Sunday, December 21, 2008

Corbett National Park

I had never been to Corbett. So I was looking forward to our company team outing to Jim Corbett National Park. It was a weekend trip and was pretty good.
We started early friday night around 9:30 PM and had a fun filled ride with a round of dumb charades. Almost everyone slept after that and we reached pretty early around 6:00 AM with just one stop for Tea/Paranthas. The stay was at The Tiger's Den resort which was a pretty cozy place. It was pretty chilly at 6:00 am when we reached so we were greeted with hot tea.

After checking in our cozy room which was named BC2 (Bear's cave ;)) we left for a short trek to the river. This was the best part of our trip. River was hardly a km away and we all started clicking photos and got inside the river. The task - cross the river.
We all crossed the river and it was a lot of fun. Max depth of river was hardly 3 feet although we were told that flash floods were a norm. After around 1 hour of posing in different funny poses ranging from 'there is a tiger' to the 'censored sutta pose' we got back for breakfast.

What was next? Another planned trek organized by the Resort this time. And they were also taking us to the same place so what was the fun. We went half way. Some of us decided to go to the village where some villagers went inside the hut on seeing us. We were expecting a lassi or sth and got a cold shoulder :P. Few people got daring and thought of climbing the hill but I chose to go back :P.

The best was still coming. After lunch we had a safari planned. It 5UKK3D big time. Not that we didnt see a thing other than few deers and monkeys (oh how can i forget the cows) but even if we had seen ten tigers, it wasnt worth spending 5 hours. It still beats me why people want to see a tiger in a jungle safari, hello! what are zoos made for?

Well! we had fun in the safari. We were chatting all the way and the wind was pretty chilly. The whole experience was OK!

After coming back we had a one hour long session of Card games - mostly flash. It was followed with a bonfire and then the DJ. Lately, I have just lost the appetite to dance so I just sat and watched. After a good dinner we had a round of Uno and Flash again.

Morning was as pleasant as it could be. We went for river crossing sport after breakfast. The location was pretty cool. We had to cross a riverlet to reach there. I didnt really feel like doing the river crossing thingy (whats the fun to do same thing 10 times anyway) so I skipped it.

After everyone was done we went back to our first hangout point - the river. People jumped in and everyone got wet. It was fun. We left after 1 hour and packed our stuff to start our journey back to Noida. On the way back we stopped at Jim Corbett waterfall and it was pretty good one. We didnt have a lot of time (I guess thats the reason we enjoyed it more) so we left within 1/2 hour. It took us a long long time to reach noida (around 2AM) and we had a big round of Antakshari also which was pretty cool. Finally we were back to office on monday with pleasant memories and sleepy eyes :)).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Camp Wild near Faridabad

We had a day outing planned for a saturday. Office group - just 15 of us. The place was camp wild near faridabad. We reached in the morning after a very bumpy ride and had a couple of events planned. The place was nice and cozy. There were permanent cottages and a big big lawn to play volleyball and cricket. Nice for a evening stroll as well. Behind the camp was all empty space which looked like a huge empty reservoir. Well, After some team building (crappy but fun) things, we played cricket and had a good lunch. And then it all started.

We signed the 'its ok if i screw myself or die doing this' documents. We did rock climbing and rappelling and it was fun. This time the rappelling stretch was pretty long and scary. But everyone did ok.

Cricket!!




Just stopped for photos


Trek up for rappelling down

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trip to Nainital/Mukteswar and more

Nainital and more..

Until the last day I was not sure whether the trip would happen, but finally it did. Abhinav, Jagan and I were joined by Ankit (kaka) for a fun filled ride of 5 days and 1000kms+ and atleast 5 cities :P. We were not trying for a record or anything. But so it happened.

We had two dusshera holidays and Sourabh's brothers wedding was on wednesday so we started early wednesday morning on Abhinav's car and reached Rudrapur by afternoon. The wedding was in the evening but by the way we were sitting idly in the hotel at 8ish doing nothing (ahem!) it looked like we had no intention of attending the wedding we came for :P. Finally we got ready and went to the venue which was more lively than any wedding I would have attended. The gathering was just huge and dance floor was never empty. It started raining heavily around 1 and we left just before 'feras' started at 2 AM.

