There are phases in life where you are pretty content with what your life has to offer you and you enjoy it to the fullest.
We had a phase, I am not sure of Sattu, Pratik and Abhinav about now. It was march of 2006 we had just completed half a year of job in our respective company, I was with Synopsys, Sattu with SAP Labs, Pratik with Mintree and Abhinav with Motorola. I had just bought a Alto 2 month back and we wanted to do a long trip.
The trip was planned Me and Abhinav will drive to Bangalore and pick up Sattu and Pratik in Bangalore and head towards waynad. So Friday we started from Bangalore , this was my first long ride in my car, Abhinav wanted to learn to drive on highway so I told him every thing what my father had taught me while driving on highway. We started at 6 in the evening which was a wrong decision the traffic caused a havoc, but eventually the long free tarmac was on way, we reached Bangalore at 4 o'clock in between we had fights on who will drive how much. Let me admit I am really uncomfortable when somebody drives a vehicle and I am just sitting around.
Sattu and Pratik were ready to start so we did not get time to rest and we started off to waynad, through mysore. The bangalore mysore highway was recently turned to a 4 way lane. Add to that the catching up of the talk between us about new jobs and new environment we reached mysore in no time. We had taken the same road to ooty a couple of times so we knew that the last dhaba we get is in mysore then the road just opens into countryside. We had breakfast at a regular dhaba and then moved towards waynad. The maps came to effect now. asking and looking through the maps we reached waynad among lush greenery and cool air. We asked for Vythri resorts and were shown a muddy road to lead us there. The road was a single lane and the resort was surrounded by hills and tea plantation with sound of river/stream heard in background. It seemed we landed in perfect resort until we saw the price list and the manager said we should have made reservations and no cottage was available. After some pestering from abhinav and sattu the manager was ready to give us two different type of cottage. so one was witha private jacuzzi and the other had a big rocks in inside beside the stream. great this is life!! what we said to each other. we had lazy lunch and layed around the resort for the day and retired to bed early from a long drive. sattu and abhinav in the meantime were preparing the list of places to visit.
We got up early in morning for a trekking to the hills the guide was carrying a phenol bottle with him and asked us to walk in the middle of the road. Man we were all lazy bums and trekking seemed pretty tough. so me and pratik lagged behind from the crowd and were all by ourselves and a couple. we kept following each other thinking we are on right track. We kept climbing the hills and after a while wondered were did other people go ? since for long we never saw anybody and we had trekked almost 4 km. the surrounding was completely covered with fog now on the top with nobody near we started to climb back after taking a photograph at a haunted house.
After climbing down halfway we met others who were waiting for us, and most of teh guys had bloody red socks in their hand. we were wondering whats going on until we saw people removing leaches from their legs and feet. We comfortable that we didn't have any we came back to room. The shock came moments later when we started removing the socks ours too was full of blood and leaches sucking the blood. We hurried off removing them and got fresh up.
The next thing was to roam around in waynad which we did by driving around in teh jungle and hills. my poor alto was all in jungle. The idea came when we saw a milestone saying calicut 90 KM. wow we thought lets see the sea then. Off to the ghats we descended onto calicut. The beach and the sea seemed unimpressive for us and the next milestone showed kovalam.
We thought since its afternoon only and Cochin is 270 km odd let go there pick up minku bhaiya who was studing there and we would move to kovalam. This was not a good decision. When only I am driving and that also for so long. BUt thinking of highway we said lets give a try. We started off to Cochin. Driving through teh town of calicut beside sea i was desperately trying to get out of town on free highway, but to our surprise there was no end of town. one town gave to another and then another and so on. We had tough ride with auto running through highway. House gates opening directly to the highway which made us go slooooooooow 6-70 Kmph. Finally we reached cochin and minku bhaiya's house. I locked the car and started to go in house when I shook my head. the key is still in the car.
We started looking for maruti service station on the net which I couldnot find open at 8 in night. So went and got a local mechanic. He did the job in minutes. All the time which I kept for relaxing went to the car. And we were getting ready to head to Kovalam. The night gave us some respite from the traffic and we reached kovalam at 1 in morning. We went to the same resort were we stayed last time just in front of beach. Sat on the beach had couple of vodka and I slept off. Morning I kept hearing everybody's voices but could not get up because of tiredness. The rest of the group enjoyed the beach while I slept like a baby. Woke up around 11 went to the beach with my eyes still refusing to open up. Played in the sea for an hour and it was time to go back. The traffic on the highway was just unbearable.
We dropped Minku bhaiya to his house and then started the long drive back to hyderabad on the same route. I drove for almost 12 hrs and finally while climbing teh ghats to waynad I got reakky tired. I saw everybody was sleeping so parked the car. Kept the engine and AC on and slept off. it was 6 in morning, I woke up a little later than an hour and saw pratik standing outside. He told us what happened in last one hour and we had a great laugh. Pratik was still in sleep when I parked the car and went to sleep. He was woken up by some kid who were trying to find out whats happening in the car which is running and all 4 guys are not moving. Pratik was scared for a while and then he figured out that I must be dead tired so parked and went to sleep the same way I was driving. I gave the car keys to abhinav for driving and slept for anther 2 hours. took back the gear at mysore after having pizza for lunch and reached bangalore in evening.
I tried to sleep while abhinav went to meet his brother, pratik and sattu were relived to be back home. I didnot get good sleep in day because of tiredness so was planning to drop the plan to drive back to hys the same night, But abhinav insisted. So we started off at 12 in midnight. I started feeling fatigue after some time. so we decided we will split the drive in two. Abhinav will drive for the first 3 hours then me and we would rotate. I asked home get in back of a volvo and stay there that will be easy. He wake me up after driving for three hours and we had covered some 200 kms already. This was good sign. we exchanged the seat and I put on a nice mp3 and drove in silent lucidity, racing with three other cars and clocking 120 kmph continuously for 3 hours. Abhinav woke up at 6 in morning and he saw the milestone saying hyderabad 60 KM . boy he was joyed. Traffic took us a while but we reached home by 8 which was amazing.
The trip came to end after we covered 3000 Km in 4 days. :) too good.