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Linger Getaways

CampLinger : Campsites

Balur Estate was covered in the March'11 issue of the Outlook Traveller


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What Linger is. And what its not.

Just got back from a 3 day mid-week break at Linger with our entire family, and the in-laws.  Took the bikes, hammocks and a comfy set of spare mattresses along.

The first thing to greet us as we got there was the news that the gas cylinders had run out completely – and the particular brand of private LPG we had shipped from Bangalore had no dealers in Coorg! Its amazing the things one takes for granted. So we thought some, and asked for local advice, and figured that getting a local version of an efficient firewood stove was probably the more long-term solution, and might even have a lower footprint as compared to an LPG cylinder transported all over the region – especially considering the additional trip to and from Bangalore. So a second, firewood kitchen is being built this week right beside the house.

Next ? The power situation thats hit Bangalore so hard has not spared Coorg either. So random, long outages are the order of the day.  I’ve started to love those for what they represent – one less stimulus for our senses and the opportunity to interact with nature – see stars one has never seen, sit out in the dark and feel the pleasant breeze. Just listen to the crickets, and the noisy silence of the surroundings. Folks usually need a couple of hours to make this switch – we’re just so used to lights, television sets, updates on the internet, that it takes a little time for the meaning of the the question – do we even really really need electricity right now – to sink in. Once you get there, you let go, and appreciate the real ieda behind the name of the place 🙂

So what is Linger clearly not about ?

  • Creature Comforts ? Sure we have lots of space for you (350 sqft+ per family) and the trappings of a ‘resort’ as well – freshly washed sheets, linen, etc, but thats not the focus. We want you to be comfortable, but we did not go to hotel management schools to learn the art of formal bed-making and the like, if you know what I mean.
  • Air conditioning, backup power, manicured lawns, and sterilized surroundings. Yes, we make sure there’s enough light sources to be able to live without KEB support all night, but just enough to not totally spook your urban sensibilities. Linger’s set in a place with oodles of rural charm. And a whole lot that may initially feel different and not “tended to” – we have melded that which works out there, and interferes the least with what nature’s done, with that which makes you feel at home. Leaves fall when they fall. There’s more mud and less concrete. There will be buzzing, and even some fireflies in your room and around. Neighbours may stop by to smile. And birds will definitely wake you up rudely in the morning with their cacophonous chirping.
  • Multi-cuisine restaurant and school-trained Chef. Nopes, Girija cooks very nice, homely food the way she’s always cooked it for folks at home. Sure, we try and encourage some experimentation – quite like at home – but its a home kitchen and we are proud of the fact that it will never taste like ‘restaurant-food’. Having said this, feel free to interact and provide inputs to satisfy your palate to your heart’s content 🙂

What Linger is about :

  • Getting comfortable with how the world is. Things grow, crawl, fly, seek nectar, fall, wilt, generally go around doing their own things and look pretty doing all of this. We have a place in this space, and its a lovely feeling to start accepting this and overcoming the urge to have everything paved, cauterized, sterilized, concreted, and basically mauled, morphed and edited for our uber-safe, at-a-distance consumption.
  • Accepting a place, people, culture for what they are. A little like the last one – but more from the acceptance point of view, not from a discovery one. No they do not have tooo many shops selling even milk and curd and english Newspapers and cell phone coverage is iffy. Now think why, and why its ok.
  • Walks/Bike Rides: Harish will take you on a couple of walks, but the whole place is so vast, so pretty, so green that you’ll do well to work those legs a bit and do your heart and lungs favour while you take in the amazing prettiness all around.
  • Slowing down time. I cannot explain this one. It just happens. The breeze. A Book. A slow walk. Conversation that goes nowhere without creating loss-of-productive-time-anxiety. Anything can trigger this, and then it stays with you for a while.
  • Books. Yes, already mentioned that. But catching up with one after ages in a way that you only read in college is a very nice feeling.
  • Rediscovering hearing. I mean birds, crickets, other subtle sounds around that do not come through an electronic device, or as part of a planned conversation, or agenda.
  • Rediscovering breathing. About halfway up the steps from Talacauvery towards the Brahmagiri peak, you’ll know what I mean 😉
  • The value of yourself.

Its not the run of the mill tourist that we’ve created this place for. Its not for nothing we’re sure we don’t want to muddle the place with 15 rooms and a swimming pool and LCD TVs and perfect lawns. There’s something about doing nothing this way on a vacation that appeals to us, and that we wanted to create here. Its why we want people to stay longer. So come over. Linger.

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