First things first. Did you all miss me? I did miss you folks. Being away from reading blogs seemed like being in some other planet. But in a way, being away from gadgets and mundane routine does rejuvenate you.
So here was what I did and where I went. Having won a 4 day continuous holiday, yeah, I would say 'won'....getting holidays now a days has become so hard.....decided to go on a trip to Goa. Since I was 10 years old, I was always fascinated by Goa, from the time I read a story on St Francis Xavier. I don't recall where I got that book from, but remember reading it. And I did miss 2 wonderful opportunities of visiting Goa. Not that I missed, I wasn't given a chance to go. First time was when I was about 12 years old, when my mom felt I was too young enough to understand Francis Xavier and more importantly the bikini clad group. She felt that taking me to Goa was like allowing her daughter to watch live porn!!
Second time was when the school had arranged a trip to Goa as we were all leaving school during my 10th grade. This time, my mom sternly put her foot down, maybe the reasons were same. I don't know!!! All I remember was sulking for days together, of course in vain and then accepting the denial.
By now, you must have all guessed. Yes, the trip was planned to Goa. As they say, man proposes, God disposes. Maybe God also felt, Insignia has not yet grown up to watch Live Porn!!! :-|
Here is what happened. We drive from Bangalore to Goa, abut 550 kms. As we started, things didn't turn out in our favour. Bangalore's traffic drained us out, by the time we exited the city limits, all were exhausted. Then, one of the car's tyre was punctured. Fixed it, had dinner and left. Throughout, it was raining incessantly. Some places, it was a drizzle, yet it was difficult to drive at night with these rains pouring. It didn't seem to stop, it was as if we were taking the rains as we went.
Coupled with that was the glare coming from opposite vehicles due to high beam. Why do they want to use high beam? The drivers don't have an iota of sense to reduce it when approaching a vehicle. Each time, a vehicle passed with a high beam, we were totally blinded. Yeah, the rains didn't stop anytime, even for a second and it only got worse and heavier as we progressed.
The duration was getting longer, due to the rains. I was not to give up easily, would I? Continued the journey. About 150 kms away from Panaji, a police constable stopped us on the highway and asked "Where are you guys going?" When he learnt that we were on our way to Goa, he told us a nice story. It seemed that the roads were all flooded, traffic has come to a stand still and that no access for the next 24 hours. He also added his own bit that there was a tsunami.
I called up the guest services of the home stay that we were supposed to stay at Calungute. The lady confirmed that the rains were heavy. Just 12 hours back, things were fine!! but now....
It seems rains lashed northern part of Karnataka for the previous 3 days and seemed there was no respite. Later, learnt that AP was affected too. So this planned trip now were all in tatters. It was still OK for me, I have read a quote on Travel and Living. It goes something like this - A true traveller does not know his destination and does not know when he arrives. So here it was, unknown destination, but just keep going.
The Western Ghats of Karnataka are splendid, very rich in flora and fauna, thick vegetation and beautiful mountains with many rivers criss-crossing the landscape. So it was a win-win situation anyways for a person as me who cant get enough of nature. Even though the rain god didn't seem to have any mercy, roads flooded and cracked, fields flooded and crops destroyed, dark clouds overcast all the time, cheating the birds and animals to believe it was late evening even though it was noon, high tides at seas, yet it was beautiful. The roads were tough, water just ran as streams everywhere, the speed of the car wiper was not enough to clear the glass of the rain drops.
Driving through the ghats where one could take in the beauty of amazing water falls along the mountains as you cut through is one thing, those water falls over flowing and water running as stream where there are sharp hair pin bend curves and one has to drive on the slippery narrow road is another thing.
Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, visited few places on the way, just took detour of 20-30 kms and lo!! the places are fabulous, seas, rivers, lush green fields. Just awesome. Only one thing that I missed, no chance of seeing a sunrise or a sunset. The sun was on vacation too. :-)
Few of the pictures that I clicked. I am not a good photographer, so what you see here is just a mediocre version of the true beauty of all that I saw and enjoyed. I have not done justice to nature's beauty.
You can find the complete collection at http://picasaweb.google.co.in/bindu1708/Roadtrip#
On of the many waterfalls that laced the western ghats.
Gaint statue of Shiva gleaming at night
The sea at 6:30 PM. I really don't have an idea about this blue haze. That was how the sky was. Maybe the effect of overcast dark clouds
This bullock cart took me back in time, when people were not worried about deadlines and deliverable. Life was all so simple and relaxed.
A river criss crossing the landscape. It was raining, observe the fogs over the mountains, it was around 11:30 AM.
World Famous Jog Falls. Just as the fog cleared.
Another beautiful landscape.
One of the waves washed away such tiny fishes to the shore. These poor things were struggling to breathe. They had a great survival technique. It seems as if this chap is dead, in fact, no. He is very much alive and we put him back into the water. And he wriggled away to every one's surprise.
These are the bricks that are used in that part of the region. They are heavy and have great strength than the normal ones; to withstand such extreme rains.
A pine tree like ones. Felt as if it were the North America
A nicely made well. Dont get to see these things now a days.
A shell buried in the sad. Yeah, lots of them are scattered on the shore. Now don't laugh at me. I am mesmerized by such simple things.
Yesterday was Full Moon Day, couldn't refrain myself from capturing this guy against a silhouette of leaves.
P.S : I just hope I can visit Goa one day :-(