Friday, February 23, 2007

A travelogue...

Met Popli online, where he shamelessly marketed his blog to me...:)...waise you should read it, he's been going on some amazing rides on his cruiser bike- and he's written some really good accounts of his trips...

Reminded me of a travelogue I'd written earlier, about a trip to Rishikesh and Auli, 19th - 23rd Feb 2005.Here it is...

hey kids...frm 19th to 23rd i'd gone on a trip with sum ppl here in
IIFT....this is a lowdown abt the trip...

a little inflatable tube struggles with the elements...

11 of us, totally bored with absolutely nothing to do , decided that
it was time to have some last gasp fun before we're sucked into the
whirlpool of jobs, life etc etc.
so at 430 in the morning we pushed off in a couple of qualises towards
some adventurous fun...first stop Rishikesh.
Rafting is an absolutely fantabulous experience !!!....those valleys
and mountains are beautiful and the weather was so brilliant...a
drizzle of rain , dark dusky atmosphere...a quick flowing
river...foaming rapids and ominous rocks protruding from the vibrant
water surface...

after an hour of playing around on the riverside ..stuffing sand down
everyones clothes and splashing around in chillingly cold water
(remember Manali??)...we finally wore our lifejackets and
helmets...picked up our paddles....and heaved to!!!

the rest of the experience i cannot describe..if i could put those
brilliant adrenaline pumping moments into words....i'd be an
author..or better still a poet...all i can say is that evryone needs
to experience it...its a brilliant feeling..water crashing all around
u..sheets of water hitting u as u try to struggle against the demonic
force of water and propel ur life saving raft forward over rapids
named colourfully like "double trouble", roller coaster"..etc etc...

the first time i hit the just took my breath away...we were
swirling around trying to push the boat forward as we were lashed
again and again by water...we twisted and turned...jumped up..and
plunged down...absolutely awesome...

this was a 12 kilometer stretch and quite frankly..i recommend rafting
to everyone...

after this tiring yet exhilerating experience...we cooled down and
continued onwards on our journey ...we drove some more and stopped for
the night at a town called Garwhal...nice place

the day was mostly spent in travelling...and towards the evening we
finally reached our ultimate destination..Auli..a ski resort high up
in the garwhal region...beautiful place...absolutely wonderful
view...there are snow covered peaks all around...and a promise of a
beautiful skiing trip the next day..
height 9600 ft

the day started ominously, with rain pelting down and drowning out all
hopes of was a big dampener, cos we all were so pumped abt
the skiing thing...
but as is often seen in the mountains , the weather cleared suddenly
after a couple of hours and we decided that come wht may, we were
going to ski !!
whew the boots u have to wear for proper skiing are HUGE and very
awkward to walk with...infact wearing those shoes and walking to the
ski chair lift was an adventure in itself!

then the open air chair lift picked us up and took us over some of the
most beautiful snow slopes , raw mountain sides and alpine vegetation
i have seen....when it was raining on our resort, it had been snowing
in the upper reaches and a layer of snow had covered all the trees
...and believe me when i say looked like heaven...the trees
were not white..they were a haunting tinge of blue and violet that
i've never seen before...amazing

we set down and wore our skis and got ready for some skiing !!...i'd
done a bit of skiing before in Manali , so this was a lot more over here the instructor let us do some actual skiing as
opposed to the "skiing for getting ur picture clicked type of skiing
in Manali"...its a great feeling to slide along the slopes unattended
(ok not very steep ones :) )..its a very liberating feeling...but it
dusnt last long..cos u end up sprawled on the snow very quickly!!

But if u thot the day had been as perfect as possible...think
again...i was trudging back up the slope after another trip down when
i felt something on my face...some thing very soft...i looked up...and
there it was...the one thing i had wanted to see for years...actual
snowfall ...a very light powdering of air brushed white flakes were
softly and gently floating down, riding the imperceptible currents in
the air....that moment is something i'll never ever forget....sigh...

after some time...after the customary snowfight, snowman making
etc..we stepped back to the chair lift that took us all back to the
resort....all in all a day that started as if it'd be the worst
possible day but ended up being the most breathtakingly marvellous day

there was another snowfall later at night with even bigger
snowflakes....the soft motion of the flakes against the dark inky
backdrop of the a totally hauntingly ethereal vision...

22nd and 23rd were basically travelling days in which we saw some more
towns...and also stopped at Haridwar on the way back...

all in all a great experience....but wudve been even better if all of
us had been together


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