Travel

Brahmatal Trek

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The view from Jhandi top (~12,000ft) with a veiw of Mt Trishul and Mt Nandi Ghunta. (Photo credit: The Photo Art by Lokesh)

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined”. ~Thoreau

This was the inspirational quote inscribed on a compass that I was carrying along for my trip to Brahmatal. Not only was the quote misguided and potentially life threatening if executed, I couldn’t even read the compass correctly. Instead, the more apt quote would have been “Don’t panic” from the ‘Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. (more…)

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Chadar Trek: Trek on a Frozen River

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This article is dedicated to my trekking group, “Special 26”, where I forged friendships for life! Special shout out to Chutki, Doc, Shanki and Anuj! You guys made the trek one of my best experiences.

“Wham!!”, I fell hard on the ice sheet and with that started my ‘counter’ for the number of falls during the trek. I was fortunate to have fallen on my back where my bag took most of the impact of the hard ice. Assisted by my fellow trekker, I got up and checked for mobility and injuries. Barring a minor scratch on my shin from my gumboots, I was good to go! Chadar trek, ‘chadar’ meaning a sheet of ice, had just started to become fun! (more…)

Trip to Bhutan: Land of Thunder Dragon

In loving memory of my grandma whose indomitable spirit and energy has inspired generations.

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‘The Land of Thunder Dragon’, ‘Pioneer of Gross National Happiness’, ‘Only country located entirely within Himalayas’, ‘Mysterious’- these are some of the phrases typically associated with this small, landlocked- Bhutan. I visited Bhutan in April 2017 and the only regret I had was that the trip was short. (more…)

My Solo Journey to the Roof of the World- Everest Base Camp

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Everest (center) with the golden glow during sunset flanked by Khumbutse on the left and Nuptse on the right. Also my best shot of the trip, so expect to see progressively worse pictures through the rest of the article.

Following my solo climb to Annapurna Base Camp last year, I decided to attempt climbing to what’s known as the roof of the world- Everest Base Camp. The article that follows is my personal account of the trek. If you are looking to be inspired or pumped up about the trip, DO NOT read this (this is a better article). If you are looking for information on how to undertake this trek, then again this is not the article for it. Now that I have dissuaded 99% of the typical readers, hope the rest of you enjoy reading this. I love you guys! (more…)

Hiking in Norway: Pulpit Rock

My love affair with mountains and trekking started fairly recently when I hiked Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) in Norway in 2015 on my birthday! Located almost 600m above Lysefjorden, this trek culminates into a steep ‘chiseled’ cliff with a flat top overlooking a beautiful view of Lysefjorden. (more…)

2 weeks in Scandinavia: Land of Midnight Sun

Camping. Cruise. Backpacking. Hostels. Hiking. Road-trip. Airline losing your bag. Missing international flight.

That pretty much sums up my 2 weeks in Scandinavia. I think that post this trip, I went from level 3 to level 15 in travel experience. I spent a night in a cruise, a train, a railway platform and an airport. I missed a flight and an airline misplaced my bag. I did an awesome road-trip with friends and I backpacked solo. And oh! I spent my birthday hiking. (more…)

Peeping into a volcano: Nicaragua

Even if you were to throw a dart into the world map to choose your next destination, it’s unlikely to hit Nicaragua. It’s a long story on why or how I ended up in Nicaragua as are so many of my stories. But hopefully, as you are through reading this, Nicaragua will be on your radar of travel destinations- and ASAP. Because here I encountered (purely by accident and immense luck), one of the most accessible active volcanoes from close quarters where you can not only see but hear the angry volcanic waves thrashing against the crater. (more…)

In God’s Own Country (Kerala): Kochi and Alleppey

This post is about my 4 day trip to Kochi and Alleppey in the Indian state of Kerala. I visited these places with my friend who goes by the pseudo-name mythalez. We made an attempt to write about our journey as a conversation. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed writing this collaboratively.

TheSlowStarter: We had an interesting start to the trip. I almost didn’t make it.

Mythalez: I gave you a call as I got onto my cab around 8 am. The call woke you up, I guess. Your house was 1.5 hour drive away from airport while the flight was in 2 hours. The fun began!

TheSlowStarter: Yes, it’s probably a record to reach the airport in that time. I packed for the trip in 5 min (all the years of experience in travelling for work helped :P). (more…)

Hiking in Norway: Kjeragbolten

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I don’t exactly remember why I decided to step on the boulder that was hanging purely by the force of friction at almost 1 km above a fjord in Norway. Probably driven by the adrenaline of having reached the top of one of the toughest climbs I completed. Against a racing time. Because it was only when I was trying to go back from the boulder to the safer, wider and flatter surface of the mountain, I panicked. (more…)

Maldives in a Budget

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Maldives and budget typically don’t go together. This beautiful island nation in Indian Ocean has that alluring charm but appears to be out of reach. With tourism contributing to 30% of the country’s GDP and 100+ resorts thriving in a 300K population country, Maldives has branded itself as a luxury destination with many couples heading here for honeymoon. In fact, non couples are probably rare here since my friend and I were recognized by the hotel staff as “two single ladies”. Located in Indian Ocean southwest of India and Sri Lanka, Maldives is just a couple of hrs by flight from these countries. (more…)