Once while we 3 flat mates were making dinner after a routine, busy day at office, one of us spoke up, ‘Don’t you guys think we need a break? Let’s plan a trip!’. And we couldn’t agree to it more. As the two of us were from Gujarat and the third had never been there, we decided to fulfill our recent travel inspirations by taking baby steps; we took 2 weeks off from office and planned a long trip to my home state!
Trips have always been the most favorite part of my year. Those exhausting but exhilarating trips to all corners of the country with mom, dad and my sister every year since we were little have made for some amazing memories. But this time, it was different. It was the trip that we were going to plan completely and pay for everything ourselves, and that made it even more exciting. We three used to have lunch quickly at the office and then spend the rest of the break planning everything and booking all the tickets and hotels. I used to start talking about our trip plan to everyone who was ready to listen. 😛
And after extensive planning and packing, our trip finally started. Our first stop was Kakrapar near Surat, where we could reach by traveling in almost all modes of transport: A flight to Mumbai, a night train to Surat and then a bus to Kakrapar. We were welcomed to our friend’s huge, beautiful house in the peaceful township. The small world away from the bustling Bangalore life was just so needed. We visited the sprawling nuclear power plant there and the experience was amazing. 2 days completed in a snap and it was time for us to hop to another destination.
An early morning train from Surat transported us to my most favorite place, Ahmedabad!! We had 3 hectically planned days here. Sleepily we reached the hotel we had booked, expecting just a decent room to sleep. We enter the room, switch on the lights and see a huge, royal room. And a few seconds later, the receptionist comes up running, ‘Everything all right, ma’am? We heard a scream.’ Embarrassingly, we said sorry and made him go and then started jumping on the beds and sofas again :P.
Stay at the Heritage city was just amazing. We would pull ourselves from the most comfortable bed early every morning, get ready, grab some breakfast and leave for places as per our busy plan. The ‘Heritage Walk’ through the famous pols and intricately carved structures (and convincing the guide and others in group that we weren’t architecture college students), the chatty auto walas, the unbeatable midnight dinners at Manek Chowk, the mind-blowing street shopping (and bargaining) at Law garden, the lavish dinner at Patang – the revolving restaurant where we couldn’t stop admiring the amazing 360-deg city view (and also shamelessly spending most of our 2-hours table reservation debating whether the singer there was Kenny Sebastian or just his look-alike 😛 ), the late evenings in river fronts where we would sit on benches overlooking the gorgeous Sabarmati river and become all philosophical, discussing about life and future 😛 …each of these experiences were just so special.
Our trio then left for the very famous White Rann of Kachchh in night bus because apparently, ‘Kutch nai dekha toh kuch nai dekha!’ Morning found us in the cold, small, traditional city of Bhuj. We just had a day to see everything around. I literally felt like a nomad that day, because in the next 12 hours before we caught our bus to Rajkot, we travelled around with sunglasses, bag pack, discharged phones and a water bottle, seeing the beautiful palaces, climbing the ‘Kala Dungar’ on a camel, peering through binocular to find the India-Pak border and then rushing to the white desert in a horse cart to see the sunset. The Rannotsav time made the place even more vibrant.
And the next few hours in the white desert are indelible memories. I step on the white land covered with sea salt granules and turn around to see pure whiteness extending to infinity and beyond, then I silently watch the deep orange semi circle disappearing somewhere into the same infinite white, and I smile to myself wondering how did I get so lucky?! 🙂
We reached Rajkot at 3:30 am! By this time, we had got used to our permanent zombie, sleep-deprived modes. It was my turn to be the host now. The next two days were uber- fun. We went around the city, bird-watching early in the morning, eating at beautiful places and shopping (of course).
A typical girly trip was just what I needed. We would spend so much time voting for outfits, as if it was the most important topic in the world, fight for the mirror, get ready and then run out. We would be silently sitting in the auto, and one among us would suddenly shout dibs on the favorite side of bed or for the washroom. We took photos in almost every corner of every city we visited. We had to take short video clips for our video montage wherever we go; in trains, buses, museums, desert, restaurants and where not. People gave us looks as we became three giggling girls speaking to the phone attached to the selfie stick. 😀
The trip managed to rejuvenate me just perfectly. Although we travelled crazily sometimes, hopping through cities overnight, roaming from early mornings to late nights and sleeping for hours we could count on fingertips…these 10 days were enough to make me want to go back to the daily routine. The feeling of waking up to a new city most days was just beautiful.
I have a few hours here at home before I leave for Bangalore, back to pavilion. Lots of unread emails, incomplete codes, unpaid bills and unwashed clothes wait for me, but these doesn’t matter if there are trips like such waiting to give a beautiful, memorable break!
Lots to say, laters! 🙂