Another year. Another wish-list. And a time to take stock…
2008 was a good year in terms of travel. I managed to combine my much-recommended short breaks with longer holidays in countries I have been dreaming of but never thought I’d visit so soon. 2007 had ended with a maniacal road trip across thousands of kilometers, and the strain of that kept me going for the first few months of the year!
The year’s travel started in early April with a week in Cambodia, specifically the Angkor complex near Siem Reap, with a few days in Bangkok thrown in on the way back. Angkor was as awesome as I had expected it to be; the happy discovery was the smaller, more beautiful temples in the region, like Bantaey Srei.
On the floating market
Through the window…
Happy to pose
A house shift and new job took care of the next few months, and I found myself gazing longingly at the calender, waiting for the August Independence Day weekend. Wayanad it was then, three days of absolute quiet and peace at Annapara Homestay, among the tea plantations and the misty hills all around.
A nice cuppa
Diwali saw us on a whirlwind tour of the Chola temples in Tamilnadu, with Madurai, Chidambaram and Vaideeswaran Koil thrown in for good measure.
Inside the Meenakshi temple
And then Turkey in November. A few days in Istanbul, with perfect weather and then a couple of days among the ruins of Ephesus, based in the pretty hill village of Sirince, tasting the local fruit wine and watching the sun set in the valley deep below.
Inside the blue mosque
The dervish whirls on…
Playing the game right
And a perfect way to end the year – four days over the Christmas weekend at Nandan Farms in Sawantwadi. A home-stay place promoted by Culture Aangan, Nandan Farms is a peaceful and relaxing break at its best. A morning at the gorgeous and deserted Vengurla beach, followed by an evening at Vagator in Goa filled my beach quota for the year. Just as a plug for a worthy cause, Culture Aangan has other home-stay options in the Sindhudurg region and are doing a great job of it – highly recommended for those who cringe at the mention of the word ‘resort’.
Fishermen at Vengurla jetty
A perfect morning
Coming up next is the wish-list and an update on all that has been written on Itchy Feet through the year, and that is to be written. Till then, here is to hope and happiness… Have a wonderful 2009! May the feet never stop itching, and may the purse never run dry…
And – May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions. ~Joey Adams