Thursday, 12 December 2013

For the LOVE of Music, Driving & Camping

“....Gonna travel, gonna travel wild and free

I’m gonna pack my bags because this great big world is calling me”

I am bobbling my head while singing this Elvis song along in my head and smiling happily! Finally I am making good use of my weekend. Most of my sat and sun weekend is spent in sleeping, cleaning, shopping or clearing any kind of back log. And a weekend trip had been long overdue!

The weekend seemed promising, filled with overnight camping and some fantastic music under the star lit sky, and was I excited!

This driving trip was organised by the Blueberry trails in association with Mahindra Adventure as their travel partner who gave a bunch of Mahindra vehicles (3 Quantos, 2 Boleros, and 1 Scorpio to be precise). These vehicles brimming with nearly 20- 25 people as excited as me set off for the weekend away.

As the car rocked and rolled on the hilly track towards our campsite at Phansarai, the sun was just about setting behind us. Far from the maddening city, this was just what I needed!

As we rolled into the camp site, there was this slight nip in the air and soon enough the camp site quickly envelopes in the night darkness with only the moon shining above. *Perfect*

Surrounded by the massive rock face on one side and a 50 m drop on the other side, the site is snugly placed. With no electricity, the only lights are the solar lamp in each of the green neon tent against the black shadow of the mountain. It was surreal.
Photo credit: Letscampout
Before we could get cosy into them, we were sent on a short night trek. Ready with our sweatshirts and a torch in hand, we head off. This didn’t seem like such a great idea at first (especially because I don’t like walking much and the camp site looked so tempting), but then after a few steps into the trek, I realized, it was a good idea to pump some blood into my cold hands and this was also a chance to know other people in the trip. Soon I was engrossed in listening to Raghuram uncle who had completed the Mansarovar trek earlier this year (mind you, it is a hard trek which is at an altitude of 15, 000- 18, 000FT) or Anuj from Pune who shared his love for wildlife photography or my tent mate Rajvi, a lovely young girl who spoke about financial marketing which I only pretended to understand. This is why I love travelling; you get to meet such interesting people.
Before I knew it, we were back at the campsite but this time there are more lights. The makeshift stage set for the music got everyone all dreamy!

Soon it was time to raise the spirits and pass on the plates of bar-b-que chicken and potatoes.

On a high note, we cosily sat around the two musicians, Sidhharth and Arjun. It was the recipe for the perfect evening, cold starry night, strumming of the guitar and some awesome people for company. From some original compositions to solos to some Pearl Jam, the evening just got better.

As we drifted into the night, I looked around, it didn’t seem like we were all just a bunch of strangers who had just met for the first time today. Everyone had shared a piece of themselves. In some weird way, maybe just for today, we did feel connected.

For me the night didn’t end here. After the after-party, when we sleepily slipped into our tents, little did we know that we would catch no sleep. The winds had gotten wilder and was pounding our little tent wall, like it was the prelude to some scary storm! The whole night the tent walls went *Thub Thub Thub* and kept me and my tent mate awake and wondering if others were going through the same. Between the howling winds we did hear the rhythmic sounds of someone snoring, rather loudly, well someone did get some sleep after all!

By morning, everyone was out and dying for a cup of chai. Sober and sleepy, we all had successfully made it through the rough night. In retrospect, the tent was a brilliant experience. Times like these makes me feel grateful for the roof above my head and a pillow to hug onto. Soon we were all hugging goodbyes and piling into our cars and making plans for our next weekend out, hopefully together.
A BIG wet snoogly nooch to everyone who made the weekend so awesome!

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