After saying the final goodbyes, we left Rudrapur around 12:00 to go to Nainital.
From Nainital trip...
It took us hardly 2 hours to reach Nainital and atleast another 1hr to find a hotel. Though there are enough hotels, most are overpriced and badly placed with all the stairs you need to climb everytime. Finally after checking in etc we thought of starting our sightseeing and our first destination was Cave Garden. The caves were good and interesting, surely worth a try.
From Nainital trip...
It was getting late so we went to our second destination which happened to be a 6km long trek covering few points. We were told that its impossible for us to walk all the way and we should take horses but most of us were scared of horses or found trekking a better option so we went by foot.
From Nainital trip...

The trek started from bara pathar which is a spot for rock climbing (could not see any such thing though). We had hardly started and we lost our way. After walking for sometime in the woods we found one guy who said he comes there often to 'chill out' and asked him where we were heading. He stated the obvious fact that we had lost our way and if we go down the hill (atleast 70 degree slope) for 10 mins we will reach the right track. We thought of trying it rather than going back and it turned out ok. The first spot of the trek was 'land's end' which gave a decent view of the hills ahead. There was just one shop here which happened to be closed so we had no reason to stay longer. We started for the next spot - 'tiffin top' but after walking and more walking we reached nowhere. The path was endless and we had no snacks, juice or anything, just a bottle of water. It was getting darker and we had seen nobody on the way since an hour or so. The only thing that was motivating us to move further was the fear of going back :D. We had already skipped lunch and were more hungry than ever and we were getting ready to kill a wild boar for dinner too. Finally we reached a small garden type area on the hill where there was a small cricket ground too, a local boy was roaming around and told us that tiffin top is not very far and we would find food there. Just the thought of food was enough to push us further. We reached tiffin top in no time and stopped at the first shop (there were only 2-3).
From Nainital trip...


The view from the shop itself was awesome, we sat at the back of the shop and could see all those schools from which Danny, Amitabh and god knows who passed out. We were so hungry that we ate 4 biscuit packets, 4 maggis and 3 bread omlettes, the best part was the local made juice can which we felt had wine in it :P. After filling our stomachs to limits, we bought chocolate bars for our way down and got a free torch from the shopkeeper too. Whole Nainital was visible from the tiffin top and the wind here was very chilly. It was dark already when we started our way back.
From Nainital trip...
My knees and ankles were totally gone now. It was totally dark on the way and everything looked creepy coz of the trees around.
From Nainital trip...
After reaching the road we didnt know which way to go so we started waving at cars to stop and obviously nobody stopped. Ankit was totally in support of car-valas for not stopping and we got all whacky ideas for stopping cars - from pretending to be ghosts to dacoits :P. Finally after somebody helped, we reached our starting point and were very happy to see the car not stolen :P.

It was Dushera on that day and the 3 guys - ravana et al were supposed to be burnt in the ground so we stopped our car on the mall road and stood at the corner to get a good view of it. We must have waited and chatted an hour before they blasted them. I had never seen ravana burning live before so it was a good experience. The gathering was huge. There were people all over the place and the mall road was over crowded after the stuff ended.

It was time for dinner and we couldnt see a single place in any restaurant. Finally we managed to find a place in a good looking restaurant which served us good soup, but the chilly paneer was horrible. It looked so bad that Ankit didnt even touch it. We left this place and went to a punjabi restaurant after this for dinner and the chicken tikka tasted anything but chicken. I didnt understand how Nainital didnt have good eatries. Jagan gave lots of fundas like 'we should go to a restaurant that specializes in something and has lotsa ppl' but nothing worked for us :P. Food was always bad.

The next morning was no different. We ordered 4 dosas at some place and they were equally bad. We thought of seeing snow view after breakfast but at 12:00 PM we were getting a slot for 2:00 so we skipped it. We didnt know where to go next. Our two options were Sattal and Nakuchiatal.
From Nainital trip...
Finally we decided that Sattal will be no different from Nainital so lets go to Nakuchiatal for Paragliding.

The best part was not the way, or the paragliding experience. It was the first time we saw the glider go over our car while we were driving. It was so scary and gave us all a oh-i-cant-do-it feeling that for once we felt that coming here was a waste.
From Nainital trip...
Seeing a glider so high in air was really too scary and I would recommend not to jump to 'no i cant do it' decision just by seeing that. After reaching the actual starting point and seeing 2-3 people go up in air it stopped looking so scary. Finally, Jagan and I did it for 1200 bucks (slightly expensive I would say) to glide for 3-10minutes. It was bliss. The best part was leaving the hill with your feet hanging and suddenly everything becomes so small below your feet. The sound of wind was scary and exciting both. The realization that if something silly happens I would go to ground in less than a second was terffifying and made the experience all the more thrilling.
From Nainital trip...


