When In The Picturesque, Lake District!

After experiencing the Vibrant London and on the road attractions, we headed to a more quieter place with less hustle- bustle into the district of lakes. Lake District is called so because it houses Sixteen absolutely jaw-dropping Lakes!

Packed and on the road we hopped on the Euston London to Oxenholme. We had to catch a train from Oxenholme to Windermere, and from there starts our self-drive adventures.

Tip: So if you are traveling from Virgin Trains to Oxenholme and you have a connecting train to catch, chances are that it might get late and you might miss the connecting train. But you don’t have to worry because there are trains from one stop to another quite often and the ticket is valid for the next train as well, but it works if you are traveling on the same date. (From my experience)

Once in Windermere, the town is small, not that small but relatively small, we walked down from the train station to our lodging. A beautiful sunny day with a little cloud over our heads we reached the lodging with our bags. “The Grey Wall” as the name suggests the walls were grey which gave a vintage English feel of the place. Basically our lodge was a pub and the rooms were a floor up.

We all had lunch in the Pub because we were to tired to go anywhere. After a delicious lunch we headed out for a drive to Ullster our very first lake!

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Drive To Ullster
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The Ullster Lake

After returning we headed to our rooms, freshened up and got dressed for the night. Okay, now the thing is, the FIFA World Cup going on so the Pub was full with people, and it was England who was playing. And there I witnessed the typical English sports culture, where people had drinks in one hand and celebrated every goal the team made! I was absolutely glad to witness this proper culture!

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Lake Windemere

After everyone was dressed we headed out to the Lake. And oh, the whole town was DEAD silent. Whatever noise came, came from the pubs around the lake. We spent some time on the lake and then suddenly saw people coming out on the streets, which indicated that the match was over. Though there were people on the streets, still the town seemed DEAD silent. Then I realised England must have lost, and it had!

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Another Shot of the Lake

Up on our feets the next day we headed out to explore the picturesque Lake District early! Our first stop was Grasmere, as “The Grey Wall” did not give us breakfast we decided to have it there. On the way to Grasmere we saw a lake called Rydal, which was absolutely beautiful, seldom did we know hat it was just the beginning for many more awe-striking lakes to come.

Reaching Grasmere did not take very long. When we reached, everything was close. We were quite hungry and were looking for breakfast. So we parked our car a little outside the town of Grasmere and started walking into the town. We crossed the beautiful Dove Cottage on our way to the town, but did not go inside. There was a very cute place which was about to open, so while we waited for it to open, we talked to a complete stranger duo of father and son, and on talking to them we came to know that the World’s Best Gingerbread is just a few meters away. So we walked to the shop, it was a vintage shop that had absolutely delicious homemade Gingerbread, the shop was known as “Grasmere Gingerbread”. Just beside that shop was the Wordsworth Garden, so we walked through the gates and witnessed the place where William Wordsworth came to write.

After sometime we headed to the breakfast place and had a typical English breakfast, which included, scones, tea, salmon, eggs and toast! And trust me this breakfast was quite heavy!

Tip: Salmon that they serve are usefully boiled, which according to your palate might not taste very good. But the people of UK are very customer friendly, so if you request them to bake them or fry them, they will be happy to do it!

On the road again we were now headed to Keswick where we planned to have our lunch. The roadside attractions made us stop every time! An extremely notable stop was the one we made on Thirlmere lake. There was a small 20 minutes hike on the lake which we took and enjoyed the amazing view from the top.

After experiencing the beautiful drive, we finally reached the city of Keswick! Just near where we parked was an amazing flee market. We walked along the market and to the Derwenwater, which by the way was quite a walk! The walk was not tiring and we got to see almost the whole town. Along the walk way was a beautiful garden and when we finally reached the lake, oh my, what a view! The mighty lake had a nice mountain range on the other side and a land which was accessible to people where they could sit and enjoy the view, but we all napped!

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The Keswick Flea Market
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The Derwenwater Lake

After waking up, we realised to start back on the road, and we were not hungry so ice-cream became our lunch! On the road again we wanted to take a circle of the while Lake District through scenic route, but we got lost in way too many places. So we decided to enjoy the lost route. On that route we saw multiple lake namely, Bassenwaithe, Grummock Lake which is considered one of the most beautiful lake and the last one was Buttermere.

