Tonight India & Pakistan are playing one day international cricket match between them in England and excitement in these two country is palpable. One can go anywhere and every where in restaurants to pubs to clubs and one is thing is playing on almost all the screens. The cricket game. Many people have gone to the extent of taking flights to England just to watch the match.
So as a traveller, how likely it is for you to spend on a costly flight ticket for a game of say tournament. I read a lot about soccer or football love of people and how many of the fan clubs travel with their teams unofficially mostly pooling their own money many times to support their favourite teams and to cheer for them.
The world cups of soccer are madness and then there are series like European Premier League etc. Tennis is huge game in many country and people follow Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open, French Open on a scale and enthusiasm unimaginable for many other. Polo, Golf, F1 Moto GP are other few games garnering fame, money and eyeball around the world at some scale of other.
However, which game we could say is biggest travel motivator? It seems football/ Soccer will beat any game hands down for top spot mobilising 100+ countries to compete for coveted trophy and mobilising people as well to travel and go around the place.
It would be good to hear from any of you to hear about your travel story motivated by sports in particular, however, for now let’s see the Cricket Match. #Ind v/s #Pak. #ChampiansTrophy #Edgbaston #England #Cricket #Game
This is series I am starting to write about my travel by bus which I thought for a many times why not “bas” ( “bas” in hindi mean, enough)
Travelling with one compulsion that is mode of transport i.e. Flight, Train, Bus, Car, Motorbike, Cycle and variants of these. Today, we have technology to support ( or break?) us in almost every possible realm of life and travel is of course not one untouched by it. We have different modes of transport at different stages of travel and it is pretty convenient in most of situation compared to, say, 50years back.
Do you like it? Of course you would probably like the part where because of these fasters, convenient and comfortable transport people are able to travel so much ( allegedly Mrs. Hilary Clinton flew so much) and then somebody else broke her record too ( obviously John Kerry had to do it ), by the way do you notice then both have lost their bid for presidency ? coincidence , eh? Anyway!
What I meant was, do you like these mode of transport or given a chance to undo all this and bring back those chariots and horses , you would press the button? Do you like that feeling of travelling for days and nights together and more to reach somewhere and again days and nights together for next leg of your journey, like good old fashioned ways or you want it to be jet set age? Where journey is reduced to ordeal of booking a tickets after long research and deliberations, airport checkins, drinking, sleeping & watching some movie which have possibly already watch!
Coming to the title, bus journey feels like most widely available & used mode of transport, however I don’t like them as such for various reasons those are mostly related to being 186 cms tall, sense of smells and living in a developing country. The ordeal of sitting in the uncomfortably designed seat just for me has not been really inviting you know, specially if the journey is for more then 12 hours.
Not with stating my reservations or rather forced to, I travelled a lot in buses. I, now hear about exotic bus routes around the world and some of them are inviting, some others reminds me of my own journeys back then.
Some of the famous bus rides wraps around cities like London, Paris, NewYork City, Buenos Aires, Edinburg, Dubai, Bangkok, Rome, Sydney, Barcelona covering these respective country’s landscape and there are some city tours like Beijing, Moscow. Tallinn, Stockholm, Budapest etc. which tells more about the cities, architeture and local culture. Hope to feel elated one day on a bus journey, that it.
How scared are you of being penniless? how important is money for you as a traveller? Now a days web is ripe with stories of people who claim that “money is not necessary for travelling but the will power to do so” Do you think so? If one travels without money, how do you pay your meals? ( forget about flights) Don’t you have to think twice or hundred times to how would you go from point A to point B because only comfortable and convenient way is expensive? or is it okay to be dependent of mercy of people? What would you think of somebody doing the same? beggar? That’s not so nice I guess!!
In conversation with another backpacker it came out that he was being served a free pizza by known cafe of us and for some reason and he was damn happy about it. He could not stop grinning and I asked, him being a european, it was just a pizza! what’s the big deal man? And he came out emotionally, “You don’t know value of a free pizza for a backpacker of 1.5years”.
