travelogue

Kerala adventures and stupid Adam!

Kerala adventures and stupid Adam!

After attending the ICTT (International Conference on Travel Technology) India which was held in Trivandrum, I was privileged to be invited on a tour of Kerala.
We were a small group of four (two Australians, Adam & Selina and two Indians, myself & Suresh). An Innova car with driver was assigned to us for the entire trip. The first stop out of Kovalam to spend a day was in Kumarakom.

How to reach there?
On a houseboat!
There is only one way to get to the resort Coconut Lagoon… .. over the water. 😀

houseboat backwater @lemonicks.com

Yes Selina, let this photo session end, then you can attack the Papaddams. 😛

The

Joshimath to Govindghat & Ghangaria

Joshimath to Govindghat & Ghangaria – Day 4
You can go through journeys of earlier days in sequence.
Train journey to Haridwar
Haridwar to Rishikesh and
Rishikesh to Joshimath.

After that grueling, bone breaking bus journey sleep would not come early and when it came, it was difficult to get up early in the morning.
We were told at Joshimath that share-taxis start as early as 6 AM for Govindghat and Badrinath and they are frequent.
We got up as planned, packed and had tea at the only roadside tea cart. It helped us to recover from over groggy state somewhat. We walked to the shared taxi stand that would take us further north and further up.

taxi stand at Joshimath @lemonicks.com

A view from the taxi stand at Joshimath. I hate those electric wires.

On reaching the place we found that

Rishikesh to Joshimath

Rishikesh to Joshimath – Day 3
Below are the accounts of journeys of previous two days.
Day 1 – Train journey to Haridwar and
Day 2 – Haridwar to Rishikesh.

As planned, our day 3 started early reaching the bus stop at 5:30 AM to board the 6 AM bus for Joshimath. We had already booked our tickets the previous evening. Since August end is considered off season, the earlier 4:30 AM bus had been cancelled.

We were told it’d take 10 hours to reach Joshimath. A grueling 10 hours bus journey in a 20 year old private bus on mountainous roads, and me with altitude sickness and diabetes …. We were sure going to have a tough time. Again, the bus was not full and right from the start the crew were stopping at every opportunity to fill up the bus. This wasn’t welcomed by us but we had no choice. Even when all seats had been filled, the crew was taking in standing passengers! This is illegal in the mountain roads of Uttarakhand.

landslide in rudraprayag @lemonicks.com

A very common sight for us.

I had taken an

Haridwar to Rishikesh

Haridwar to Rishikesh – Day 2
You can read Day 1 journey here.

After an intensely religious journey, thanks to our co-passengers in the train, I never realized that we had reached our destination. Actually, I was still trying to get some sleep when we pulled into Haridwar at around 2 PM. 🙂

Haridwar station is not big and as usual; sensing we are not locals, a large number of Auto and taxi drivers were after to ferry us where we wanted. We mechanically responded that we did not need one but still they wanted to know where we were going! One of them said “Arre nahi jana to koi baat nahi, knowledge ke liye to bata do!” (Even if you don’t want to go with us, tell us for our knowledge). 😀

We had read a few places that we could get

Train journey to Haridwar

You must be wondering what took me so long to write about my trip to Valley of flowers, Hemkunt Sahib et al which happened in August last year. Well, no reason in particular…. last year I travelled a lot and every time I thought of writing it down, I travelled some more ! 😛
Other assignments kept me occupied and VOF posts got pushed again & again. I must now start documenting lest I forget.
Without further delay, here is my day by day account of the trip. Kindly bear with me if it turns out to be very detailed, I need to document it for future reference.

Train journey to Haridwar- Day 1
Our journey had started on August 27th when the monsoon season was at its peak. We traveled by

Living an expat life

Living an expat life

As I sip Chinese tea sitting in my balcony, I try to look back at the time spent in this country.

I live in an urbanized village of Siem Reap, Cambodia. There is no electricity in the area for last 3 hours and I am told that around 6 years back they had electricity for only 3-4 hours a day. It’s quite an improvement, they say. The morning is not very hot … a cloudy day again.

Living an expat life in cambodia @lemonicks.com

Awesome Sun emerging, overpowering the dark night.

The tea is prepared on a small gas camp stove; the only stove I have for cooking. I gaze into my cup. The tea is almost colorless and tasteless without milk or sugar… does it remind me of something? Is it like my life here in Cambodia?

Negotiating

The Year That Was 2011

The Year That Was 2011
Another year. Another set of to-dos. And a time to look back and take stock …
Yes, I know I am late to do this post but by only a few days and since I am travelling, I can be excused. 😛

Sometimes we travel to too many places and at times we don’t have enough.
The year 2011 started in the Philippines. We celebrated our Christmas & new year in that country. Besides the capital Manila, we could explore some part of it but Batad was a place which left mark on my life. However, as I always say, any place on this earth can never be counted as ‘done’.

The year 2011 was not very good in terms of travel. There were always some issues cropping up and I had to cut short or cancel many trips either midway or before the start irrespective of the locale, foreign or Indian.
This time when I was about to leave India, my doctor, instead of telling, asked me “Are you fit to travel?”. So, that’s about it.

Anyway, I’ll let the pictures speak of the places I visited in the year 2011. I think I did more than this. If anyone of you recall, please let me know. I always think I have more memories than photos of a place.

Batad.

hiking in Batad @lemonicks.com
Looks easy? It is world’s one of the most difficult places for hiking and any other

A day in camel fair ground

As I walk towards the camel fair ground, I have a preconceived image of the fair in the back of my mind. From what I have seen in the photos till now, visit to Pushkar is a very colorful atmosphere with decorated camels on sand dunes, tourists galore, stalls and so on.
The shops are open on both sides of this narrow road. It is around eleven in the morning and there is no rush to lure the tourists. Also, there is no sign of sand anywhere. Am I mistaken?
At a distance I see a Ferris wheel being fixed up. Oh that’s the ground! I run towards it. I hear some strange grunting sounds. Do camels sound so? I am excited. With rucksack, camera and water bottle I go in the direction where camels are parked.

My first impression on seeing the camels is a disappointment. There is only one color and different shades of it in the vicinity. Brown. There are more camels than men in this huge ground. The whole atmosphere is a little languid. Under the scorching sun I see people lazing on string cots or near their carts which serve as their temporary homes.

Pushkar camel fair @lemonicks.com

Walking is a bit difficult now and I realize