Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Stroll in the valley...

“Vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer.”

How true can this quote be. Especially when you spend 12hours in front of the computer at work, 6hours in front of the computer at home and the balance few hours dreaming about solving the production issues in the main server computer. Argh..It is compute-err I got to say. Add to it when you get a question like "Will you be home by 5?" and you respond "System time or run time?" you know it’s the high time to take a break.

I am blessed, lucky, fortunate[that’s the end of my attempted-GRE vocabs] to get a bunch of people who were equally if not more bugged with work. So a motley group of guys and girls numbering 13[yeah I know the last supper but in this bunch all were Judas] decided to take a weekend off to a place which is uncorrupt by overt commercialization and artificial fauna n flora.

The spot was avalanche, some 30kms from the hustle bustle of Ooty[Ooty is a perfect example of my rant about commercialization].My previous visit to avalanche was 3years back and those adventurous memories made me all pumped up.

We booked tickets in a special train to coimbatore and the train was indeed special with a delay of one hour to the destination. Other than the grudge that we didn’t get all the 13 tickets in a single coach the train journey was incident free. Infact it was surprising because most of the folks who follow indian flexible time n were expected to miss the train arrived on spot during the departure.

A saying goes - God can't be present everywhere and that’s why he created bars..err..friends and we had a truly god sent friend at coimbatore. This noble person[whom 99% of us met for the first time] was present in the coimbatore railway station with the 14seater cab he had arranged for our trip to avalanche and most importantly with 2 bottles of Smirnoff and packed breakfast as he thought we may get delayed if we halt for breakfast or to buy sarakku. A heartfelt thanks to him.

We gobbled down the idlis, pongal, sambhar and chutney as the cab was on the move and reclined on our seats half asleep. The journey from coimbatore to ooty is 2.5 hours and from ooty to avalanche its another 1 hour. Thanks to our innumerable tea and pee breaks we reached avalanche with a delay of more than an hour.By the time we reached the parking lot of the resort which we had booked it was 1 in the noon.

I presume the resort guys had planned fun right from the word go or probably it was our cranky group which turned even the most mundane things into fun filled adventures. I am speaking about the 3 km long army truck ride from the parking lot to the resort's reception. It was jungle pathway with no evenly laid road even for a centimeter. Bump...jump..bang that was our situation inside..more like the fruits being beaten in a mixer. But we being the innovative ones decided to start a game, the participant shud stand up from his/her seat without holding anything for support, the one who stands for the highest count is the winner. Interestingly the fattest of the lot won it by a huge margin.

Once we reached the resort,the next few minutes the only expression on the face of 13 people was "jaw dropping", be it the beautiful valley which started from the room or the tastefully decorated rooms[they had a wild west theme] or be the yummy lunch everything about the place was simply awesome. As we had arrived pretty late that day,we spent it by going for horse riding, playing a violent game of foosball[kids ran back into their cottages hearing our over excited screams during the game],munching down the home made cakes and last but not the least emptying the 2 bottles of Smirnoff till the last drop. The adventures of the drunken travellers can be written as a separate novel. Imagine going to the topmost point of the valley and doing march-past[with perfect commands and movements, everyone remembered their NCC days] at 12.30 in night in the freezing cold, I say only a man in a happy high can do it.

The next day morning we were back on our feet by 6.30AM and all set to conquer the wilderness, after a small fishing session and visit to the farm[the produce of which is used for preparing the yummy food]we got ready for a long trek.Or rather a hike into the forests covering two hills. The trek started pretty normally...a few slopes and few uphills.As we went deep in the terrain got tougher and then came the best part....the skies opened up,drenching us totally and all were wet till the bone. The terrain was getting more uphill and the rain was making it slippery, after lot of huffing and puffing by some fitness freaks[read as yours truly] we managed to proceed. We reached a clearing, and from there we could get a glimpse of the beautiful avalanche river spreading her tributary in a grandiose manner. We were spell bound, such sights reminds me of the famous hawkings quote "We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star", we feel so minuscule in front of the nature's vastness but imagine the number of petty fights and conflict we have..hmmm..after a few seconds we realized we were carrying cams, then the photo sessions began.

The hike back to the cottage took another 45 minutes, it was easier than the onward journey with a pretty flat terrain. Back to the cottage we jumped into the lunch, for a change I dumped all my diet controls and was emptying the food bowls, the poor waiters could not do anything but keep serving more.

The return from paradise started with the truck ride[and ofcoz the who stands still game, this time I improved vastly and was the runner up]to our cab. The next 3.5hours drive to coimbatore was made interesting with group singing sessions [the driver too joined in] and a particular joke about a ducky love affair. The dinner was in a very average restaurant but then only the average ones provide quick service.

The train had already arrived and for those who thought the fun was over here..nop it didn't, the next day being the birthday for one of our gang's mainstays, we had decided to make it special. A cake was set up inside the train and with proper plotting and scripting we made sure the cake and b'day celebrations were a total surprise to the b'day boy. The cake cutting was followed by a creamy facial and a b’day bumps session right on the main platform of coimbatore railway station. The expression of others in the station is still etched in my memory, imagine a guy being lifted by 10people and being given bums in a rather busy railway station...finally getting tired of giving bumps we all retired to the berths. It was a different story that the b'day boy was given a Vaseline n Colgate facials in the morning...and we claim to be in the wrong side of twenties.

The next day all of us were back in our seats by 10.30 AM, looking into the compute-errs and prizing the memories of a fun filled trip. A special thanks to my friend without whom I would not have been able to make it in time to work and wud have got a guaranteed screwing from my boss.

They say - If you come home as happy as you leave, you have had a good vacation, but the fact is all of us came home happier than when we left so it was a blast of a vacation indeed.