Intrigued, I was all ears and he obliged telling me, it is not as it looks like for every person from EU, in fact in many ways this is good time to be in South East Asia at large and India in particular. Cost of living, ratio of quality of life to cost of living, quality of people, society, food. Top of that who does not like a free pizza. 🙂 He kept going on and on for some time. We moved on after that ….
But the thought stuck to my mind and I come out here to ask you, what do you think?!
Transit is way of life – a permanent one
Last time I wrote about Manali it actually wanted to write about Laddakh & Leh. Thinking about Manali makes me emotional I guess. Last time I went to Manali was for Cycling with in Manali and Manali was the base camp, however this time it was just transit, I had to reach Leh for another cycling expedition and I stayed in Manali for less then 24 hours.
The time one spends on #the #MALLROAD can give you an experience in itself and lessons as well. Talking about Mall Road, it has become fashionable name as most famous hill station has a Mall Road of their own. The trend originally started in Shimla and due to popularity of the road other towns in Himalayan region got one main road with same name.
During those hours, by the way hawkers approached tourist, I realised few things like:
Indian Men need “Shilajit” or Desi version of viagra
Indian Men definitely need this thing if they are with a girl roaming about Mall Road
Everybody must eat & shop
Consistent pestering of hawkers can be as irritating & tiring as dogs are for monkeys.
Passing time and observing around I happen to encounter couple of people playing musical instruments on road (which is not allow anymore for reasons best understood by Manali Police). Music was amazing and I stood there listening to them and in some time crowd gathered for the same. They kept playing & people kept listening peacefully. That was one of most peaceful road concert I have ever been part of.
I had made a mistake however which was to eat a sumptuous dinner and I was unaware to how was it a mistake till I boarded the mini bus that night round 2am for Leh. I threw each and every drop/morsel of fluid I might have had in my stomach in next few hours.
This visit made me see Manali I did not see last time, The one which tourist see as introduction, the one which makes you eat “softy” & buy “Shilajeet”. The one which is like a mini carnival with all the colors scattered around. The one which is selling itself to survive that season. The one which sees much more Indian crowd then otherwise.
I bade my good bye for this one that night…. and boarded the bus for Leh.
These two words are quite interesting individually and gives birth to heady cocktail when mixed as there numerous possibilities comes on picture when one think of these two together. Travel. Relationship.
We will talk about all the possibilities and to begin with we will put possibilities here. So here you go
Relationship with places
Relationship within your mind & heart
Relationship with Travel things
(That T-shirt is forever)
Relationship between travel companion(s)
Relationship with means of travel
Relationship with passerby
Travel & Relationship also bring me to, travelling with relationship(s) and how they evolve with that but that for some other day!
There might be many more which I missed, You are welcome to add them! we will go through each of them in future..!
This post started as “#ME & #Laddakh” but developed itself rather like “#ME & #Manali” and I had to change the title as well
It can never have a perfect start or end or enough of words when I write of #Laddakh because everything fall short for the #Laddakh. I run out of all tangible thing as I am flooded with………..this post would continue later…for now please keep on reading about #Manali
It started long back when I visited first ever time to Manali and when you are in #Manali you see every day some of groups leaving for Leh and some of them coming back. People talking about which mountain pass is open or not. There are road signs indicating just that. Whole atmosphere is like a transit camp, which is full of life and anticipation. Like any other transit camps, there are unofficially defined zones for everything. Everything one might want to do to have fun and enjoyment, cafes, hostels, smoke zones, #hash-zones , grass/weed zones, some might like to argue that whole Manali is that only however it is largely divided in terms of type of people populating and hanging about that place e.g. Old Manali is den of foreign nationals and famously second home to Israeli people who come after their military service.
But I did not see any of it.
When I first visited #Manali, it was through the eyes of a cycling expedition and my exposure to real #Manali was as limited as it could be, however, I felt I needed to come back. As Soon As Possible.