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After enjoying the most confusing and re-routed route ever, we headed back to Windermere, where we took a boat ride, we were lucky enough to get the last one! We ended our day by eating at a restaurant named Pizzeria and headed home early to pack!


 

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If you like it do like, comment and share, it will let me know that you like it and encourage me to put out more of my work!

Thank you again! Have a nice day ahead!

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Kaas Pathar — The Valley of Flowers

20 people, one bus, at 6:30 am we were on our way to Kaas Pathar — the Valley of Flowers.

 

The drive was for about 4-5 hours. From the eldest generation in Pune to the youngest generation we were all in one bus, playing, talking and listening to music. After driving for about 2 hours on an empty stomach it was bound that all of us started feeling hungry. To feed our hunger stricken taste buds we stopped at a small dhabba. There we had home cooked kheema freshly made by Nargis Bhen, with rotis and some superb chai.

Drive from there was quite soothing. Mostly people slept, but some of us were entertaining ourselves. After hitting the ghats, even if I wanted to I couldn’t get myself to close my eyes. I switched my seat to that of a window one with Saqib, because I did not want a perfectly amazing view passing us by.

Every turn of the ghat made us shout out in awe (literally). Lush green mountains on one side and Kaas lake parallel to us on the other. The road could not have been better than this. I was excited, if the approach road was this amazing, where would my jaw be when we reach the destination!

After we reached the destination, because it was a little bit of a walk to the main plateau, I had to wait in the traveler because of my recent operation.  Hahaha.. kidding you think I of all people would let my health affect the serenity my eyes were about to witness, never in 7 hells!! So to say my jaw was nowhere to be found because it was dropped dead at the scenes my eyes beheld. Wonderful lush green plateau on both sides what it lacked where flowers, I mean there were flowers but we were early in the blooming season to visit the plateau so there were not as many.

Tip: 1. If you have decided early in the year to go to Satara, make sure your trip is well planned and that your visit is not to late or early in the season.

2. Pre-book the tickets and parking spots through the internet so that there, you are not face to face with to too many problems.

3. If you are going all the way to Satara make sure it’s a 2-3 day trip because first of all there is a lot to see in Satara than just Kaas, and second of all, it is too long a drive from any major city so might as well stay there for a while.

We walked for quite sometime, and in the end found a nice place to sit and start our photo shoot. 2 of us carried DSLR camera and I carried my possession, the Nikon digital camera (the photos on this page are from the same). After about an hour or so, hanging out in the lush green serene plateau, with the sun shining bright just above our heads, we decided to head out to the Kaas lake, where we had our delicious lunch. We had a very late lunch at about 4 o’clock or something. With our stomach full with multiple delicious dishes, for a little bit of relaxation we headed to the Kaas lake, which was walking distance from our lunch place. There were a lot of people inside the water so we decided against getting wet and for sleeping outside on the heated rocks for sometime.

There for sometime, with Tazeen’s bag underneath my head, my legs stretched out and my complete body at rest, I closed my eyes and tried, amongst all those noises to make this journey a journey within.

As once a far off dervish called SHAMS OF TABRIZ said: ” East, west, south or north makes a little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you will travel the whole wide world and beyond.

And alas it did turn out to be a journey within, in a small way, but it did.

After the raindrops started to fall on our heads, we took that as an indication to head out and hit the road, and go back to Pune. The rains in the end made a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Etching Happiness: Uroli

 

I was travelling again, alone again, in the train again but this time to Delhi, the capital of India. My mom was very scared and happy as well, as a matter of fact she gave me a name also, vagabond. While the train was heading towards Delhi, I was sitting quietly in my seat which was thankfully near the window. I had mixed feelings about this trip. I was laughing to my self, feeling proud and having fun by myself. This is when I conscientiously realised that I in fact do love my own company, I love to stay with myself.

So, this was it, I was on the road yet again, this time ready to experience and learn. What came as a surprise were the amazing friends that I made, which I am very proud of. It all started out in Delhi, I reached Delhi during early afternoon and was in the hotel by lunch time. I saw a lot of familiar faces as well as new friendly faces who were very welcoming. I was sharing a room with another instructor named Sonia. We became relatively friendly and after a while I found myself with her and 3 other instructors on the metro train on our way to Decathlon.

