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Monday, July 27, 2020

The Adrenaline Rush

Krabi
 The lust for adventure has not only taken me to places I had never imagined that I would one day, cherish when I look-back at yesteryears. One tends to get nostalgic especially in these hard times when your body and soul is confined to the four walls due to ongoing fear of pandemic. The more adventurous are indulging in travelling and taking chances but my appetite for trying more adventurous outdoors has mellowed in the current environment.
Whilst still in school the first real experience of indulging in adventure happened whilst in the seventh standard when I went out for a 10 day camp as aa Naval NCC cadet. The memories of pitching tents, sleeping with school mates about ten to a tent lighting up the tent with kerosene lanterns at night before going to sleep still linger in mind. At the daybreak, we would go for a run in the cold weather and come for a number of activities, like boat pulling, regatta and campfire at night were magical. It was the first brush with nature in all its raw form and eating out from the community kitchen was memorable. 
Adventures in Interlaken- Switzerland
The experience sowed the seeds in the fertile mind and thus started a love affair for testing the limits and enjoying the adrenaline rush with such activities. During college, we went for an educational trip to Chandigarh.  One late afternoon we were at the Sukhna lake when some friends and our professors who were accompanying took boats to go around the lake. It was hired for an hour but My friend and I lost track of the time and direction and headed on an uncharted course. After more than two hours still paddling around, we could not figure in which direction we needed to return. Slowly, I developed the fear of losing the way as the sun was setting. We could not see any boat coming to rescue us. Then, after another half an hour a speck appeared in the horizon, and we heaved a sigh of relief as it took the form of a boat. As it got closer, I saw our professor and a boatman. He looked furious and our boat was towed for the next hour to come alongside. I got the worst dressing down from him for the obvious reasons for delaying the entire class on the banks of Sukhna.

Such experiences only made the resolve to experiment more and thus one fine day, I was in the Navy. The series of adventures during the career in Navy ranged from going on sailing camps, being a judge in the Muskeetry Championship in Coimbatore, International Sailing Regatta at Goa, going on a ride on a submarine, flying from the deck of an aircraft carrier besides living a life not very ordinary onboard an aircraft carrier for almost five years. 

I tried a hand at Parasailing at Ranikhet and also on the Red Sea in Eilat in Israel. The gust of strong wind and the feeling of being airborne is very uplifting. At Eilat, it was a greater fun as the instructor would ensure that every participant got a taste of sea before descending on the boat, making the heart skip a beat.
Halong Bay Vietnam
I loved Kayaking(canoe ride) with my wife and daughter at Ao Thalene, swamps near Krabi in Thailand.  Each time the kayak got stuck in the mud, to pull it out clear required getting into the swamp with a fear of getting a bite from the mammals. The swamps are so pretty that we lost track of time and spent almost double the allocated time living the hosts fuming. Halong Bay in Vietnam with the visit to stalagmite caves was no less exciting. A desert safari on the sand dunes of Dubai is just an out of the world experience
Desert of Dubai
The list is a long one and would need several posts to make the details of account of exploring the Himalayas in treks to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath ( 14 km of the trek on foot during the rains each way), trekking from  Pithoragarh to Narayan Ashram( on way to Kailash Mansarovar) with almost 70-degree gradient on a totally uncharted course as I was exploring the place with my family.

Several unplanned trips to Kashmir, Leh by road while stopping at Kargil and Dras almost four decades back, a trip to South visiting seven or eight places including Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram have been extremely satisfying. In the recent past, a whirlwind trip of seeing 10 European countries in twenty-one days by Eurail and boats was extremely rewarding.
Nuwara Eliya Srilanka

A train ride from Colombo to Kandy and a road trip to Nuwara Eliya in Srilanka is so beautiful that one cannot help but fall in love with this country mythological linked with Ravan

There is so much learnt  in terms of seeing and experiencing new things, managing to live on the local foods, enjoying the simplicity of people who come out like messiahs when one is lost.No matter what every experience is unique and the people, food, places and cultures make each trip a special one

PS - All pictures are mine

9 comments:

  1. Let your adventures continue...

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  2. Being in the Navy is an adventure itself, isn't it?

    I've only done paragliding, twice, unforgettable moments indeed... :-)

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    1. True indeed Maniparna! The life in the Navy was really adventureous. The flame still remains alight:) Hope to read about your paragliding experience soon,

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  3. Beautiful adventures sir... Hope you post more details about each one of them going ahead :)

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    1. Many thanks for reading Ira! My several blogposts in past had focused on some of these but some stil need to be written. Will surely cover some more posts dedicated to these adventures:)

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  4. Now that's what is 'a life well-lived.'
    I love accounts of your life in the Indian Navy. :)

    Let's hope this pandemic is taken care of sooner than later. Can't wait to get out!! :D

    Stay safe, Mr. Bhatia. :)

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