Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spur of the Moment Trips

Of all the trips that I have done, the most exciting ones have been the spur of the moment trips. During my graduation and post graduation days have gone on quite a few of those-in fact most of the trips during those days where spur of the moment ones.

The last one that I had was around an year back in Hyderabad. It was a Thursday night and has been raining like hell for the last couple of days. Me and a couple of friends were sitting in a pub and having drinks and suddenly someone mentioned that there is a cyclonic storm scheduled to hit vishakapattanam early next day morning. Suddenly it struck me that I had never seen a cyclonic storm, so why waste the opportunity. I asked who all were interested in going to vishakapattanam right now and only 1 hand went up. For the next 30 minutes called up friends all around Hyderabad and the responses varied from polite ‘no I have office tomorrow’ to ‘ u r crazy to go to vishakapattanam when people are getting out of there’ to everything in between. Anyway, bottom-line was that it was just the 2 of us. We decided to go nevertheless, by then it was already around 12.30 in the night, so we wound up everything by 1, went home, picked up a change of cloth and dumped it in the car and started off by 2. When we started off, we were under the impression that vizag is only 450-470 k.m. from Hyderabad. Our intention was to reach by around 10-11. The moment we started, my friend went off to sleep, so I had the pitter patter of the rain and the numerous trucks on the road to keep me company. By around 5.15 we had covered around 240 k.m. and was very close to vijayawada. For the last 3 hours I have been driving non-stop in 3 digit speeds thru the heavy rains and the lack of sleep and the alcohol started to take its toll on me. I decided to stop, otherwise I knew we might end up under some truck. As much as I tried to get comfortable, I realized the Swift is too small for that ( I have to buy the Octavia with the double bed boot). So after 45 min I realized the futility and at 6 decided to start driving again. The rain was now so heavy that one could hardly see beyond 10 meters. By 6.30 we reached vijayawada and we were shocked by a sign board which said vishakapattanam some 420 odd kilometers. That was it, there was no way I could drive for another 400 kilometers in that condition and my friend didn’t know driving and he was anyway not feeling too well from the previous night. So we decided to take a room in vijayawada and sleep. By evening we were all set but then we decided to call off the vizag trip and decided to explore vijayawada. We went around and saw whatever we could figure out (Prakasam Barrage, Kondipalli fort, Undavalli caves) as both of us didn’t know telugu and outside of Hyderabad, they don’t speak much of Hindi. Anyway after seeing whatever we could manage, we went off to sleep again. Next day was a brilliant day with heavily overcast skies but no heavy rain, only the occasional drizzle, Ideal day for enjoying the drive. We started relatively early and stopped at all the rivers, creeks, puddles we found on the way and took a dip. Chased all the cars we found on the way ( had a long duel with a Corolla, took me around 15 k.m. and a top speed of 140 kmph to make him realize that I will not give up. My swifty took all the red-lining in her stride) and reached Hyderabad in the afternoon. By then Hyderabad was flooded and we had a hard time reaching home

Although we pretty much failed in almost everything that we set out for-reach vizag, catch the cyclone-it was a pretty good trip because of the spontaneity of all the decisions we made. We did whatever we wanted to do whenever we wanted to do without thinking twice. That’s the fun of ‘spur of the moment trips’ because the start itself sets the tone for the entire trip so all the decisions that follow also are spur of the moment ones. Such trips are increasingly becoming less because of work and people having too many things to think before deciding on something. But I sure as hell am missing them and believe that is the best way to travel

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