Tag Archives: travel

2015! Trek 2

The second monsoon trek I did was to Matheran. Most people know the car route that leads to the hill station. I’d been there that way before. But this time, we trekked up the back of the hill station to a top called One Tree Hill and then to the station. And this time, unlike all the other times I’ve trekked, I trekked with a humongous group. Some 55 odd people. Between papa and me, we carried nothing more than two bottles of water, some chocolates, two caps and a tiny little rucksack. And the shoes on our feet.

It rained hell. And then it sun-ed hell. And we kept fluctuating between wet and dry and then wet again. The age group was varied, ranging from 8 to 55. Needless to say, the trek was easy. A little lengthy, but easy. The road was slippery, some waterfalls tried to challenge us but the view made everything worth it. Green, light green, dark green, leafy green, new leaf green, watermelon green, cabbage green, every green! Everywhere.

Needless to say, I made a few friends. Two boys who kept showing off all the places they’d trekked. And in one single ‘I’ve completed my one month long Basic Mountaineering Course with an A grade in the Himalayas’ I shut them up. Now I’m boasting.

Anyway this trek was beauty. I met so many people I had never met before, and met so many people from different walks of life. And we all walked this particular path together.

It took us two and a half hours of walking to get to one tree hill (not the TV series), and we never realized that we had walked that long. The mausam was just that suhaana.

We reached Matheran, ate each other’s dabbas and took a cab to the station to catch our train back to Thane.

Ye mausam ka jaadu hai mitwa!

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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! Finish One Book That I’m Writing

So this never happened.

I wrote quite a decent amount.

Then I realized I don’t remember half the things I wanted to write about.

Then I talked to my parents, and realized that it’s better to write short stories about the few things that I do remember. And I realized that is better too.

Now people who read it won’t have to read an entire novel about some girl just travelling about. As a writer, I won’t have to worry about the links between two things, or write about the insignificant things that happened between the significant things.

So now, the pattern in which I was writing is changed, and I’m going to work on this pattern and aim to complete it (hopefully) in 2016.

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 1 for 2015: MATHERAN

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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.

Indian Travel 7: Part 1- Planning!

I have a friend Shriya who stays there, in Vishakhapatnam (Vizag). Vizag is in Andhra Pradesh right next to the sea. we’ve always spoken to each other about our home towns and wanted to see them and stay with each other and experience it. We’ve planned it a billion times but never thought it would be able to come true… And finally, collecting some strength, we proposed the plan for our trip to our respective mothers. While her mom said ‘she insists on it’, my mom said ‘it’s too early to plan something’. In a way she’s right because this trip won’t happen until June, when I’m finally out of boarding. Our basic plan is that I fly to Vizag and stay with Shriya for three days, Then we both fly to Mumbai where we spend three more days. Then she flies back home.

Fingers crossed for this one!

To Do 1: Part 2- Postponement

Yeah, I know. We all hate it when things get postponing of something happens. Especially if it’s something that you you’re crazy about and something you’ve been looking forward to. But I guess it’s better than getting canceled completely eh? Anyway, with this optimistic outlook I must tell you that the reason it has been postponed is Admissions. I go home in the last week of May and admissions for Universities and colleges start a few days later. And I don’t have enough days in between. So I have to act like the adult I am soon supposed to become and prioritize. So, I am going to be good and admit that admissions are more important. And mid June I have a trip to make with my friend. So The Himalayan Trek gets postponed to the end of that month. 😥

To Do 1: Part 1- The News

I think it’s finally coming true. I’ve heard my dad’s stories about his time trekking the Himalayas. I’ve seen ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani’ where they go for a trek to Manali. I’ve also seen the Bucket List (the movie where everyone as well as me got the idea of making a bucket list) where both the men are buried on top of the Himalayas. So I’ve been wanting to go to the Himalayas for a long time. I couldn’t believe it when I read the mail! It was just an idea that my dad presented- my nine year old sister and sixteen year old me on a Himalayan trek. Just the both of us. No mom. No dad. No caretakers. Only the two sisters. In the Himalayas. With a group of other people. For ten days. As soon as I finished IB (International Baccalaureate) and came back home from boarding (that’s around June). So yeah, I went on a shrieking spree that gave me the undivided attention of all my three room-mates for two complete minutes. Then they finally came over and slapped me so I could get speaking instead of shrieking. ‘Spit it out!’, they said. And so I told them all of the above, jumping around like I was on a pogo-stick the whole time. And they joined me in too. So it was basically four people huddled up and jumping up and down in excitement. I hope it comes true. I really hope this comes true!