Wanderers

Trip to Jim Corbett Feb – 2006 by Abhishek Bhawsar

In Travel Writeup on March 2, 2006 at 2:56 pm

8 strangers start off for an unknown destination…

Off to the never never land

The journey started with all 8 getting together at the Old Delhi Station. The ‘vehicle’ chosen was Ranikhet express… the train departed at almost the right time 10:45. Perhaps Laloo’s presenting the rail budget had something to do with it.
The train was full of ppl wanting to have a good night’s sleep. Destiny had something else in store for them. The great 8 started off on the right note with Monica threatening to bash everyone for every arbit reason on the earth. And she actually did it!

Booze flowed, and under the security of a lawyer (read Sanjukta), the scrutiny of the law was taken for granted. Monica went on with her crazy frenzy of clicking people and bashing ’em and then clicking pics again.

Crazy talk went on till 2 am…

Amit joined me on my seat, and we shared a phag in the dark of the train compartment… it was one amazing moment to share…

The phag took me to philosophical lands… the past week flashed by… And perhaps for everyone, the trip was an escape route from the weird presentations and sicko meetings of the office.

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Good Morning

I woke up early in the morning to the chaos, only to find out Monica was again at her bashing frenzy, this time the poor chap was Amit. well to be precise, Amit Gupta 1.

It was chill in the morning. Actually. For folks already getting sick of the already hot weather of Delhi, this was chill enough. We were not carrying any blankets and for those
planning a trip, a blanket is a must to Jim Corbett at this time of year.

I was wishing for a starry sky, the one you can never get in any metro. The sky was amazing at 5 am, with a chhota sa sexy sa moon.

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Vibhor.

Vibhor had gone out of the way in executing the responsibility for making the conveyance and lodging. His uncle and cousin came to pick us up, and we were ferried in two cars to the uncle’s home. Nice home, sweet welcome.

On the terrace, was a rising sun, with an amazing skyline, perhaps the first time in months I got up early. It was b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.

We all got freshened up by 730.

Tea, warm water for bath, breakfast… many a thanks to Vibhor.

Breakfast…

First came the hottie hottie hot pakoras, followed by lobia daal and moong daal. the moong daal was very light, made in an Uttaranchal style. Then came the jalebi, and to top it off an amazing khasta kachori, with aloo dahi.

A good, filling breakfast to start the day, and the trip!

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Wow!!! There is not end to this forest!

We boarded jeeps from Ramnagar, and the caravan goes into the forest… The camping site was at Dhikala, only 30 kms from Ramnagar, but the trip took 2.5 hours. The vehicles are supposed to move slowly in the forest, in wake of animal protection.

On the way into the forest, we saw Martin, a rare wildlife sighting, one herd of elephants, Tiger pug marks… But the most scintillating of all was the sight, or the lack of sight of busy cemented roads, the lack of red lights, the absence of carbon di oxide, the lack of buildings…

To be with nature was just amazing.

We reached the camp at 12 pm. after getting the bookings and the other arrangements done, we moved on to see where we would be staying. We were under the impression that we are going the stay in something kind of a dorm, with beds/cots, having around 10 beds or so… It came as a surprise, that what we were to accommodate in was a military types bunker with beds like you’ve got in a railway coach. Three beds in a column, four such columns. First looks were shady.

Had lunch and after resting a lil bit, and after a peg each, we went out for our first safari, not exactly, since the ride into the forest resort was also no less than a safari.

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Safari…

Off we go in search of the Tiger… caught a guide, who was all the time informing us of what ever flora/fauna we crossed. We saw tiger marks on trees, a territorial sign.
It was green all around… and the road flowed in midst of greenness… the sky was blue and then green … and then blue again.. .green with the trees above…as the jeep moved into the flowing road, I saw green …I saw peace, I saw soothing visions of a painless world, everyone floating on the green earth, with out the fear of earning clothing and checking mails.

Ramit woke me up. We were still on the safari. The sun was setting… again …

The scene was … Go watch it for yourself!