After the alarm went off at 3 o’clock in the morning me and Sonia got up and got ready as we had to leave the hotel by 3:30 with other instructors. The meeting point for the kids was the Delhi Railway station. After sometime we found ourselves on Shatabadi Express honking our way to Kathgodam station. I was put in a different coach, but because of the kids had to constantly make my way through 2 coaches to keep the kids entertained. Which was fun as its better to get acquainted to kids before hand. Then the camp is nothing else but a lot of fun. When we reached the Uroli campsite, I was awestruck! It was nothing but pure beauty which existed in reality in front of my eyes. All the tiredness from the 12 hour journey just vanished and i was ready to conduct the camp.

The first programme was only of 6 days. I wanted to stay a little longer, and right then a miracle occurred and I stayed back for one more programme in the same campsite. I adored the camp with all my heart. Along these 6 days of the first programme, I learned a lot. I was thankful to be working with the best team there was, with Tony sir as my team leader, who I had already worked with. Our team was like a well oiled machine, everybody knew their own parts, no tiff’s no grudges and we carried out the activities very very smoothly and somewhat very humorously.

During these 6 days I was with the backpacking team. I wanted a little bit of a change and for one day I changed my team to that of rock climbing. There was this kid who wanted to be with me for very long. When she found out that on that day I was not going for backpacking she lost her cool. Thankfully she did not cry, but she made a huge scene even with my team leaders, nothing major. But that act was very emotionally touching in a certain way. Moreover, I could see that my team members also did not want me to leave, I mean that’s what I felt. But I went with rock climbers anyway.

All in all when these 6 days were over the kids took away with them a lot of memories and bonds were created with us as well. We all had a day’s break before the next group was going to come. The whole camp was to ourselves, there were no kids to watch over, no one to wake us up in the morning and on top of it, it started raining. All of us were more than happy to crash out early after dinner and sleep in late.

The next set of kids were a bit older than the previous lot. They made themselves at home as soon as they entered the camp. Though tired from the the long journey, their energy level was still as high as the Everest! they were welcomed with heavy rain, very heavy rain. After they were all allotted to their respective tents, they were made acquainted with us as we all were to spend 8 days with each other. Might as well spend it peacefully. :p

So, I was in the backpacking team again with two new members and two old members including me. This time each group would stay with us for 3 days and then the next group would come again for 3 days. These 3 days also included a night out in the wild. I adored my first group very much. On the first day we took them to our usual route and the usual lectures that we conduct. During the course of day one, we all became very close to each other. Which put my mind at peace that the next two days will be good, especially the night out. To my surprise all the kids of my team were crazily excited about the night out. In no time, on day two, we were packed and ready to go. Because there were a lot of girls and it was a night out I insisted on taking one more lady instructor with me. The night out which we were a bit scared of went off very smoothly. Kids did see a baby fox there, but they were not scared at all. We had a campfire which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. From that day on wards I was known as the “Chuha” didi, because I did a rhyme which they absolutely loved. I was also known as the “Haryali” didi because of a power up I conducted.

Oh! The night out for the kids was a total hit, but the night out for the instructors…… It was no doubt amazing, but we had no tents, we had to sleep under the tarp. Which was indeed amazing, but then it started raining, and to top it all the tarp was not big enough to fit 6 instructors. But the night past and we all came out of the tarp alive. That night changed the equation between me and the kids. We all became much much closer to each other. They adored me and I returned their love with all my heart.

When we came back from the night out in the morning, the kids were in for a surprise. We took them for a bath, in the stream. It was the coldest water I had ever been in till date, on top of that, there was rain with hailstorm. That day was unforgettable, it will always be etched as a perfect memory in my brain.

The next day the groups were switched and I switched with my group to rock climbing. But sadly, it did not last very long, I injured my self and was not able to go with my group for remaining 2 days. Though, I kinda left the kids, the kids of group 1 did not leave me. The kids would come to me to talk about their day, show me their talents, and then we would start singing songs. And of course the chuha rhyme followed. The most special thing was 3 of the kids, made a lovely get well soon card for me. I was emotionally touched, with all the love I was getting.

On the last day, I did not want to leave the camp site, but I had to go back, I had to come home. The kids cried because they didn’t want to leave the camp, some actually cried because they did not want to leave me. But they had to, everyone had to go. And so did I.

