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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 8 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2018/03/1978-pjc-vedders-modern-mushroom.html

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

My 4th Consulting Trip to India after HUGE Landslide

On Wednesday, January 5, 1994, we start our consulting trip to India aboard KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and with our Royal Wing Card, we both enjoyed once again an upgrade into Business Class.
Around noon on Thursday, we landed in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and after calling my Parents, we headed to hotel Ibis for some rest and a shower. 
We departed for Bombay (Mumbai) India on Friday, around 10:30 and arrived on Saturday, January 8, by 1:00 at hotel Centaur Airport, the very same hotel Pieter stayed at during his DANGEROUS solo trip (see link below post).
We did rise early as we had a flight at 8:00 to Coimbatore.
From Coimbatore, the road by car up into the mountains and instead of the usual 2.5 hours it would take us today 3.5 hours because of a detour.
On September 30, 1993, the deadliest earthquake in Maharashtra, Mumbai, presumably caused an underground long tear, so the mountains shifted.
From a distance we got to see this bare mountain side, it makes one skip a breath... 
Mother Nature's POWER.
There was another 'cloud burst' on 11th November 1993 in the upper reach of Marappalam of Coonoor Taluk, about 18 huts situated below the road and washing away Coonoor MTP ghat Road for about 1.5 km. The road traffic was suspended for more than a fort night. Twelve persons lost their live and 15 persons missing. It is said that 21 passengers were washed away with two buses. An important highway, sheared stretched of rail road for about 300m.
To the right, the landslide damage is still visible...
We both have seen the rail road, the one that we traveled once to work that stretch, was sticking up  in the air like matches! See below post about My 1st Trip to India...
Like a giant hand had stripped the entire mountain side bare, removing everything in its path...


We did arrive finally at our guest house in Ooty, Pieter was as carsick as one can get from the longer road up into the mountains.
That was on Saturday, January 09.
This guest house's shower was a rather puritan experience!
No window, but a hole in the wall, that was only provided with metal slats, which did not close...
We had a small electric heater, to turn in any case not completely blue from cold, from shower to bedroom.
This also helped us with getting into our clothes fast; just like a couple of drilled soldiers!
Keep in mind - this is HIGH IN THE MOUNTAINS!
Lovely mountains... but rather cold and windy during the night!
On Sunday, January 10, we did drive through the mountains to the mushroom farm to start our work period together as consultants.
We always enjoyed our beautiful surroundings in the Queen of Hills
Mother nature can be rough at times but when the sun shines down, it looks awesome...
People in the mountains for sure are not wealthy...
This is how they live close to that mushroom farm.
Two donkeys on the side of the road...
Yes, India is a vast country and one of many contrasts!
Looking down on the mushroom farm, visible through the trees.
And here the mushroom farm is in full view...
Of course it is hard to capture it in one shot!
We did work intensely for one week and on Friday, January 14, we left from the farm, after a meeting with the entire staff, on our way to Coimbatore.
This time we could travel via the normal route as of 14:00 o'clock that day, they had opened a Bailey Bridge, put in place by the military, to be used for light vehicles.
There was a sign: One Vehicle at a Time but we saw another vehicle coming our way!
It looked terribly scary! In Indonesia we saw more often a land slide but never such a devastation as here!
The two of us are never afraid, but we both know for certain that there is really such a thing as a Guardian Angel!!!
A miracle often, that we once again got out unscathed.
Also good to see up close such destruction from a natural disaster!
This teaches us once more very clearly, that there is still someone who is many times more powerful than we, small measly ants on this little globe.

We arrived in Coimbatore and traveled again, like the previous consulting trip together, by train to Madras (Chennai). This stretch of some 600 km we managed in 10 hours, in a first class sleeping compartment. Two rows of bunk beds for 4 people. Both of us slept at the top.
One staff member was with us and another unknown businessman.

We arrived around 5:00 and were being dropped off at a chic Sheraton Hotel (far more luxurious in India than here in the USA!).
After a shower and change of clothes, we had our usual wrap-up meeting with the general manager from Pond's India, at their main office in Chennai.
It took quite some effort and even courage for always being straight forward, but still righteous, to give our opinion about things and people. This was required of our job, being consultants...
We always felt relieved, when starting the return journey.
With our luggage packed up again, we left around 14:30 to the airport of Madras.
Flying to Delhi, first class; thus they found us worthy of that!
We met again with our contact person whom we had not seen in two years, because of our non-stop direct flight to Bombay (Mumbai) but on Saturday, there was no Bombay/Amsterdam flight.
In completing the Royal Treatment, they brought us for one night to the Taj Palace Inter Continental Hotel...
Again, such a stark contrast with so many poor people in that country, such luxury for only two people!
We got up at 4:30 on Sunday, January 16 and started our flight back on Royal Dutch Airlines.
Again we got an upgrade to Business Class, due to our Royal Wing card and flew to Amsterdam, The Netherlands and on to Detroit, MI before going to Atlanta, GA.
Back in the USA...

