The year 2015 has been pretty exciting in terms of travel for me. It has been a year of at-least a couple of interesting firsts for me besides visits to places I had never thought I would be visiting any time sooner. I was hoping to squeeze-in one more trip somewhere in the unknown this long weekend before I come-up with this post but sadly, that could not happen, all thanks to the flu that the changing season seems to have brought with it. Having said that, there’s no point brooding over something that did not materialize. Instead, let me share with you some moments from my travels in this year which is only 6 sunsets away from becoming part of history.
The Borail Hills: Even though I was born and brought-up in Assam (which still is my home) and not far from the Borail Hills, I had never had the opportunity to venture into them and experience them up close, save for once as a child. This year however, I did a Solo ride through the Borail Hills up-to the hill-town of Haflong. The mountains of the entire north-east are quite different from the Himalayas that border the northern part of the country and the Borail Hills were no different. I did curse myself for not visiting the region all these years but was happy to finally do it.
The Mysterious village of Jatinga: While on my first ride through the Borail Hills about which I have already talked above, I also visited the small village of Jatinga located right on the Silchar-Haflong road. I wanted to find out if the (in)famous mystery around the village was actually real (Read about it here: Jatinga – The village and the mystery around it) first hand and that’s what I did. I was glad to talk to one of the most knowledgeable person there who told me about the ‘truth’ of the mysterious phenomenon the village is famous for.
Doodhsagar Trek: Trek to the Doodhsagar falls was something that had been in the back of my mind since a while before we finally decided to go for it one fine evening, during the monsoons here. All was wonderful, the lush greenery, the wonderful company and the finger-licking food brought by fellow travellers (Read about it here: The failed trek to Doodhsagar) until, we alighted from the train. It was the day on which trekking up-to the waterfall was banned. We still wanted to give it a try so we walked all the way up-to a couple or so kilometres before the waterfall only to be turned back. We had to walk back the entire stretch as quickly as we could lest we missed the only train back to Bangalore in the evening.
Day out at Budh International Circuit: In the first week of July this year, I was invited for the launch (actually, re-launch I would say) of Honda’s hatchback, the Jazz. Like many other invites that I usually skip, I would have done the same this time too in case I would have missed the venue of the event. The launch was at the Budh International Circuit (one of the best F1 tracks in the world) and after seeing that, I couldn’t have said ‘NO’. And I didn’t. It turned out to be a wonderful experience (Read about it here: A day at BIC with Honda Jazz). The drive on a F1 race track and meeting so many bloggers from across the country, both.
Trek to Hampta Pass: After a long wait me and Ruchi were finally able to do our first ever Himalayan trek together. I had been planning this trek since a while but it got pushed more than once but on the bright side, when we finally went on the trek (Read about it here: Hampta Pass Trek ), the weather was just perfect and we were able to enjoy it to the fullest. Another reason I had chosen this comparatively low-altitude trek (14,100 feet ASL) was because we plan to do few high-altitude treks in the coming months and years and we wanted to see how good (or bad) shape we were actually in. It was a wonderful experience. And yes, we were pretty satisfied with the way we performed high-up in the mountains.
Visiting the Chandertaal: Ever since I came back from my maiden trip to Ladakh after seeing the beauty of the Pangong Tso, I had been yearning to see the Chandrataal, another pearl up in the high Himalayas. The magically beautiful lake with its emerald waters is nestled between huge and rugged mountains of Spiti. This wish of mine came true on the last day of the Hampta Pass trek. Having reached by noon, at our final camp-site, we had enough time to drive to the Chandertaal (Read about it here: The lake of the Moon – Chandrataal ) for a beautiful sunset and that was exactly what we did.
Jungle Safari: One good thing about 2015 was the fact that it had a lot of long-weekends. Either Friday or a Monday was a holiday along with the regular Saturdays and Sundays. I could not have let all of these long weekends simply drift by so during one such long weekend, I decided to go and experience the jungle for a change. I rode to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve for a Jungle Safari (Read about it here:Jungle safari – Bandipur Tiger Reserve). It was my first jungle safari and even though I was not lucky enough to spot the big cat, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being deep inside a jungle.
Gopalaswamy Betta: The road leading to the Gopalaswamy Hill, even though totally in tatters, passes through some beautiful areas on its way up to the top. With sunflower fields on one side and deep forests on the other, the narrow road offered excellent views of the surroundings as I moved ahead (Read more here: Gopalaswamy Hills in monsoons).
Melukote: Me and a friend wanted to do some photography and were looking for an interesting place which would not be crowded. We decided on Melukote (Read about it here: Puliyogare at Melukote). Not really far from Bangalore, the temple town of Melukote makes for a very scenic drive. Even though the place was wonderful for the reason we had gone there, it was literally teeming with people. The lip-smacking Puliyogare however made-up for the crowd so yeah, we were not really complaining.
Goa: Surprising as it might sound, I had never been to Goa until the last month. It was not that I never wanted to but somehow it never happened until I finally my firsrt solo trip there (Read about it here: In Pictures: The first solo to Goa). I basically went to just chill-out and spent my the 3-4 days there in the shacks of Anjuna. To my surprise, as soon as I was back from Goa, I was invited by TATA Motors for the launch of their new hatchback (Read about it here: Fun in Goa with the all new Zica). And guess where was the launch, Goa! It was however, not to the same North Goa I had been just a week or two back. The launch was in South Goa, the more beautiful part of Goa.
Where did you travel this year? Which one did you enjoy the most? Don’t forget to leave me a comment