2011 was the Year of Crazy Times.. as always

Friday, January 06, 2012


So we all had a great year, did lots of travel, took lots of photos and met lots of people. I’ve had a similar year but it’s no fun reading about all the good stuff. So here’s my sarcastic take on what I did in 2011.

They said watch, because it is special. So turns out that was the last sunset of the decade and the next day’s sunrise would be the first sunrise of the next decade and all that jazz.  That was how New Year’s Eve was spent, freezing in the deserts of the Rajasthan. Then I thought I had enough of sand, let’s get an overdose of salt. So where did I go, to the salt flats of Rann of Kutch. Salt on my face, salt on my camera, salt beneath my feet, salt in the air – mission accomplished!  Somewhere along I pretended to be a detective too, talk of wishful thinking!

Pristine Dunes around Desert National Park

That was January, and since I am so good at keeping my promises I swore to myself that I will not make that next trip until I sell some photos or articles from the Rajasthan trip. I almost kept my promise till February end but who am I to break the tradition of breaking promises. I had some weird idea of fun, to float in ruins of a church, to camp in the car by the roadside on a highway, to touch three states and three National Parks over a period of few hours - all of this in just under 36hours. That was February.

The road through Nagarhole National Park

Come March, I was again under another illusion that the summer heat will keep me home. I was dreaming of blogging regularly, processing hundreds of GBs of photos and then god laughed at my plans. Since three hobbies weren’t enough and since they weren’t taking up all of my time, I had to add another to the list – cycling. Despite all that travel and photography I was under the illusion I still have money left and I went ahead and bought mountain bike as well. You read about that killer ride, remember? This was the month where the moon would be closer to earth and by some logic I figured I’d shorten the distance a little more by climbing some hill top, but only after riding in the dark, being chased by countless dogs, disturbing entire villages in the process and grilling kebabs at ungodly hours of 4AM.

Cycling down from Nandi Hills in the dark after the Super Moon Rise!

What kind of a biker are you if you never really crashed, so it was time, to fall from the bike. I forgot what these things called brakes do ever so conveniently on just the place you might really need them, on a steep curving downhill ride. You know what happened again, don’t you? ;)

Cycling along the KamRaj Sagar Dam in Ooty, before the fall
And because Ooty was graced with my presence and Munnar was feeling bad or so I assumed, I went cycling to Munnar as well. Munnar treated me well. It asked me to go to Thekkady on cycle for a joy ride, and then rolling terrain happened. Nobody had really tested my patience for a long time, so it was time to take the test, 110kms of ups and downs on a cycle. Turns out I barely passed. Also turns out you don’t go to lakes on foot. Apparently you have to cycle through fields. That was April. The only thing missing in all this grinding was a bloodbath, so we went and fed the leeches to their heart’s content on a trek that didn’t happen to be.

Misty Kukkal, in the surroundings of Kodaikanal

The crazy ride from Munnar to Thekkady started on a pleasant note, like this

By May, I somehow manipulated all that I saw to be signs from the Universe telling me to cycle in the Himalayas. As a preparation for that we celebrated a mass tire puncture ceremony on the Hesarghatta Lake bed, a whopping 6 out 7 cycles punctured. Spending the day fixing punctures is so much fun, no really! Oh meanwhile I also thought what would be more fun than a summer trip to the hottest place, so spent a week in Tamilnadu.

What was left of Hesarghatta Lake, in the far left corner was where we had the tire puncture ceremony

Sunlight streaming through Madurai Meenakshi Temple, during Summer

I was rather sane in June, did a small trip to Hampi where we spent more time eating and drinking than sightseeing. Oh wait, did I say sane? He he! 

Craziness was at its heights in July. Once in Spiti, first I thought let’s cycle, then I thought not! Then I thought let’s drink, then I thought let’s fall sick. Then I thought let’s walk then I thought screw everything and came back running home. Then I thought why I came back so thought let me go somewhere else. Then I thought let’s go somewhere where there are bad roads, mountains, rains and landslides and no tourists! So much for the want of adventure!

Magical Land of Spiti

Fantastic landscape around Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim

August and September were quiet.

Missing the flight once wasn’t enough. I had to do something else too. Check in and Board a flight 10 minutes before departure, true story! No seriously, totally filmy ishtyle running in the airport and all that! But before almost missing flight, first I had to see the pink flowers and only pink flowers, only to not find flowers after a straight 16 hour journey. And because I didn’t get to see pink flowers I went to see the waterfalls in October.

Four waterfalls in two days, Unchalli Falls gushing to glory

Morning in the forest of Corbett

Walking on mountains was getting too boring it seems which is why we did a dash along the west coast. Walked 41 kms on the beach and on the rocks! Later that week, I got chased by wild buffalo and as if that wasn’t enough, the next day was the day of hiding from the lone wild elephant. That was November.

Light Painting along the beach, where we camped for the night, Gokarna to Honnavar Beach Trek

The ranges as seen from Ballarayana Durga Fort, on a trek to Bandajje Arbi Waterfalls

After such rocking time, the last trip had to bring in a greater surprise. As I wandered along Varanasi and Orchha, I was asked to shut up twice, no kidding! I know how much I can talk and I know how irritating it is when I hear someone yaps non-stop. I guess the last lesson I learnt from the year was to put these two together and stop yapping so much. ;) And December's gone just like that.

The famous ghats of Varanasi

That was 2011! After all these crazy times, what beats me is I actually found company to do all these things. The world is full of crazily awesome people and here’s to a crazy year and hoping for more fun times in 2012. 

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11 comments

  1. Wonderful travel experiences. Wish you a happy and travel filled 2012!!

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  2. awesomely crazy post :) keep the craziness up in 2012 as well!

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  3. awesomeness!really like the last 2 lines!

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  4. OMG!! How awesome are you! :)..In love with you :)..beautiful beautiful pictures!

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  5. what a year it was!!! and one of the best parts of it was meeting you and all the other bloggers!!! just hope this year gives us as much and more in terms of travel, excitement and adventure!!

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  6. Trip every month of the year!!...Awesome..hope you better that record in 2012 with 2 trips every month :).

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  7. Wow and superwow - I thought I travel a lot - but you enjoy it as well! What do you do?

    And your photographs are simply beyond words!

    Gouthami

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  8. You must have had a great year, judging by your notes and the pictures, especially the pictures! I wish I could travel as much as you, it must be amazing!

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  9. awesome photos,
    i think you should choose your profession as phtography
    there is life in all of them

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  10. ## R Niranjan Das - Thank you, same to you! :)

    ## Sandeep - I know, seriously crazy year. Thanks! :)

    ## Blogging Ibex/Neha - Nothing beats having company to do crazy things, cheers! :)

    ## Ana_treek - gee, thanks much! :))

    ## Anuradha Shankar - Amen to that, let's all travel much much more this year. It was wonderful meeting you. :)

    ## Prashant - ha ha, planning to lay low in 2012. So two trips a month would really screw up my resolution. But hey, resolutions are meant to be broken I guess, thanks! ;)

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  11. ## Gouthami - Thanks for stopping by! When I'm not traveling or dreaming of travel, I work in the IT Industry. :)
    he he, I do enjoy my travel a lot, but here's another perspective - http://www.travelwithneelima.com/2011/01/travel-and-not-so-pink-and-rosy-side-of.html

    ## Poland Wanderer - Thanks much! :)

    ## Anonymous - Thanks, that is the long term plan. :)

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