At 1pm Joshi, our driver, met us as planned for the 3 hour drive from Ooty to Mysore. Really the only reason to include this in our trip was the fact we enjoyed visiting the town so much last year.
We had booked into the Radisson hotel and were pleased to find they'd upgraded us to a Superior room with a view over the garden/pool and the racecourse in the distance. We then regretted only booking for one night!
This was the view from our bedroom window
We headed straight out to walk around the back streets where the local school children had changed out of uniform into traditional clothing and were keen to chat with us.
This is the side of India that we love … meeting local people and just experiencing the sights/sounds. We've visited so many beautiful temples and buildings during previous visits that we deliberately didn't arrange to see any more this time
These two girls spoke the most amazing English - quite formal and 'old-fashioned' as they told us it had been a pleasure and privilege talking to us. We generally carry biro/pens to hand out to the younger children for their school work but these two girls asked if we had any 'coins of the realm' they could have. Sadly we'd left our English cash in the hotel and only carried rupees but I did find a 1 penny coin tucked in the corner of my bag. I was a little embarrassed to give them such a paltry sum but they were happy enough .... I guess it'll form part of a school project or something.
Each town we've visited seems to have different animals wandering the streets – all have cows and dogs but Ooty had masses of donkeys and ponies. I think we spotted around 50 at various times whilst Cochin has scores of goats wandering the streets.
Mysore has lots of cows and we were intrigued to see that this one had metal shoes on its hooves – I've never seen/heard of that before?
Cows generally wander wherever they please in India it seems, although many of those we saw on the back streets of Mysore had rope halters and were more closely regulated than usual. I was 'chatting' to one cow when the owner turned up and shouted - I thought he was angry with me but turned out another cow was chewing my shoulder bag and I hadn't noticed! They're so cheeky and not at all wary of people or traffic.
Many, like these, have their horns painted in bright colours
Just park yourself anywhere if you feel a bit tired!
Many of the houses here have intricate designs chalked on the doorsteps and surrounds- each morning the area is swept and washed and new chalk applied. We were told the reason for this on a previous visit but I've forgotten ... I think its a good luck talisman
and ornate carvings/small temples like this can be found in even the poorest streets
We had an early meal at the local restaurant we loved so much last year ….. its very, very popular with the locals who either sit inside at tables or drive in and get their food served on trays in their cars. There is a uniformed attendant with a loud whistle (very important man) directing cars in and out of the car park so a continuous movement of people. We sat and ordered our 3 curry dishes, 2 flatbreads and large bottle of water then were joined by a young couple and their 2 little boys who kept us amused.
We tried very hard to eat with our fingers like the locals but when you're not trained to eat this way its impossible to keep the curry sauce from dripping down to your elbows! We gave in and asked for forks so ended up doing half & half with fingers and forks.
David reckons it was the best meal of the trip so far – all vegetarian but lots of flavour. We ended up getting more flatbreads to soak up the gravy and the whole bill was around £5. Its a great compromise, stay at a really nice hotel in Mysore and eat 'street food' with the locals ….