Unforgettable Trips with Fond Memories
My last travel-blog, “Travelling Down the Memory Lane” was the start of something very special. It contained info regarding some of the trips with my close circle of friends and family. But there are many other places I went without any planning but were adventurous. These will remain a little closer to my heart compared to the one in my earlier blog.
Unforgettable Sandakaan, Malaysia
Sandakaan is one of the districts in Malaysia located on a different island from the main island that has the capital city, Kula Lumpur. The place is famous for its Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre that’s one among very few across the world.
I have got an opportunity to visit the Kinabatang River that’s located right next to National Forest. The motor boat ride across the river, lets one get a glimpse of the dense rain-forest and watch the wildlife in its natural habitat. I watched the Rhesus Monkey, Orangutan and jungle Owl live in their natural habitats.
I also visited the site located at the edge of rain-forest that had plenty of watch-towers setup to explore birds & animals.
Highlight of the tour ride across the deep Kinabatang river wearing a float jacket. I felt like another wildlife photographer appearing on National Geographi, Animal or Discovery channels on TV. Another memorable moment was when saw the Orangutan in the live forest with its offspring.
I visited this place during a trip back to Bangalore, India from San Francisco, USA. To ensure that I get enough time to explore Singapore, I delayed my connecting flight by a day. This gave an opportunity explore Singapore City.
There are some fond memories of me walking across the busy streets of downtown Singapore that’s filled with Skyscrapers. I also experienced the River Cruise across Singapore City and visited the Merlion Point. The explored city by travelling in METRO but had to extremely careful to board the right train heading to the right direction.
Highlight of the trip was River Cruise that’s took me around to various places like Raffles Landing Site, The Esplande and Marine Bay Sands.
Trip to Jammu & Kashmir
It used to be regular practice in our family to go on a family vacation once in 2-years. One of the most memorable one was the trip across to the Northern most state of our country. It’s without a doubt the most beautiful states in our country as seen from pictures and on TV Programs.
Initially we had a lot of apprehensions of traveling but then we finally decided to go ahead with the trip. There were many rumours about issue in the town but then we decided to go ahead and explore.
The most popular thing to do in Srininagar was to go for ride in “Shikhara” on Dal Lake. Later we enquired with Tourism Department and went to Shalimar Bhagh, Chashme Shahi and famous Hazrat Bal Mosque. We also explored other places that were couple of hours away, Gulmarg and Pehelgham. The bus ride across these place gives spectacular view of the valley, river and more.
While we were there, locals mentioned about the holy pilgrimage to Amarnath Caves. This pilgrimage happens only once in a year for 1-2 months. This was an experience of lifetime as we had to walk across different mountains for 12-14kms and walk across glaciers for another 4-6kms. We had our hiccups due to lack of oxygen but managed to successfully complete the pilgrimage.
Highlight of the tour was the Gondola/Cable-Car ride at Gulmarg in which we went to the topmost peak. It was the first time that I got to see a blanket of snow on the mountain with my naked eyes.
Western India Trip – I said ‘No’ Initially
There are couple of places in Karnataka that are must visit and one of them is the Jog Falls. A bunch of office colleagues that were part of Beer Bash Gang, decided to go on a trip and explore place in & around Jog falls.
This was a trip that I was not inclined to go. But my friend came to home, made me pack and literally dragged me into this trip.
The first spot after an overnight journey was the amazing Jog Waterfalls. It was winter-season and there was very little water falling from the water-falls but still the sight was incredible. The waterfalls have multiple smaller falls that are given unique names like Raja, Rani, Rocket & Rorer. These names were given as they resemble some of the characteristic.
Next spot was the visit to the beautiful temple town of Murdeshwar. The town is famous for its Shiva Temple and huge beach-line. Lakhs of tourists travel every year to visit the temple and also enjoy the beach-side.
We next went to the famous Gokharna that’s famous for its shacks and its high/low tides. A lot of foreigner visits the place as the beach looks very beautiful. We stayed in one of the resorted located next to the beach and experience low-tide when the sea-water recedes. But in the morning the water was hitting at the walls of the resort. It was a spectacular site that was memorable. The stay was fun as we enjoyed drinking plenty of beer and walking on the sea-shores.
Highlight of the tour was the first sight of Jog Fall which lets anyone watch it in amazement.
Goa Trip – Everyone said ‘No’ Initially
During the college days, we all had the craze of going to Goa, drink fenny (local drink) and exploring the beaches. Initially 10 college-mates agreed to be part of it and later 7 of them backed out citing various reason. But as friend try to push our friend if we believe in something. In the end, we were able to convince all the 7 members, put a budget on the money to be spent during the trip and set-off.
We took the route via Mangalore, Londa and Vasco. Took a budget accommodation and set out to explore the beaches in Goa. We hardly knew anything about Goa or its any of the beaches. But we were Openminded in exploring the place by enquiring with the locals. We did manage to visit multiple beaches like Calangute, Palolem, Baga and Anjuna. Some of us also managed to do parasailing for the first time.
Highlight of the trip was the Boat Cruise at Lonavla for 2hrs which was great fun with live music and dance.
The Shettihalli Trip – Near Fiasco
I was part of gang during my college days who would generally hang-out together. On a day when the college declared leave, we decided to go to a near town called Shettihalli on 4 bikes. The place was only 30-40kms away from Hassan. The place is famous for its Gothic church build by missionaries in 1860. Located on the banks of river Hemavathi, the church gets partially submerged with water level increases. A lot of tourists would visit the abandoned church and enjoy spending time by the river side.
We as group of 8 started off with an intent to explore the place, spend some time and get back. But little did we know that we would face issues during our drive. One of the bikes had break-pad issue and another one had a tyre puncture. Adding to this one of the bikes, the fuel tank was empty. There seem to be some force trying to stop us from going there but eventually 4 / 8 did manage to reach. We had a great time at the backwater, splashing water, exploring the church before heading back.
Highlight of the trip was the determination in some of us to reach the destination whatever be the circumstance.
The Blind List
We all hear about Bucket List, but the idea of Blind List (#TheBlindList) is amazing. If I understand it in lay man terms, it about visiting a place that’s totally unknown to the person. Given a chance I will very much willing to be part of the trip. It will require me to learn to communicate with the local and get info regarding all the places to explore (#SayYesToTheWorld).
The latest video by Lufthansa Airlines thats appearing one TV and Youtube has gone viral. They show a set of Travelers who like many of us, love the idea of traveling and Exploring the World.
My Final Thoughts
The travel experiences I have shared are so strong in my mind. It’s been given an enriching experience of sort as I have explored more place, met new people and had more fun. After the initially jitter in all the trips I mentioned above, the desire for Exploring the World kept me going.
Given a chance, I will want to be part of many such trips by myself or with others. A beautiful initiative by Lufthansa that inspired me to ponder over and write. It also makes me go on a holiday immediately and explore.
Wiki pages of various places to clarify details before adding.