As I had wished for in the last post of 2012 here, I did travel a lot in 2013 and importantly to newer places making new friends and discovering a lot on offer. Let me summarize it monthly on how the year unfolded...
January: A quick visit to Ooty (the queen of hills) for some birding around the area with buddies, was a very fast one indeed and the only group outing for the year! Blowed away by the endemics seen but disappointed by the way the Ooty hills are being razed down!
February: A new vehicle adds to the stable replacing the old. With that, a weekend getaway visit to Kolli hills, a discreet place with some amazing hairpin bends to counter and for the first time the married person in our group came along with his wife! A nice outing but sad to see the litter all around Kolli hills.
March - April: Almost dry months with not much of traveling except some birding trails in and around Bengaluru to Nandi hills and other places.
May: 5 years of blogging and a reason to celebrate. Been a fantastic journey so far. Invited some wonderful bloggers to guest blog for me. Honored to have hosted them here.
June: Attended the lone bloggers meet for the year, missed attending many others!
Plans and arrangements for Valley of Flowers were all done and had to be shelved due to the devastating floods that shook Uttarakhand. Disappointed!
Attended a 'frog' workshop at Bisle Ghats conducted under the guidance of frog expert Dr. K.V. Gururaja, courtesy buddy Avinash Kannammanavar.
July-August: Monsoon mania at Agumbe at Gowri's place (much awaited).
Certified as a volunteer from the KEDB in association with JLR after attending their two part week long course at Bandipur. Learnt many a new thing in the week spent and made some new friends.
September: A first time trip towards Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (Bheemeshwari).
A week long spiritual drive along with family covering BR hills, Coimbatore, Guruvayoor, Janardhana, Varkala, Kanyakumari, Totadri (Nanguneri), Rameswaram, Madurai and back home spanning 2000kms. Loved the drive all the way!
October: Dasara festivities and multiple sojourns towards Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary covering Bheemeshwari and Galibore regions. Catching up with travel freak Amith Kumar triggered off mutual interests to an all time high.
Visited Ganeshgudi for the first time in the year along with a vociferous group, had a blast throughout. Sadly, only one visit to our favorite jaunt in the year.
November was a busy month
Nandi hills and Maidenahalli for birding along with Amith and other people.
One weekend in and around Mulki (near Udupi) for some wonderful coastal birding.
The last week entirely in Andamans, yes a much awaited and longed for destination visit along with Kesava. Maiden dive under water was the key highlight for a non-swimmer.
December: A weekend visit to Kole wetlands and Chavakkad beach (in Kerala) for some more coastal birding and a day outing to Makalidurga and Nandi hills yet again!
New places were visited this year and many new contacts and friends made, blogging has been slow, as you see the Gujarat Diaries is yet to finish, that means the content of 2013 is completely pending!
As the calendar year changes to 2014, I hope to visit newer destinations, indulge in more adventure activities, travel a lot more and well travel and keep traveling :)
Before I close, didn't participate in many contests due to lack of time and creative mind, and pleased to be recognized amongst several giant bloggers (see the badges at the end of the page).
As always, the audience of this blog has been a great source of encouragement and support, wish to offer much more in content of this beautiful world and take you along on virtual journeys.
Do drop a note if you have time, encourages me all the more :)