Wow!! It's been so long since I blogged. I'd really wanted to post on how I spent my christmas holidays, but as soon as the holidays were over, I became busy with never-ending assignments, projects and so on.
Anyway, better late than never. I enjoyed myself these Christmas holidays. Nada came down for a week. Most of my days were spent travelling, cooking, swimming, hanging out with cousins and simply lolling around. After many years, I got a chance to visit our family estate in Sakaleshpur, which is about 4 hours drive from Mangalore, including 1 hour on the Western Ghats. The ghats is a must-have experience. It is a series of sharp curves and turns, and the government makes the ride seem even more like a roller coaster by not repairing the roads.
It was fun on the estate, exploring the area. It was a sunday, so they were no workers around. Dad went on his own excursion, finding out which crop is yielding how much and all those business matters, and I and Umma went walking, looking at the plants, clicking snaps and trying to guess which fruit they yield. It is mainly a coffee and pepper estate, so we got to see a lot of pepper vines(oh, did you know they are actually climbers and not trees?) and coffee plants, both the arabica and robusta variety.
It is easy to differentiate the two. Coffee arabica looks bare with just a few leaves while Coffee robusta looks pretty with a lot of leaves.
Umma told me how she and her sisters used to eat the skin of the ripe seed and throw away the seed when they were small.
The coffee seeds are hand plucked,....
and dried under the sun.....
The husk(dried skin) is then removed,....
and sent to the factory for curing, that is for removing a very thin layer of skin and then roasting and grinding it.
Pepper was also a very interesting plant. First when I saw it I thought they were growing on trees.
But on looking closer, I realized that the pepper vines had actually coiled around the tall trees.
Man, they are really tall...
Then there were bananas, though they were still unripe.
The pumpkins were still in its flowering stage..
Wanna take a look at the traditional water heaters? Wood is heated under the pot in this pit...
Let the pictures do rest of the talking..
Huh...turned out to be a very tiring day. We brought a couple of pumpkins home. And just in case you are wondering what the last pic is about, it is a butterfly sitting on a dried leaf...well camoflagued..the works of God are always perfect...:)