First time ever, I was cycling in #Manali and visited all the places one supposed to be visited like #Hidimba Temple, #Manu Temple, #Vashishth #HotSpring, #Naggar Castle etc. and the highlight of whole time was not these place but the routes to go there which we covered by cycling.
Every day was marked with scenic beauty of #pine and air filled with fragrance of mountain flora and fauna. Body filled with strain of #cycling and #heart filled with #joy. It was a different experience and I did not know about it. I did not know I was not looking at Manali with a tourist point of view but a cyclist view.
In later years, I went Manali for different purposes and got chance explore the place from different angles and god it was fun every way I tried but most of all it was a relief from summer heat of northern Indian plains in lap of #Himalayas. While one can feel the transit every day. Transit because #Leh felt like home later and by road Manali to Leh highway is the one of three way to reach Leh.
Manali became and hopefully be my favourite transit camp. More about Manali some other day!
When I left Delhi for Aut to join the Jalori Pass Mountain Biking Expedition, little did I know about course of event are about to give me memories for life time. In small villages of Aut, Manglore, Jibhi and Sojha there were so many moments about to unfold themselves before me that I would be left in different array of expressions and emotion sometimes expressed otherwise not.
Aut, situated roughly 68kms before Manali on Delhi Manali Route ( Right after the 3kms long tunnel , NH 3) is peaceful hamlet saving all day noise of vehicle passing by on the main road. There is one route which takes you towards Shimla.
The route itself in scenic and exhilarating would be an understatement when you start moving toward Sojha, it feels like you are in the movie, Lord of the Rings and walking in the mountains where elves are about to appear any moment. Weather changes colours fast then a chameleon can and roads become a roller coaster ride. Every turn you take feels you have discover a new world which keep happening more often then not.
When all this can happen and you choose to cycle your way around these mountains, it increases your fun quotient by several fold as it gives you time to take as much as possible without rushing through the region as the length of this route till Jalori Pass is roughly 40kms which not too long if you want to take a motorised vehicle.
I was fortunate enough that rain gods thought of gracing my ride with their blessings and it was fun to ride in light rain fall along the way and it was beautiful to be able to differentiate between area where it was raining and areas without rain in that comparatively small patch of route with naked eyes!
Anybody who wants to train themselves for high gradient cycling, it is great idea to ride this route as it starts with easy roads and take you to HQ gradient coupled with no roads. Reaching to each of these villages is fun and moving too. However entering Sojha is unparalleled possible for many reasons like its altitude, its proximities to the pass yet charm to hold you for stay. The fragrant air which one can’t get enough and many more.
If you want to just relax in lap of nature and cool your mind off. These are the places for you. C ya!
P.S. Don’t forget to pack your rain jacket.
This picture had been taken at village Tedagaon near Jim Corbett National Tiger Reserve, India while I was cycling there with a group of amateur cycling enthusiasts, the things on the branches are Not leaves but parakeets which are common in this region.
Do you look for inspiration or for excuses? Because you will find whatever you look for.
Life would have been deprived of stories and experiences for this couple who met me during their journey towards their Home, that is, New Zealand. I hope you would guys would like to meet this inspiration couple and fabulous human beings who goes by names Don Abbey and Robyn Abbey.
This story has drama, anxiety, exasperation, danger, bravery, uncertainty, compassion, kindness, dedication & love to say the least.This is a story of a couple in their golden years cycling across the continents from England to New Zealand via EU, Turkey, Iran, UAE, India, Thailand to name a few.
Their courage for taking this adventure is commendable and inspiration as the pictures they have share on their blog which will guide you through their journey, a long one. In case you get a chance to talk to them, they will tell you their life stories as well which are really great.
These two pictures tell their stories in many ways I think if you care to observe. You can read more about them on their blog.
Thank you Robyn & Don for being wonderful people you are!
P.S. : Picture Courtesy Robyn & Don Abbey