And this way, another wonderful camp came to an end, and I was home again. This trip was nothing but a wonderful journey of friendship, love and happiness. I made friends with the instructors who are still very much in touch with me. I created memories with the kids, which will always be ingrained in my brain, and always hold a special place in my heart. Uroli was the best camp of this summer, hands down. I tell this very honestly and very truthfully. The lessons I learned, the love I received, the bonds I created are beyond anything in this world. This trip was all about discovering yourself and it made me realise there is so much more to this world and with just a simple smile and politeness we can touch so many lives and hearts.


 

Thank you for reading.

All the pictures in this blog which do not have me in it are clicked by me.

Everything in this blog is written through experience. I hope you all like it. Please like this blog so that i receive your encouragement. Since you are here please comment, criticism is most welcomed.

Thank you!

P.S- The featured image does not have me in it, but it describes my exact feelings for this camp.

Enduring the True Modern Middle Eastern Essence!

Getting up in the morning after a tiring schedule ( of Day 1 in Dubai) was way too difficult than we ever could have imagined. But we had to get up, because we had to get started with Day 2 in DUBAI! We had our breakfast and then went to the room to get ready as we were too lazy to get ready before we had something to eat. 

As soon we got ready we went down to the lobby, where we would get free wifi! Sitting there checking all the messages and updates from last night we waited for Shaan Bhai. Today was a day out were we will see all the major attraction which Dubai had to offer. It was a bad start to the day because our first destination was the Dubai Museum which sadly was closed for maintenance. We could not see it from inside. But we did manage to take pictures from outside. 

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On the Entrance of Dubai Museum. 
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In front of ship, a part of the museum but from the outside.

After taking a glimpse of Dubai Museum [from outside :(] we headed off to an area called Gold Souk. It was famous for cheap gold. Shan Bhai warned us to avoid buying the gold today, as we were already out of time and we needed to see a lot in that single day. So he told us to just take a look, compare the prizes and to buy later.

One interesting disappointment which happened was, Shaan Bhai took us in a shop to buy chocolates and dates, we did not buy (thank god). Later we came to know that the most famous Lulu market had cheaper and better dates than this. One of the traveller was furious on us and himself. On us because we did not tell, which by the way he did not ask and attacked the shop as soon as we entered (I saw that and it was not a good sight) and secondly he should have known. So my advice to all the people travelling to Dubai, see the attractions and don’t be in hurry to buy, compare the prices ask around and keep a day only for shopping. Best thing about Dubai, no taxes you will get the stuff in the price written on it! So grab as much as you want but intelligently!

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In front of a shop, on Gold Souk.
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Modelling away on the road! (Not a good one though)

After giving half an hour extra, Shan Bhai was furious as he saw none of us at the meeting point. As soon as he would collect everyone and leave to call the bus driver, everyone would get scattered again. In this process the driver received a fine of 700 AED! Which was sad on his part and irresponsible on ours.

After all the commotion we moved on to our next destination which was a drive on the Jumeira beach. Wow what a view! But as good the view was the heat was harsher. Beating the fiery sun which shined upon us we quickly got down of the bus, because we don’t come to Dubai everyday, and we did not want to miss any part of it. We did sit for a while, but could not bear the heat for long so we hurried back to the air conditioned bus.

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My Brother in front of Burj-al-Arab.
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In front of Jumeira Beach.

After the beautiful drive we headed off to the Dubai mall. Which was huge! We saw the aquarium and water fountain which were inside the mall. Without wasting anymore time we headed of the see BURJ KHALIFA! The tallest man made wonder! We were given the tickets and we were all instructed more so given an option to stay as long as we wanted AT THE TOP! 

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In front of the visible half of the aquarium
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The water fountain inside the Dubai Mall

The lift which took us to the top was super fast. It reached 125th floor in just 60 seconds! Incredible! The lift was dark and there were disco lights all in arrow shaped, marking our movement upwards. Reaching at the top and looking down in the world was breathtaking, but it did give my brother and my mother a bit of nausea. I was not affected by the height at all and stood there taking in what the sight had to offer.

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Sign On the Entrance.
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View from the Top

After having  waited there for quite some time, we made our way down again in 60 seconds inside the mall. We were hungry so we ate a little and then headed outside to see the water fountain show. I would have shown it to you, but I am not premium yet! 😉

We sat there and enjoyed the two shows, that’s sitting in 53 degrees for one hour! Too much, but we did it any way and also managed to convince Shaan Bhai to take a sneak peak of one additional show. It was too enchanting to leave!