After such strenous activity :P we were hungry again so we searched for restaurants. There are not many places to stay/eat in Nakuchiatal and KMVN's resort is the best bet. Cheap, and great food. We ate like pigs and started working on our next task - deciding what next. We crossed all limits of wackiness here. Everyone was supposed to give 2/1 ideas each and we would put them in no order from 1 - 7. Then when our bill comes, we would divide the bill with 8 and get a remainder, which would decide our destination :D. We were in so funny mood that we put one option as 'Boating in Nakuchiatal and then ditch Jagan and leave' :D.

Finally the option that came out was 'Boating in Nakuchiatal and then go to Almora' so we took a paddle boat and paddled for 30-40 mins while eating pakoras that we had got packed from the Resto. We left for Almora and the best comedy of life happened with us there. We got a decent room in KMVN's guest house but we left it thinking of finding another room in main area. After searching and skipping more and more rooms finally every hotel got booked thanks to the Durga puja festival's holidays in which Bengalis flock to these places. We had checked all hotels and we got nothing. Finally around 10 (after 2 hours of searching) we found place in a very shady hotel and we took it coz there was no other option. All the dining places had closed by now so we got some chips etc and sat in the stupid room and all of us were feeling like leaving it asap :P.

Darbari opened his outlook traveller book and told about a Jageswar Temple some 30kms from Almora and there were 2 hotels listed in the book in Jageswar. We saw each others faces and called up the hotel and rooms were available, so we booked one and left our shady hotel at 12:00 telling the manager that we are going to buy medicine. Little did he know that we had no plans of coming back :P. We drove and drove in the dark and the woods and finally reached Jageswar Temple at 1:30.
From Nainital trip...
Now it was pitch dark and the Jungle around was much more dense and we could not find the hotel we had booked anywhere. The best part was that there was no Airtel/Hutch network whatsoever and all the sane people were sleeping so no STDs open in the area :( . We roamed around the area to find any human presence but no luck. Finally two of us climbed few stairs and knocked some hotel's door and they welcomed us with a good room. The best part was when the guy told us the rent Darbari said 'jyada bol rahe ho' :P. We were like 'what the @#$$' its 2 in the night lets take the damn room, but good that the guy actually reduced the rent :D and what a good sleep we got.

The morning was very pleasant with good aloo paranthas and Tea served in the hotel itself. We visited the temple also coz we felt that God himself had invited us to visit him (bulava aaya). The temple complex has 100+ temples with the only maha-mrityunjay temple in the world. Our next destination was Mukteswar which was 40kms away. We were enjoying so much while driving that when we asked someone if we were on the right way we were already 18kms off route. Huh! $hit happens. The worst part was there was not much fuel in the car and we had to go 10kms further offroute to get fuel. Life can be tough. Our new plan was to get fuel and go back but the petrol pump that was 10kms away had no petrol :D. Now our new plan was to take a different route, fill the tank and go to mukteswar which was now again 40kms away :D. We finally reached around 4:30ish and took a cottage in the British Retreat hotel. The place was pretty good and we got a very good deal. We had the best and simplest lunch here and went to the main mukteswar which was surprisingly desolated at 7ish. We kept walking around for a while and came back to our hotel around 8.

We were watching two and a half men which Ankit had recommended in the lawn with snacks and time just flew. It was chilly and nice. After a while we had dinner and we went to bed in no time. We got up at 5:30ish to see the sunrise and what a quest it was. Locals had no clue where the sunrise is visible from and we kept roaming from place to place to get a glimpse of the rising sun.
From Nainital trip...
Finally after trying 2-3 different places ranging from the terrace of a school to GMVN's guest house we just followed our intiution and reached a place where sunrise was visible.
From Nainital trip...
After seeing this we went back to the GMVN's guest house from where the beautiful snow clad 20000+ feet high peaks were visible.
From Nainital trip...
We also went to see Chauli ki Jhali which is a plateau with a steep fall of 500 feet and awesome views. Standing at the corner of the rock was very scary with the steep drop visible right in front of us.
From Nainital trip...


