Tag Archives: experience

2015! New Trek and Bike Ride

One of the first treks of the year was to Karnala. It’s a small fort in the middle of a Bird Sanctuary, and is known to be most scenic during the monsoon!

Oh, and it indeed was.

As soon as the rains hit Thane, we decided to go trekking. AND include a bike ride in it. So it was three bikes – my boyfriend and me, my boyfriend’s friend and his girlfriend, and one of my guy friends and another of my girl friends. Respectively.

We left about 6 in the morning when the first thing we did was fuel up. The next thing was to make sure we had everything we’d probably need on the trip. Lastly, was to actually leave. The total road trip was about 3 hours one way, and on our second hour on the road we were hit with rains. It rained so heavily that we couldn’t see, couldn’t go beyond 50kmph and were soaked. In the last third hour, the sun hit us so strongly that we were dry and about within 15 mins. I guess the 10 min break for breakfast helped. That too was chai, bhaji, and misal pav. Perfect!

By the time we reached the bird sanctuary gate, we were dry, and ready to climb up the fort! Which we did. Hardly took about two and a half hours, including photographs and everything. Once we were up, we had a running race, some falling on rocks, some climbing up rocks, some holding the railing and crawling up because the height was scary to some. But most importantly, we made it to the top of the fort and had a great view as a reward for our efforts!

Aaaand, then the rain hit us. Again. Luckily we managed to find a cave, and that’s where we settled. Like cavemen hiding from nature’s wrath. And what do tired and soaked cavemen do? Eat. We eat. For lunch, we had banana chips, chakli and some soy sticks. And raw mango juice special in India (called Pannah).

When the rain finally stopped we realize the trouble we were in. The rocks were wet, and there were little waterfalls running down them. Like it was easy climbing down without all that water. But we managed, sliding down rocks like we were in a park. And when the rock part was over, the mud trail started. And that was just some gooey mush now. Every step was like a risk- a risk that the foot you were keeping down would slide so much that you would be doing a full split without meaning too, and that’s how your body would get split in two and you’d die.

Sorry, that escalated quickly.

So basically, we reached the base having a lot of fun. By the time we were done, we were a bunch of pigs who just had a mud bath. Once we cleaned ourselves (by standing under a tap) we were wet once again. Luckily, we knew this would happen and had carried spare clothes. We changed, ate at a restaurant, and rode back. Needless to say, we were too tired to say much when we got back and just went home and hit the sack.

2015! Learn One New Skill : Mountaineering

I’m sure mountaineering counts as a skill. Well, it is a mix of multiple skills that makes it one humongous sport.

I did my Basic Mountaineering Course this year in the summers, and I definitely learned some skills.

How to tie knots. How to rappel in different ways. Rock climbing holds. How to pack a mountaineering rucksack evenly. How to wear a harness.

How to walk without looking up. How to lead people through a route. How to not cry though your body is aching and is telling you to give up. How to march on even though you have period cramps, a heavy rucksack, and no oxygen. How to sing your way through pain even though you have no oxygen. How to sleep in a sleeping bag. How to save water and food. How to understand who will be willing to help you even though there’s nothing they would get out of it.

How to help people without expecting anything in return.

How to live every moment.

How to make friendships and experiences and memories.

How to live.

2015! New Place 3: North Sikkim

As a part of the mountaineering training that I underwent in Darjeeling, we were shifted to North of Sikkim to train in the Sikkim Himalayas. We took buses from Darjeeling to a place in North Sikkim called Yuksam (this is where we would trek up to base camp from). As weird as it was, all the height that we had landed on when we came to Darjeeling was lost to Sikkim as we descended to almost sea level. Which was ridiculous, and irritating, and hot. So hot. We were very comfortable in the Darjeeling cool, breezy weather that was stolen from us in the Sikkim heat. We literally rolled up our pants and sleeves as we got down in Jorethang for our lunch. We went to this restaurant called Big Belly and ordered a mismatched lunch of parathas, momos and thukpa. When we were returning, we went to the same place again. From Jorethang, we stayed at a little village called Yuksam, where our buses abandoned us with only our feet as the only means of transportation. For five days we trekked up to the base camp. For seven days we trained at the glacier. Two days to come back to Yuksam. And in all that time, we were in North Sikkim, experiencing different parts of it and almost at the border of Nepal. Often we had the guts to look up from our trekking path and watch the surroundings, and we couldn’t stop being astounded every time. The scenery was pristine, the mountains majestic and the snow impeccable!

North Sikkim? Definitely something you should visit…

2015! New Place 1 for 2015: MATHERAN

IMG_0002

People usually visit Matheran on long weekends during the monsoon or winters. And I didn’t quite do any of that, as usual. I went in hot summers, just for a day. As it often happens in trips like these, everything went wrong. First, everyone was tremendously late. Which is quite alright if you are tuned to the Indian Standard Time. Second, we boarded the wrong train! Reason for this foolishness- the person who was supposed to know which train we should be boarding told us to climb the wrong train. Apparently, he was in the illusion that the wrong train was the right train, and so we had to wait for over an hour at some random station, return to where we began, and take a new train. We wasted over 4 hours in this nonsense. Then we took a car up to Matheran, walked through a deserted hill station that was out of business in this heat, and sat somewhere to eat Biryani. Biryani which had long overshot our budget, and wasn’t digested by our tummies due to that very reason. Then we walked around some more, singing the song Pompeii by Bastille (I had the very feeling that they portray in the song), then just took random pictures in the camera to immortalize the amazing journey we had survived together. Then we decided to take the toy train back to civilization. Except the toy train that we thought would take an hour to reach down took around 3 hours. The time we reached Neral station was the time we were supposed to reach home, and the girls started panicking. Most of us had lied at home about where we were going. We were supposed to reach home by 7, and there we were at the toy train station. We rushed to the non-toy train station and caught the earliest train possible. We jumped into the train, and made all kinds of plans to con our parents, in case any of them asked where we had been. Plans, plan Bs, back up plans, all ready, we left for home. And our parents didn’t even care.

The conversations of this trip stayed in our whatsapp group, the photos shared and then saved somewhere in the corner of the phone’s gallery. And then we just stopped the mention of this trip, a bad memory.

At least the next time I go there, I will know the mistakes that I don’t have to repeat.

Foreign Travel: Part 1- Recognition

I saw pictures of Salzburg on ‘http://bucketlistpublications.org/2014/03/26/i-have-confidence-in-me-that-youll-enjoy-the-sound-of-music-tour/’ and while going through that post I realized that I had recognized every place, the scene that is played out there and the relevant song or music. Oh, the joy! I am complete Sound of Music fan. To the extent that I take to singing My Favorite Things every time I feel down! Some of my friends called me Indian Maria, thanks to my short boy cut that accentuated the look. Just looking at those pics, made me feel SOM-sick, and I think I’m going to put it on my list of Must-rewatches… Even though I have every moment in the movie by heart. Also, for this little English advertisement-making assignment we had been given, I made it on the Sound of Music, assuming that it had completed 50yrs of release! 😛

Drooling in dreams for this one!