 

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Where The Fountain show took place.
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View of the tallest wander from where we were sitting.

After having enjoyed thoroughly the magical fountain show we headed off to eat in a cruise! It was known as Dhao Cruise. Ate a bit, danced a bit, drank a bit (only soft drinks) and again danced a bit! That’s how we spent our night until it was time to go back to sleep!

So this was the end of DAY 2 in Dubai. Hungry for more, follow to get updated first and know what happened to us in DAY 3! I promise its way too interesting! Stay tuned!

Experiencing Jim Corbett! The Misfit of Adventures!  Are you ready for a spin?

Date: 18th May, 2016 to 30th May, 2016.
Place: Delhi- Jim Corbett – Nainital – Ranikhet — Kausauni- Almora- Delhi.

Day 2 and 3 : Jim Corbett

The sound of the horn is what woke me up from my exhausted sleep from yesterday’s Delhi Darshan. The horn signified to move on for better adventures, which was Jim Corbett. The road to Jim Corbett was just exceptional. We passed Noida, Ghaziabad and Hapur all three being scenically very beautiful.

On road the silent sound of heritage songs are what kept me entertained other than watching outside the window. Where everyone in the tempo traveller slept soundly except for the driver, I gave my eyes a wonderful treat of enlightening visions which passed by. After around 5 hours of tedious travelling we reached a small town named Ramnagar, where the wildlife sanctuary of Jim Corbett was located.

Our stay was at Kumaon regimental farm around 45 minutes before the actual city of Ramnagar. Among the beautiful tree gardens were located small cottages, looked after and maintained by the army regiments. After half an hour of rest we headed for an evening trip of Jim Corbett. Excited, we rented two gypsies which took us inside the jungle. Little did we know that it was a landscape of Jim Corbett sanctuary called Sitavani and we felt horrible that we were fooled by the gypsy drivers. Though it was the wrong forest it was pretty and the way the roads went through the river managed to give us a thrill. We also did see a giant and very beautiful hornbill, which is rarely spotted, even in the core area of Jim Corbett.

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Kumaon Regiment Farms (view from or porch)

The first day being a little disappointed we tried our level best to see the core area of Jim Corbett. After talking to another man, this time confirming his authenticity we were able to acquire passes for a next morning trip. The next day, Day 3, we entered the core area of Jim Corbett through Durgadevi gate.

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The Durgadevi Gate. (Legit one!)

The roads twisted and turned and made us jump off our seats. The forest surprised us by its awestrucking beauty. After a roller coaster ride we stopped at a tower in front of which flowed a river. Inside the river we could see fishes, to our surprise not a single fish was moving, we thought they were all dead. To confirm our suspicion we threw a rock and were relieved that the fish reacted by making a move thinking the rock was something to eat. After spending about five to ten minutes we spotted two dears eating their breakfast. After one was finished he slowly found his was to the river to drink water.

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River Which Fed The Deer
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Beautiful View of Jim Corbett

After which we headed back for the entrance. On the way we saw a huge Tusker. They are usually alone because they are isolated by the group on accusations of being extremely mischievous. After having spent around 5 minutes we headed back to the gate from. After which we went to have breakfast to quiten the Tuskers jumping in our stomach.

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The Mischievous Tusker on The Loose! Beware!

From our experience of being cheated, there is an advice for all, if you decide to go to Jim Corbett anytime, please do internet booking months before you actually leave for the trip. Otherwise you have to suffer the consequences.

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A Photo With Jim Corbett

After trying very hard to acquire more visitations to the core area, we decided that nothing could be done to see Jim Corbett. So we left Jim Corbett a day early because we couldn’t bear the heat. On our way to Nainital we stopped at the house of Jim Corbett who was a hunter mainly killing man-eating tigers, for the safety of the villagers. An English man born in Nainital, helped the mankind and so in honour of him the forest was named after. He had built a beautiful European style house where he lived with his sister all his life. The tiger-killer never got married and died in Kenya, Africa.

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House of Jim Corbett and His Sister Margret Corbett!

After admiring his story and achievements we moved on to a cooler destination, Nainital. No sooner did we settled in our respective rooms, than the thunderstorms started followed by a heavy rain. And we ate a stomach full dinner and slept soundly in our doublecoated blankets.

