas. We went to NASA in Texas with my uncle and aunt.

The original control room for the Apollo missions.

The original control room for the Apollo missions.

In November we flew from the US to Prague, and we stayed there a week. We stayed at the Antblads, our good friends from Sweden. We visited my wonderful school. I met my old friends, including my friends David and Robbie. I was sad to leave my great friends.

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We flew from Prague to Dubai, and we stayed a few days with the Bevans, our British friends. We swam and played in the Persian Gulf. We saw a camel racing farm in the desert.

I wish we could have seen the camels race!

I wish we could have seen the camels race!

We went by elevator up the Burj Kalifa building, the tallest building in the world. It is 2,722 feet (830 meters) tall! We saw dozens of the tall, modern buildings. You can read more about our adventure around Dubai here:

https://globalnomadfamily.com/2014/11/23/beaches-camels-and-sand-dunes/

Good-bye, desert!

This is us with our friends, the Bevans.

Next, we flew to Bangalore, India and stayed with our friends, Martha and Susheel, at their farm. They have five cute dogs, and I liked playing with them. I walked the dogs almost every afternoon by the lake.

On the farm

On the farm

We went to Susheel’s second farm in the countryside for a weekend. On the way we saw many interesting animals. Indian food is the most yummy food I have ever had.

On the way to Susheel's other farm.

On the way to Susheel’s other farm.

We visited other friends at their 40 acre farm called Bamboo Banks, located in the jungle. We stayed in a small, cute cottage with a garden. I swam in the pool while Mom was reading in the hammock. I jumped really high on the trampoline.

The horses came by for lunch while I swam.

The horses came by for lunch while I swam.

One morning the monkeys woke us up when they were playing on top of our roof!

One morning the monkeys woke us up when they were playing on top of our roof!

On a jeep ride we saw deer, peacocks, wild boars, and monkeys. We watched the elephants eat their food at the elephant camp.

Sometimes we drove really fast!

Sometimes we drove really fast!

So close! We had to be really quiet.

So close! We had to be really quiet.

You can read more about our adventures in the jungle here:

https://globalnomadfamily.com/2014/12/27/bamboo-banks-paradise-in-the-jungle/

After Bamboo Banks, we stayed three weeks with Granny Ingrid. Every morning Dad and I went swimming in Granny Ingrid’s pool. The Zideks, our American friends, came to Granny Ingrid’s house for Christmas. On Christmas morning I opened my presents. Then we went to a party with fancy cars and delicious food. India was the best vacation ever for me. We spent six weeks in India, and I loved it!

 

Granny Ingrid

Granny Ingrid

Last Christmas I was really into Super Mario Brothers!

Last Christmas I was really into Super Mario Brothers!

On the way with our not-so-fancy car. Seatbelt laws aren't the same here!

On the way with our not-so-fancy car. Seatbelt laws aren’t the same in India!

 

This was at the Christmas Day lunch party with Auntie Ingrid's friends.

This was at the Christmas Day lunch party with Auntie Ingrid’s friends.

We  moved  to Turkey in late December 2014. In Turkey I  went to a new school . We love having guests and showing them cool places nearby.

 

Termessos!

We hiked up a mountain to see Termessos!

We like going on boat rides with guests!

We like going on boat rides with guests!

 

There is a nice beach here, too.

We went to Side to see the ruins. There is a nice beach here, too.

My cabin. I shared with three boys.

I went camping twice in Cirali; once with my school, and once with our church. This is the cabin I shared with three boys.

The mountains are not far away.

The mountains are not far away.

It has been a good year.  I like living in Antalya.  I like the mountains, the nice breeze, the sea, and the ice cream (dondurma). You would love it if you came here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main House, outdoor sitting and dining area.

The main house, outdoor sitting and dining area.