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related links:
Husband Pieter's DANGEROUS Trip back from India | previous post by me
My 3rd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Consulting for Pond's (India) Limited Mushroom Project | previous post by me
My 2nd trip to India - Consulting Together with Husband Pieter | previous post by me
Brindavan Gardens Mysore with Luxury Heritage Hotel | previous post by me


  1. Dearest Mariette,
    Happy New Year to you and Pieter!
    Thank you for another Post filled with great pictures and Memories of your and Piters Life!
    HAve a lovely weekend ahead,
    Love and hugs, Claudia xo

    1. Dearest Claudia,
      Thank you for your wishes for New Year.
      Indeed, another chronicle about some of our adventures and work in India.

  2. Liebe Mariette,

    ein Gedicht.
    Alles Liebe

    1. Liebe Elisabeth,
      Wenn schon ein Gedicht, dann eins über die Uhrkraft der Natur und menschlicher Verlust...
      Die harte Existenz von vielen Miljarden auf Erde.
      Liebe Grüße,

  3. Gostei de ver estas recordações da viagem à Índia e as viagens de comboio neste país é uma verdadeira aventura e aproveito para desejar um Feliz Ano Novo.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

    1. Querido Francisco Manuel,
      Mais assim é o perigo diário devido àqueles terremotos e deslizamentos de terra enormes que reivindicam tão muitas vidas...

  4. How interesting you have been. Have a nice evening Mariette!

    1. Dearest Anne,
      It sure was an eye opener to see the devastation by such natural powers!
      Also for being confronted with extreme poverty is a life's lesson.

  5. Dear Mariette,

    Must have been a very interesting trip to India and have seen some of the high roads on television shows and they look scary.
    Happy New Year dear friend to you and Pieter and best wishes for a wonderful 2019.

    1. Dearest Carolyn,
      The very first time it is interesting such a windy road up into the mountains but when it makes you very carsick, like for Pieter this time, it is not.
      We had to make a detour of an hour due to this huge landslide that had stripped bare a huge section of the mountain, no more roads...
      May 2019 be a good and healthy year for you and yours.

  6. Happy New Year and wishing a prosperous year 2019 for you two!
    Oh, we all experience some kind of disaster in our own countries, hope this year will be the safe year for all of us. Thank you SO much for sharing your trip to India; very educational for the unknown country.
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

    1. Dearest Miyako,
      Indeed, Japan knows very well about earthquakes, Tsunamis and the like!
      It is always so devastating to see the affected area afterwards and the repair of roads and railroads takes quite some effort and time.
      Life goes on... and the population in the mountains is very poor!

  7. Hello dear Mariette!
    Happy new year to you and Pieter with good health and happiness!
    Great post and beautiful pictures from your trip to India!
    It really was a great adventure for you both!
    Thank you for sharing! Have a lovely weekend! Hugs!

    1. Dearest Dimi,
      Thank you very much and indeed good health is the most important one!
      India has been a country with lots of adventures and surprises but we loved it.
      Hugs and happy weekend to you.

  8. Hello dear Mariette,
    I wish you both a very happy New Year with good health!
    Your travels to India have been rich in memories.
    Hugs and happy weekend

    1. Dearest Nathalie,
      Thank you and the very same to you both.
      Yes, India has been a chapter in our lives full of memories and adventures.

  9. Indeed, Mother Nature can be very rough at times, but also incredibly beautiful. And one country can have lot of different faces.
    Hugs and have a wonderful weekend! xo

    1. Dearest Tamago,
      Yes she can, just look at Japan what an earthquake/Tsunami combination can cause. Devastating.
      The good thing always is that Mother Nature usually heals from her wounds over time. Sad is the loss of lives...
      We have to always keep looking for the beauty of a country and seal those memories in.
      Hugs and happy Sunday!

  10. Your word "small measly ants on this little globe" is breathtaking. Your experience is precious. I think nothing can destroy a hope which is made under the cooperation of many ants.

    1. Dearest RTC,
      Thank you and that's precisely how we often felt about certain situations. It only makes you so aware of WHO really is in charge in our big universe!
      Like with the beautiful cooperation amongst ants, we humans likewise should keep our hope high; it all can be done!

  11. Dear Mariette,
    Happy New Year to you and Pieter
    I hope 2019 will be the best for you all.
    It is very interesting to see the mushroom farm and donkeys on the road.

    I am finally getting back to my daily routine. I will return to your posts again!

    1. Dearest Tomoko,
      And the very same to you and yours!
      May indeed 2019 bring us good things.
      One good thing for sure is several kind and warm blogging friends that we know over many years and you are such a treasured one.
      A post with several contrasts of life in the vast country of India.

  12. hi Mariette,
    Sorry to bother you.
    Can you please try, https://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com/
    The screenshot you sent me , I found that the URL starts http:// instead of https://
    I'm still searching the problem.
    Thanks a lot again pointing it out. XOXO

    1. Dearest Krishna,
      Just did that and YAY, it works!
      What a difference the added 's' does make.
      When clicking here above on your name and than on your Blogger profile on My blogs: From a girl's mind it goes to your blog and in the URl there is no s! Further more I get the message here in Google Chrome: not secure to the left of that URL... Weird things. You might have to look into your Blogger info and put it in there as well with the 's' added to your URL.
      At least I'm so happy for having you back on my side line after some 9 months!


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