Acres Wild
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Cheesemaking in an Indian Hill Town
India, land of color and contrast, can be a lot for a traveler to take in. The invigorating hustle and bustle of the cities can grow to be overwhelming, so every trip to India should have a mix of urban and country. After 10 trips to India totaling over a year spent there, I find that Acres Wild, an organic cheese making farm and guesthouse, is without doubt one of the most relaxing and beautiful places that I've found so far. Acres Wild not only offers the chance to learn how to make cheese, but the likelihood of seeing a variety of local wildlife on this 22 acre hill town farm. Elephants occasionally ramble through, as do wild bison, porcupine, and many kinds of birds. You'll know the bison are nearby when you hear the firecrackers go off, as local farmers try to steer them clear of their crops. The whole experience is even richer when you have the chance to talk to Mansoor or Tina Khan, the lovely owners of the farm stay. Mansoor, a well known Bollywood producer, is a passionate environmental advocate and will discuss for hours his hopes for our planet. Tina is the head cheese maker and an excellent teacher, even encouraging students to write with questions about making cheese after returning home. Getting to Acres Wild couldn't be easier. Just email Mansoor, and he will connect you with a driver out of Bangalore. Then it's just a breathtaking drive (in more ways than one), through the Nilgiri Mountains to the hill town of Coonoor.
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