It was actually amazing… with vestigial remains in my mind, all i can talk about it is that’s what animals are for, to watch the sun rise and to watch the sun set. And apart from the gore animalistic instincts we have, we also have this instinct which makes us leave the techno freaky world and go back to nature.

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On booze

We came back from the safari, time for some snacks. Then post snacks rest and then a good dinner. Dinner was good!

And then booze time! Lots of it… we had opened a mini bar over there! And then I realized that the bunker I was cursing was actually a great thing, we had our beds against the wall and lots place to sit on the ground and enjoy. Booze, we started off with good good white wine, one glass each. Then applying the communist booze manifesto, (to each according to his taste, to each according to his capacity) we had vodka, gin, whiskey, rum…

There was music, thanks a million to Ramit for his lapi. And even sans lapi, we could have been singing as were actually were.

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The morning after.

Over night we had arranged for an elephant ride. It could accommodate only 4 ppl. So on Yogesh’s idea, we distributed one (playing)card each and then the ones getting the highest values would go for the ride. I was disappointed when I saw mine, I had got a nine (did it rhyme?). But then, every one except one had lesser than mine. So I was in for an elephant ride!!!

Well…The morning after.

Terrible pain in the back. No hangover… and late for the ride. Sanjukta, Vibhor, Amit, Snigdha and Tarun (Vibhor’s cousin) had already left.
Monica and Yogesh and I had breakfast and then spent the morning watching the forest waking up. Ramit got up late and then we all went for another safari, to compensate for the elephant ride.

The gang left the resort at 10:30 or so … for some temple.
On the way out of the forest we saw crocodiles and few birds, I don’t remember any names except dear old kingfisher… the ride out of forest was all the more soothing… And I was getting sick at the thought of leaving the calm and serenity.
At the temple. It was Mahashivratri. and there was long queue so we didn’t visit the temple but had more than our quota of fun by walking against the flow in a brook.

Then we went to danger falls which are now called the Corbett falls. Amit, Ramit and Yogesh took a bath there, and Vibhor and I washed our hands and feet. It was fun, but not that much exciting as the name falls would bring out …

Then opposite the falls site, was a small resort where we had our lunch cum dinner… food was ok. It was the sheer surroundings which added to the experience. we were sitting in open in midst of fields. And the orange sun sinking into the green fields was a sight I will recall for long. And I presume that it would be the same for every one on the trip.

The journey back to Ramnagar was phenomenonal. The road was dark, and there were zillion stars above, much much more than you ever get to see in Delhi, or for that matter, any other city. To add to it, we were all singing our favs, and I do recall singing “On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…”

We reached Ramnagar, and in spite of fact we could have gotten late, we did make it a point to visit Vibhor’s aunt’s home and say a word of thanks for all the generous welcome we had the day before.

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Back to hell

It all tended to end well, with all of us boarding in the train in time. Long talks and discussions and arguments followed. Though everyone was tired, still I could make out the happiness and glow that the trip had brought to all of us. And the new found relations, new promises (like all will get back at Amit’s place on the next sat)…

It was just amazing.

The train stopped at Moradabad… and I had what was to be my last phag…

We all slumped wherever we could, still wouldn’t let go of talking …

And somehow we slept around 2-3.
We all reached Delhi at 4:30, after that all departed to all of ours homes.

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The end?

It was the end of what was to be the trip, but I took it as the end of a beginning. A beginning for which would take us places… which would bring us together, a trip that would induces a desire for another trip and make us say … Lets Go!!!

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  1. much fun…a small life and beyond ..marks the journey !

  2. the post is as interesting as the trip

  3. the drive back from danger fall to Ramnagar was my favourite part of the trip…perfect blend of bliss of different sorts…man made and nature…Zillions stars up above our head…our jeep like a flashing light cutting through the darkness and music being played on a Laptop…

  4. Both the posts have wetted my appetite for the Rafting Trip. Is anyone listening………….–>

  5. Hey guys…if possible, can you tell me what was de approx cost of de trip per person…..i along wid some 6-7 friends am plannin to make de trip later this week….
    Thanks…

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