Ruth said...

Do you know how sweet it is to read a 100% happy, joyful, celebratory post here?? :D

Not that you are ever a gloomy guy or anything. But this really made me smile. So happy for you. Avalanche sounds spellbinding, I just wish I could see the scenes bigger! Oh, and I bet having a Theater guy along (maybe more than one) makes for big hilarity.

praddy said...

wonderful writeup mate..but it feels like so many days have gone past since the avalanche vacation..time to plan the next one..wat say?

how about a bike trip..with no accommodation booking..just travel on n on..and then when it becomes dark..find a place to stay for the night :D..wat say?

Tarun Goel said...

MAkes me believe that you are really alive :)

Prasad said...

:DDDDDDD wonder the ful my friend!!!

as kalmadix says it seems so long! the whole weeks has been freekin LONG!!!!

@ the the ready :D hope we dont start at 4AM dude!!!

Smita said...


U for sure had a great time...such places rejnuvate u....

A very well written post...

With that done lets talk business. When are u sending the diet plan?

vimmuuu said...

Now, praddys post makes sense. LOL.

A well written travelogue! How come you dont come up with such ideas among the chennai bloggers??

Angel's Flight said...

Wow that was a lovely post...the pictures are so gorgeous..I can only imagine the place! sigh!

Praddy said...

Prasad - this time its 3am since the summer is starting :D:D..not 4am buhuhaha

Vimal - thats some food for thought! and we are not even able to meet these days..forget an vacation :P

Anonymous said...

That was a good one, good job mate both in the trip and in your writeup ....

Prasad said...

aaaagggghhhhhh!!! kalmadix ur evil man!!!!

y not start at 4PM and end up somewhere @ 10PM and halt i say :DDD

Nautankey said...

Hee hee thank you..sure no way am I gloomy.And the whole bunch of theatre guys can make even a serious trip hilarious.

Yeah sure lets do planning for a new bike actually,thanks to recession the car plan got demoted to bike plans :D

Very much.Places and trips like these make us realize we are indeed alive

Anonymous said...

LOL @ 'system time or run time'!!

I NEED a vacation NOW :'(

Nautankey said...

Me on Praddy's side..lets start at 3 AM or if possible even 2 :D :D

200% by this weekend if I am not sending it you are given the right to bash me up..I know that's not possible virtually :P

Thank you saarey. Accepting Praddy on this too.Thanks to the nikhil jinx we haven't been able to meet up leave alone a vacation.

Bedazzled said...

sooper post !!! colgate facials ?? what mite that be ??..doesnt it feel great to be back to work ??.. hee hee;-)

The Seeker said...

Yeah! loved the post bro!!! And know what! i badly need a break! more than that I need a job...

I just want a getaway,,, It was indeed rejuvenating to read a travel post when You so longingly long for a get-out!!!

Nautankey said...

Angel's Flight
Thank sure you can visit it once,not too costly and easily accessible too.

Welcome here pal.And thank you :)

Shift to chennai plz :D u r invited for all the trips then.

Colgate facial is nothing but applying colgate for the face.. gel is used for better effects :P.
And don't remind me abt happy its friday

Nautankey said...

Seeker bharath,
The thing is most of the times we end up planning a lot and miss the whole trip. So just pack ur bags and hit the road,that wud be awesome fun.

Prasad said...

nonsense of the stupid of the idiot of the etc of the etc of the etc!!!!

one of u jus wake me up in the morning :P :DDDDDD

Prasad said...

wat the bike u the buy???

Anonymous said...

Hey!!! Why can't you come up with some such plans for the bloggers?! Meanies!!!!

Abhishek said...

You know what.. when I visited Coonoor, I stayed with my brother and so missed most of the fun!

And you are lucky to have a group...I have to travel alone :'(

BTW, what is the name of resort?

Aaarti said...

Nice write up.... dint know you could write so well!!! :D

Anonymous said...

i wish i could take a vacation at the moment as well... Sigh!

Anonymous said...

:((( i want to go tooo!! :(
great to knw tht u had a nice time..btw in the 'game stuff' when u said the fattest among the lot won..i imagined it was u ;P ;P nd hey apart frm the previous posts comment section diet plan..u have any other? cc me as well pls

the blogger formerly known as sansmerci said...

i am here! n i ve been on vacation for almost 2 months now :D anyways will read up ur complete post soon n comment :)

Nautankey said...

dont you think it wud be better if you don't doze off in the night :D.. not yet decided but hero honda for sure

Same reply as done to vimmuuu..lets plan a meeting first then a vacation :P

Thank you thank you..finally avalanche gets me certified as a proper writer :D

Nautankey said...

Having a group kinda solves all the problems even if the place is mediocre the fun remains the same :)
The resort's name is "Destiny"

Don't wish just pack up and jump into the plan :)..cheers

Nautankey said...

Argh..I weight just 72kgs its not fat by any standards.And as a punishment for calling me fat I am sending you a diet which will double ur size up..buhahaha

Thanks for dropping in amidst ur busy vacation time ;-)

Kanupriya said...

Looks like you had a great weekend...good to know u took break from work...sometimes these small breaks really work wonders!

kusublakki said...

Aahh...that was a very refreshing read after working hours together on assignments!
Lovely quote and wonderful post!

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Anonymous said...

Hehehe! You need a break, dude! :D

the blogger formerly known as sansmerci said...

m here to tell u that m bak in blogosphere, wud love to have u read my latest post and leave ur valued comments! :)

Nautankey said...

Yup it was wonderful..seriously nature is such a great medicine for all our stresses.

Thank you and welcome here.

Nikhil the wannabe god
I had mine boy :D

I am feeling elated to know that someone values my comments so much. Rushed to ur place :)