Sunday 7 October 2018

Weekend away and Cobra Drama!

Weekend away 

We know that there is beautiful countryside outside Bangalore and so decided to go and visit it. There were 3 families of 4 split between two cars So 6 adults and 6 children.
The first hour of the journey was spent getting out of Bangalore and the second was admiring the very green scenery. We passed through a village where they produce silk, starting from the silk worms themselves. and we could see the frames that held the cocoons and ladies unravelling the silk.
As we approached the village where we were stopping for the night, Andrew reminded Arjun that the last two kilometres would be bumpy. It was a single track more suited to tractors and not cars. Arjun was very worried about the car and was silent as he negotiated the uneven road. It was so bad that when we got there the other car had a slow puncture. Arjun declared that if we came here again he would drop us off and suggest the tractor come and fetch us.

We checked into the little cottage which was clean and tidy. There was a sunken area in the middle of the room with a hole in the ceiling so that if it rained it would fall into the room. We had an unusual shower room (no hot water) and an area outside to sit and admire the hilly view. Max and Milo had two mattresses on the floor, just like the local Indian people.
view from the top of the water tower

The complex was spaciously laid out with lots of outdoor sports ( mud volley ball , baseball, swimming pool , children's playground) and indoor games such as pool and table tennis.

We went on a tractor ride (very bumpy), cut the grass with a scythe and fed the cows. The food was Indian but very good- they did non spicy for the children. There was a campfire in the evening and the French people there treated us to some French songs.

local people carry the grass on their heads to the cattle.

After a good nights sleep (no TV and no internet, Max was gutted!) we got up to join a guided walk by 6:30. Just as well it was early as it got really hot. The walk was 2 hours long and basically uphill for one hour and then downhill for one hour. It was beautiful from the top. Max moaned all the way but was pleased when he could get a signal on his phone.

Early morning walk

Andrew found a snake skin and the guide showed us some scraped areas where a bear had recently been.

On our evening walk

We decided to leave late Sunday morning after a swim and breakfast so that we could get back to Bangalore and have lunch on the way. As we were leaving, we noticed the guard on the gate had a huge stick. He informed us that it was for the snakes, especially the cobras, which was rather a bad omen and leads me to the next Cole drama!


An indian cobra

On Monday tea time, I was going to the kitchen, when through the dining room french doors, I could see a huge snake stretched out along the ground- about 1.5 to 2 m long. Not being too fond of snakes, I started to scream "Snake! snake!"
 As the boys didn't know where it was, they jumped onto the window seat in the front room! (quite sensible really) 
My screaming had scared the snake away but I walked through to the washroom behind the kitchen and there I could see it through the door mesh. It slowly slid under the paving slab next to the door. By chance, Andrew had arrived home and he and Arjun came to look. We focused on the slab and a little frog hopped out. No-one believed me!
Arjun took me and the boys to the dentist and Andrew stopped and watched the slab. 
When we got back, the snake had popped up from the slab and put its chest-hood up to Andrew in defence mode. Milo was convinced that we were all going to die and promptly demanded that he be taken to his friends house out of the way. Max ran off too. 
We needed a plan of action.
Andrew called three different snake catchers but they were elsewhere catching snakes. So Arjun, our gardener and another man who, appeared from nowhere, set about flushing out the snake. Apparently, Arjun wasn't convinced that it was a dangerous snake, but when it appeared and reared up, he declared it to be a cobra! 
After much commotion, yelling, several sessions of the men running away down the passageway, the snake was held down by the broom (Arjun) and put into a bag then a bucket with a lid. Andrew was helping by shining a tiny torch ( we don't have a big one) and yelling be careful. I stayed inside shrieking when they yelled. 

The three of them took the bucket to the local lake and released the snake. It is illegal to kill snakes and in the Hindu religion they believe in praying to the snake, so it had to be saved.
On their return, the three of them were laughing at their near miss at being bitten. Andrew, who is as cool as a cucumber and never panics, said that his heart was pounding when the snake escaped from the broom at one point. He gave them some beer money for helping.
We have since had all the holes in the garden filled with soil and an awful smelly powder has been put down that it supposed to ward off any snakes. The boys have been banned from playing in the garden.

Fingers crossed it does the job!

Update ! April 2024

  20 people sharing 2 menus! When we go to a restaurant, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to keep a straight face so that we do not ups...