We recently spent a week at Bamboo Banks, which is a 40 acre farm in the jungle, at the foot of the Nilgiris in the Mudumulai Game Reserve. Bamboo Banks is owned by our long time family friends, the Kothavala family. Siasp and Zarine Kothavala started Bamboo Banks forty years ago.  Siasp now runs the guest house with the help of his son, Zerasp, and daughter, Shahanaz. I’ve been going there since I was a kid for family vacations, and the place is full of happy memories for me.

The drive to Bamboo Banks takes about six to eight hours from Bangalore, depending on traffic. The drive through the countryside is full of interesting sights.

Banyan tree.

Banyan tree.

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Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is also a declared Tiger Reserve. It’s in the Kongu Nadu region of Tamil Nadu, and shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala. The Wildlife Sanctuary is home to endangered species including the Royal Bengal tiger and Indian leopard.

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Mudumalai National Park is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Looks like he is posing!

Looks like he is posing!

Bamboo Banks is a magical place, with lush greenery that is beautifully landscaped. Zarine Kothavala was passionate about gardening, and you will see her beautiful touch throughout the property.  There’s a donkey and his three horses that roam the property, munching away and keeping the lawns nicely trimmed.

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There are also two emus, several turkeys, pea hens and ducks that wander about the property!

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You can also watch the monkeys play in the trees and around the pond.

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One morning we awoke to monkeys scampering on the roof of our cottage! Another night I watched spotted deer eating the grass just outside the bedroom window. We often heard animals calling in the night.

This was our cottage, called "The Annexe".

This was our cottage, called “The Annexe”.

Guests are warned to stay in their cottages after dark, as animal do come on the property. There’s an electric fence; however, there have been a couple of occasions when elephants have come on the property. Recently one came to eat up Shahanaz’ vegetable garden! Ask Zeras to show you photos on his phone of the…interesting…evidence left behind by an elephant in front of the main house.

This is the cottage Andy and I stayed in when we came in 2003,

The Brick House: this is the cottage Andy and I stayed in when we came in 2003.

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Zerasp took us on two different jeep rides on the property, one in the day, and another in the evening.

Thankfully for everyone, it was Zerasp who drove us, not me!

Thankfully for everyone, it was Zerasp who drove, not me!

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We saw saw spotted deer, wild boar and a peacock.

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When we went again in the evening, we saw more deer, wild boar, and a stunning sunset from the tree house (marchan).

Going up the tree house earlier in the day.

Climbing up the tree house earlier in the day.

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Guests can also purchase a jeep jungle tour in the early morning or in the evening, just before dusk, when the animals come out to feed. Two different sets of guests were lucky enough to spot a tiger while we were there!

One day Shahanaz took us to see the nearby town of Masinagudi and the surrounding countryside.

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We also stopped to see a local temple.

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Another evening Shahanaz took us to the Elephant Camp in Mudumulai to see the elephants getting fed just before dusk. Wild boar also flock down to see what scraps they can find. On the way back we saw a bison along the road!

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Bamboo Banks is a place to relax and unwind. There’s a lovely pool with out door seating, hammocks and a swing. There’s also a trampoline. Adults can relax while the kids happily expend their energy!

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One afternoon the donkey and his three horses arrived to have their lunch by the pool.

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My favorite view by the pool:)

My favorite view by the pool:)

There’s also a kids’ play area with swings, a merry-go-round, teeter-totter, trampoline, and slide.

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There are also ATVs to ride around the property.

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The food was amazing! Guests are always served multiple dishes at each meal, with a wide variety of Indian and European food. We will be working on losing the extra weight for weeks to come!!

Every meal was a feast!

Every meal was a feast!

The dining area: a great place to enjoy delicious food and nature at the same time!

The dining area: a great place to enjoy delicious food and nature at the same time!

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We spent seven wonderful, relaxing days there. It was hard to say good-bye. Thank you to Siasp, Zerasp, and Shahanaz for yet another amazing visit to Bamboo Banks. We are already looking forward to our next visit! See the link below to book your stay!

http://bamboobanks.com/index.html