We went back to the hotel and slept for sometime before starting for our way back and after a heavy and delicious breakfast we left around 11:30 AM for Rudrapur. On the way back we felt like trying our last random idea of boating in nainital so we went to nainital for boating. We will always remember this trip as 5 days/6 hotels/6 cities :)).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

adieu..

i thought..
i thought more...
and then i deleted my blog...:P

update: the blog is actually not deleted..moved to a new location..mail me at 'sandeep(dot)backup(at)gmail(dot)com' to know the new location :)))

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

General Crap

So much happens in life which is worth blogging but sigh! we get only 24 hours in a day. What better time to blog than at 2:00 AM on a sunday morning. So some life updates in top down fashion (meaning latest first :D)

I was so tired in the evening that without even changing I literally fainted and slept continuously for 3 hours without moving :P. The result of which is that even after lying down for 1 hour and trying to sleep, I couldnt. So finally when Electricity department felt that electricity should be back, I got up to blog ;), so here I am.

Watched Jaane Tu, ya jaane na today. Must watch for all youngsters, initially I gave it 3.5/5 but I think it deserves a 4.0/5.

Ankit (aka kaka) had come to noida for friday night and Ranta and bhargava were also in Noida from Gurgaon so we had a great time at Jagan/Raheja's place. After Bhargava and Jagan dozed off we started a discussion with one question - 'What is job satisfaction' and after two hours of mindbogling and brainstorming discussion to find the answer to the question we started with, we ended up having atleast 10 more questions and no answers what so ever :D. It was fun though. We finally slept at 4:00 after realizing few things:
1) Social network is the cause of all problems :D
2) Ignorance is bliss, but one can not chose to be ignorant
3) Change is good, too much change is unstable so we should have moderate change :D

We had got all reservations done for Adi's wedding and as per out schedule we were reaching Indore around saturday afternoon. Then suddenly we found that the marriage is in morning :D and now we have to change our tickets. What a goof up!!!

Anyway many people are coming from all over so it will be a great get together. Looking forward to it.

Delhi is at its best nowadays. Weather is good and its making people happy but we should realize that all this is temporary, the weather changes are also in effect due to global warming which is not a good sign. Anyways, there is some respite from heat and its always cloudy and rainy so I am loving it :).

I could not join Gaurav in his The Great Ladakh Trip and neither am I going with the other group this year. But I am definitely going to do it next year, come what may.

I have realized that I do a lot of bakwaas and I should moderate it if not stop it altogether ;).

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chakrata Trip

Another weekend. Another trip. Me, Abhinav, Sourabh and Jagan took off to a splendid weekend trip. A hill station which is not heard of, a place that is far from civilization, thats Chakrata.

We started around 6:00 and our first stop was Paonta Sahib Gurudwara. We did not plan to go there, but because it came on the way we just went to pay a visit. Ate in the 'langar' too after a longgg time, it was fun.


Behind me is Paonta Sahib Gurudwara


First view of hills


Roads were bad, so we were too happy to reach and hot tea greeted us :)


On our way to Sun, at the end of the road...


After a longggg day of driving, what more does one need...a quilt and a chair :))


But thanks to some guy who had 'booked' the chairs, that we found a new hangout..on the top of the hotel :)) .. who likes boundaries ;)


Oh!! and Maggi and Pasta


We opened the room, and sun welcomed us..


View from around the hotel


Sleeping beauties :P


Getting Lost is sometimes by choice..


The fall of Troy :P


Not tired, just posing :P


Him too!!


Trek!


Waah! kya photo hai ;)


Was he really clicking us? or his shadow :D


Find Jagan in the photo, if u succeed? ask him for treat :D


More Trek!!


Break!!


That tiny building in the picture is our Hotel!!


Bade chalo!!


Dude! wait for us..


Those are polo grounds. Britishers used to play there..


woah!!!


Pics are funny!!


It still has room for 10 people?


Tiger falls!! (not literally :P)


No rains since long and this is the flow, what would happen in Rains!!


Thanks to local Elections, every damn shop was closed! we were lucky to find MAGGI!!!


I can give 1000 bucks to go here again...ok you win, 2000 bucks


Just cant have enough!!


Went to hotel Snow view just to have pakoras, and it was raining. Ah! dont remind me of the time..


Snow peaks were actually visible (ah! we need more optical zoom), so we know how Snow View hotel got its name eh!!


Drive back to Delhi was fun...we just saw 3 vehicles in 2 hours and 50 kms.


Hills and hills...


And more...


He believes he can fly..do u?


Jeeyenge saath saath..girenge saath saath :P