The morning of the day we got to Udupi was spent at a family engagement. I was excited as this was our first trip (even if only a day) where we’d decided to entirely use public transport or autos(where unavoidable). We checked-in to the hotel and rested except for getting out of our rooms for a delicious dinner (anjal meen pulimunchi for me and roti and a couple of other dishes Anand). Next morning we were well rested and still ready by 8 AM when we headed off to Woodlands hotel nearby, skipping the complimentary breakfast at the restaurant much to the bewilderment of the staff who called us twice (midnight and early morning to check if we reallllly meant that).
We checked out and followed a map to Woodlands restaurant. Though located in multiple places in Bangalore too, Anand was particularly fond of these for the local items incorporated in their menu and the place itself. It was a restaurant at basement level with lovely wooden pillars and partitions throughout. Also on the ceiling in the centre, there are some fixtures made of glass that were also quite interesting. I wasn’t particularly enjoying a good appetite so stuck to chow chow bath while Anand ordered avalakki upma(which for some reason, I didn’t expect to be just upma with yummy avalakki on top), and mini-idlys drowned in sambar with a coffee of course.
My faithful walking shoes were to give me company all day today. We started with walking up to the bus stand and finding a bus to our first destination – Malpe to the Dariya Bahadurgad Fort we had read of online.
We had been to Malpe previously to visit St.Mary’s Island which is quite a pleasant spot. After giving the entry fee of Re.1(!!!) to the fishing port, we walked up to the boats and realised boats don’t go to the fort which was on a separate island. However, on walking back we were stopped by the boatsmen who told us they’d start immediately so decided we might as well see St.Mary’s island again. A nice ferry ride to the later, we had a pleasant time just sitting by the water, dipping our toes in, reminiscing and admiring sea shells. After an hour, the ferry got us back to the shore and we decided to get back to Udupi for lunch.
The famed Diana restaurant that poor Anand had tried to get us to try even the last time we were in Udupi, turned out to be mostly an ice cream place and we quickly made do with whatever was available. We walked back to the Udupi bus stand and then took a bus to Thimmana Kudru. The place seemed calm and green from what we’d read and was known for a hanging bridge that piqued our interest. The bus driver coolly forgot to tell us where the stop was, and we had to take an auto to the bridge. He dropped us off at a point and we continued walking trying to find the bridge for a km or more. The place itself was evocative of the backwaters of Kerala.
Coconut trees all over the place, boats floating around. We finally found a family sitting outside their home and asked them of the bridge and they directed us back to where we had gotten off the auto! Turned out it was just on the left but not directly visible from where we had gotten off. The well-used bridge was across the Suvarna river . The best part of it was that it was built by NCC cadets in just 11 days! Just shouted to us about the apathy of systems if something provided such connectivity to far-flung areas with relatively such less time and effort and yet wasn’t already in place. It was one of those bridges that were shaky as people walked on it and that made me giddy if I looked at the floor of the bridge for too long. Nevertheless, we spent a few moments watching the water from there and then made our way back.
The place itself isn’t a “tourist” place so there are no amenities/benches to sit on/clearings to spend some time. Otherwise, it was a tranquil place away from the clamour of the city. There was also a beach at the point the bus left us, but it was too hot and we were quite away from Udupi to risk waiting till sunset to enjoy it, so we decided to get back to the city.
After getting back, we had a few hours to kill till our bus later that evening. We wandered around the city and after an ice-cream heavy dinner, picked bags from the hotel and made our way back to the bus station and Bangalore.
Up next : What secrets Andhra Pradesh holds