Thursday, September 10, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
there were swings outside most of the temples.....a young boy told us that they were for the gods.
after crossing mysore, the villages started and we wanted to stop every 5 mins to take the stunning scenery in!!
wonder how it looks when it flowers....
milestones on the way.......
Saturday, August 1, 2009
We both had been on our computers, campaining and chatting and blogging and checking the progress of everything from 7 in the morning to 12 at night for a whole 10 days and we suddenly felt lost!! didnt know what to do!! The withdrawal symptoms lasted a few more days before things got back to normal. Even now, i keep going to the Great Driving Challenege site and checking blogs and following the contestants but i miss it. I really do.
The reason this blog is not called the good, the bad, the ugly but the other way round is because thats the way it is in this case. We were really dissappointed, then we accepted it and finally were so glad we took part as there are way more precious 'goods' than the bad or the ugly!! :)
We've got in touch with so many friends!! Sai talked to his school mates after 17 years!! I never realised that i had not talked to so many of my friends in ages. So many things had changed and now i'm proud to say that i am up to date on most of them!! :)
We made so many new friends. One of the most diffcult things to do after you're finished with school and college is to make lastings friendships. But this experience taught us that its not true. We can still make friends if we try, it only a question of time and patience. And i am so so glad because we met so many new like minded people, so many kindred souls!! Its been an amazing journey.
We got closer to so many friends. We got so much support and following from people we probably didnt expect it from and that was so so heart warming!! I only wish i could be half as nice as them and do this selflessly when someone needs me. After this, i know i will :)
And we've changed......all for the good!! We've started blogging, wanting more than ever to take better pictures, travelling with more passion now, looking at everything in a new light!!
Another positive is that we are not giving up despite not making it. We're definetly taking part in the next Driving Challenge!! The minute i knew they were thinking of having a season 2, i was elated!! And Sai was just as eager to take part again......and next time, we'll be better prepared!!
To sum it all up, its been one of the bestest things we've done as a couple and i've enjoyed it to the hilt.....every bit of it - the ugly, the bad and the good!!
Thanks TDGC :)
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
We’d gone to Leh in September and had taken the less trodden route back to Delhi…..via Kargil – Srinagar. From Delhi, we flew into Siliguri the same day that our friends were to come from Bangalore. After all the high altitude and mountains and out of this world experiences we had had, Siliguri seemed like a whole new world!!
Since we all were going to be in Siliguri for almost 2 whole weeks, our friends had planned little trips for us. We went to Darjeeling and Jorpokhri and had amazing times!! But the trip that took our breath away again was the one to Sikkim.
We were told that the government of Sikkim does now allow vehicles from other states to bring tourists into Sikkim and so we had to change vehicles in Mangan. We met our guide and driver for the next 3 days here – Karma and Jung Bahadur. I have to say, if it weren’t for them, our trip wouldn’t have been the same!! Dipan had been dying to stock up on beer and breezers and rum and whisky since we entered Sikkim and at Mangan, he let himself loose!! Fully equipped and well stocked, we made our way to Lachen where we would halt for the night.
We’d reached Mangan a little before noon…..not yet time for lunch so we decided to push on and stop later. The three of us enjoyed our beer and breezers and soon fell fast asleep. We were woken up for lunch is the tiniest little eatery in the middle of nowhere!! It was amazing to me that such a place could actually even exist!! There was nothing around the hut other than the Teesta on one side and a very green precipice on the other with the road in between. But we had the bestest dal and rice there!!
Onward to Lachen……and with altitude, the hillocks become hills, the hills gave way to mountains. And the greenery!! I have no words!! Quaint little villages on the way with most of the village folk either playing or watching football, the chickens and goats running along the road, little kids playing and the green, green fields!! You have to experience it at least once!!
We reached Lachen an hour or so before the sun went down and decided to go for a short walk around the little village to warm ourselves!! After warm, humid Siliguri, chill Lachen was a little shock!! One of the things I had grown to love about the villages in Leh and now in Sikkim was the colourful prayer flags fluttering in the wind……seeing them gives me an immense sense of calm. The colours make me feel free…..
Dipan had just gone to Goa and there he had gone to a new casino where he has apparently mastered blackjack!! And according to him, the dealor never lost. We’d picked up our deck of cards before leaving Siliguri itself and after a nice walk around Lachen, we got back to our hotel for a filling dinner and then a game of cards with Dipan, of course, as the dealor. He would have regretted that decision for the rest of his life cause as we discovered, the dealor doesn’t always win…..in fact, he almost never wins!! Sai and me had he ball of our lives!! We kept winning and winning and winning till we all finally decided to head to bed!!
We got ready early in the morning (this time actually early…..at 5!!) in near freezing temperatures to go for our day trip to Gurudongmar Lake. After a hot cup of tea, we were all awake enough to travel!! The drive to Gurudongmar was well worth waking up at that insane hour (esp cause it was so cold!!). We kept asking Jung Bahadur to stop so that we could take pictures all along the way!!
Sai and me were amazed at how different
We stopped for breakfast at Thanggu. The last village on our way to the lake. That trip, all the places that we had food were wonderful and different!! This time, we were in a nice little kitchen huddled around a warm chimney while food was being prepared right next to us!! The little kids of the house were playing with the onion and potato peels while we coaxed them to pose for us while our yummy maggi soup was beginning to make our mouths water!!
From there on, till we reached the army check post, it was a feast for the eyes!! A stream which would eventually become the Teesta was flowing on one side of the road and there were beautiful green mountains with their tips covered in snow!! We passed dozens and dozens of army trucks and herds of sheep and yak. Never realized how nimble footed these animals were till I saw them making their way foraging for food, up and down the mountains!!
One good thing out of that incident was that it got us close to both Karma and Jungie. We learned that this was poor Karmas first ever job as a guide and that we knew more about all the places we were going to than him!! Poor fellow was the butt of all our jokes!!
By the time we got to Gurudongmar, Sai (who had gone through quite a few beers by then), was happily high!! He wanted to swim across the lake, wanted to balance on all the stones on the bank and was rolling on the grass along the banks when he was not trying to impersonate Sanjay Dutt for us!! But we should so have listened to him!! We, in our eagerness to show off our soberness, decided to go for a walk all round the lake…..from where we were standing, it didn’t look really long and Karma told us that it was a perfectly good idea. Little did we realize what we were getting into and we dragged Sai along too even though all he wanted to do was sleep there on the grass!!
We took off for our next stop. Lachung would be where we would stay to go to Yumthang Valley the next day…..after downing Saridons and Dipans hostel snack of crushed 2 min noodles mixed with masala, we tried our best to sleep…..Thank God Jungie had not come for the walk with us!!