All posts filed under: Anita Recommends

Links on where to, how to, what to… relating to travel, food & wine, adventure, cycling, trekking and all the things I love to do!

Thanksgiving and what I’m thankful for!

I’ve been meaning to write more, but right now life has turned a bit topsy turvy again. Plans have gone out of the window. But life kind of tends to be that way for me, I’ve noticed. So just because it’s Thanksgiving today, I decided to look back on the last 10 years and my travels and adventures. Just for fun. It was hard to choose of course, but here are a few highlights. I definitely have a lot to be thankful for!  2008 My first experience at self supported cycling through the state of Goa A glimpse of the working life of women in rural Kerala on a photography assignment A young kid along with his grandfather in a sunflower field in Karnataka 2009 More explorations of Kerala on a bike recce trip for Muddy Boots, which has now become a major player in adventure tourism 2010 More explorations of rural Karnataka – spent many happy hours on my trusty Trek cycle with wonderful friends 2011 A time to chill and a beautiful hike …

Picture postcard Albi-Ville

Landed in this charming little town yesterday and walked around the cobbled streets on a rainy evening. The town’s main feature is the Saint Cecile cathedral, which is the largest brick cathedral in the world and a UNESCO world heritage building. It’s been rather gloomy but I plan to venture out today, umbrella in tow, of course!  Please follow and like us:

Under Canvas in Zion

Starry nights and the glamping experience with Under Canvas, Utah

A road trip covering four national parks – Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce and Zion – gave us the opportunity to go “glamping” in Utah and we found the perfect location – Under Canvas A recent road trip saw us journey through four national parks in Utah. We began exploring Canyonlands, and the Arches (which are in the same vicinity). From there, we drove to Bryce and after two days, continued to Zion. Though there’s tons to write about and share about the trip, what I wanted to do is write about the fantastic place we stayed in. The concept reminded me a bit of the tents in Jungle Lodges back home in India. If you’re looking for a camping experience, but with comfort, look no further Under Canvas is a “glamping” alternative to camping, or staying in a hotel (or B&B). The first location we stayed in was located near Moab town in Utah. Though it seemed remote, the site was just off the highway, so you can actually hear the sound of cars whizzing by. …

For the love of Mustard

You either love it or hate it… The smell could make you go into raptures. The taste will leave you longing for more. It’s the rather strong sensory experience called mustard. Or as they say in France, ‘moutarde’. While the western palette might be used to the slightly blander version of the French mustard, the Bengali version is definitely stronger and more potent. One can liken it to the ‘wasabi’ taste as a comparison. Good mustard should get into your nose and leave with you a feeling of sheer (culinary) pleasure. Widely used in Bengali (and Assamese) cuisine, mustard gives a fresh and unmistakable intense flavor to dishes. Teamed with fish—it’s what we Bengalis and Assamese folk crave as our comfort food. The cheery blue and white interiors of the restaurant, as we walk in, are a bit Mediterranean, but we’re assured we’re in the right place as the sign says ‘Mustard‘. The fare is Bengali and French. Might sound a bit surprising at first. But then, they are both cuisines which are centered around …

Mammoth Lakes Adventure: The Walk

This picture pretty much sums up the challenge that lay ahead of us. The swim was done and I had survived the biking – it was now time for the final leg. A couple of days ago, on the way to Mammoth Lakes, we took Tioga Road that goes past Tuolomne Meadows and then reaches the top of Tioga Pass. From there, we descend towards Lee Vining. This is the same road that we’re going to be walking. Except in the opposite direction. So I’d already had a glimpse of what I’d signed up for. When I estimated the number of hours when I signed up for the event, I thought 4 hours. On day 3, I wasn’t so sure. I had survived the swim and the bike ride. And walking or running after biking is always the toughest for me. I was glad I wasn’t doing it all in the same day. (At least, not yet!). The Tioga Pass Run/Walk is advertised as 12.4 miles and “one hill”. The walk/run had 3,162 feet of …

Mammoth Lakes Adventure: The Bike Ride

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, they say. And I’m hoping it’s true. After the swim, having been sufficiently nourished and rested, we land up at the bike venue at 8 am in the morning. It’s pretty cool, but the weather forecast promises a warm day and I discard my wind cheater at the start itself. I have arm warmers which I hope will do the job. There are around 400 riders at the start point. An impressive turnout for an event in this part of the country. Mammoth Lakes is a little town in Mono country, surrounded by mountains. The 100 mile riders started off earlier – at 7 am. Bike rides are always unpredictable. You could be feeling fit and fine at the beginning and then like you’ve gone through hell and back a couple of hours later. Or you could start off feeling crappy and then blossom, like a flower, your legs opening up as the miles add up. Thanks to one tough practice ride a weekend prior, I was feeling …