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Beautiful and Cool Nainital. (Place of relief from burning hot)

The Roller Coaster of a Lifetime!

Off we went for another experience of our lifetime!  An international trip! Yayy! Numerous butterflies were in my stomach, when the plane hit the runway from Hyderabad airport. Falling into a deep sleep, we did not realise when the Sharjah Airport arrived. Once off on the Sharjah airport there was no stopping. It was hot, burning hot. But the heat could not stop us from enjoying the view we had. We got on the bus and went to the airport. Immigration took ages to complete, or that’s what it seemed like. After finishing all the tedious process we finally reached the exit gate and to the alluring city of Sharjah. In the parking the bus waited to take us to DUBAI where our stay was arranged. On the way we were briefly made aware of our itinerary of 3 days that we were there.

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Our tour was planned by The North Tours and our head operator was named Sayed Zeeshan Haider a.k.a Shaan Bhai. He let us know that we would be residing in a hotel named Fortune Holidays in Karama.

We had the first half of our day off. Nothing was planned. We had our breakfast and mummy, Aafreen and I planned to explore a bit of cheap market of Dubai. Walking out in the burning heat we caught a train and headed towards the Nasser Square. The bullet speed train was a great experience!

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Itching to look around we ignored the 53 degrees celsius outside and started our shopping. Without any particular aim we just bought what we liked and the products did turn out to be excellent! Indulging ourselves in illegal purchases too we found a lot of cheap bags and watches, BRANDED! They call it the first copy. Copied with excellence you wouldn’t even recognize the difference between the fake one and the real one (you could confirm with my brother :P).

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When the clock struck 12:50 we hurried back to the hotel to have our lunch and rest for a while before we headed off to the great adventure planned for us!

Reaching a certain point we saw that our driver, named Zahid Bhai, got down and started puncturing the tires. We all wondered why. Then ahead of us we saw the Land Cruisers going and we knew!

The sand dune awaited us! Our excitement was at  epitome! With us in the car were two other men, as strong as they seemed the motion of cars ahead of us, scared the hell out of them. As the car started we all prepared ourselves for THE ROLLER COASTER we were about to experience. 

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My brother, sitting beside me was the most excited one! The car grooved on the beats of the song being played in the car. Every hill the car went down from, made us shout on top of our voice, followed by a cordial of laughter, claps and some occasional moves thrown in by me brother. The cheerful music made us forget the way Zahid Bhai was driving, instead we concentrated on the songs and enjoyed the ups- and mostly steep – downs.

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The “roller coaster” was followed by an exciting and beautiful program put up by the belly dancers and mouth- watering food served by the tour managers!

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The Enlightening Experience!

Date: 30th March – 4th May, 2016

Place: Tarkarli, 10 hrs from Pune.

It was a relatively cloudy day on 2nd May, the day I experienced a life changing event.

Along with Awesome sports and travels, I went to Tarkarli for camp with around 24 kids. We went for a 3 day trip,during which we saw Karli river and it’s the point where the river meets the sea. Close to it was a tsunami island, so named, because of a massive tsunami in 2004, which led to formation of a heap of sand in the middle of nowhere, forming an island. On that particular island, the local entrepreneurs have developed their business of jet ski, banana ride, bumper ride etc. The place is easy to reach and beautiful rides are safe and worth taking a spin and available at a very affordable price.

We stayed in a resort called Vasant Vihar, which was more like a house stay. It came with good rooms, tasty food and an awesome view. It is located 1km away from the beach. You can go for a walk on the beach anytime you want.

On May 2nd, we went to the shores of the beach where a boat was waiting for us, to take us to the beautiful deep waters where we would be experiencing scuba diving. After a long wait when we reached the location, the instructors explained to us the procedure of diving. The instructor tied some weights on my stomach to help enable sinking easily and then another instructor in the water gave lessons and taught signs necessary under the water. The instructor and me went underwater to witness the most magnificent world which resided beyond our reach. It was most amazing and breathtaking. The silence underwater dominated my ears and my eyes beheld the visions which indented my memory with a wonder.

On surfacing I realised that silence can be so touching,among all the loud noises in the world. A huge smile on my face dawned that a life changing event has etched in my autobiography.