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Posts Tagged ‘Adventure

Of Tequilas and Jumping Out Of Planes

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The evening before had been a Tequila Fest. A blood test might have revealed some traces of Scotch too. The beep of the phone woke me up. On the other side, was this guy. If it weren’t for him, I might not have experienced how jumping from 15000 feet felt.

Our destination was a town called Cuautla (Mexico) in the neighboring state of Morelos. Our driver was a friendly Mexican chap whom we had known from our daily commute to work. It took us nearly two hours before we came in sight of flying planes, a large rectangular green strip and all things typical of a Sky Diving venue. The journey had been spent in mostly fantasizing about how it would feel to do what we had embarked upon, apart from desperate measures to get rid of the Tequila that had flooded the insides.

Realization Dawns
The dame on the registration desk handed over a form. It was an official, sophisticated version of a suicide note. It stated that I was fully aware of what I was getting into and also that I might not get out of it. I wished I couldn’t find a pen to sign it but she handed me that too. I pledged myself.

Slow & Steady

Slow and Steady
I took my own sweet time in getting into the gear and because I was the last one to board the aircraft, I felt at ease just a tad bit. FIFO (First In First Out) was my algorithm of choice but LIFO (Last In First Out) was the unanimous choice. With sweat dripping down my forehead, I managed to smile for the camera. While the trainer tightened the harness, I felt curling and tightening in my insides. This wasn’t just any other airplane journey. It was like the rare one where one had to take the emergency exit. I must have said a silent prayer.

Air Borne

Air-borne
There were indicators for altitude and air-pressure inside the aircraft. The trainers’ eyes were glued to it while they chit-chatted. I tried to recollect the instructions that were given pre-boarding but my mind drew a blank. In vain, I tried to rack my brains. Then, there was an alarm and the door opened. I recollect people around me smiling. I couldn’t reciprocate, however. I’m not sure till date if it was a push from the trainer or it was a slip from my side or something else, but there I was – In The Air!

Like A Bird

Bird-like
For the first few seconds, I felt like a bird learning to fly. I had wings but didn’t know how to flap them.

Finally, it sinks in
Then, the parachute was pulled out. And with it came a jolt which pulled me up. It felt like the end of days for a split second but then the world seemed beautiful. The cool breeze soothed my senses and I loved what I saw – clouds above me, hills and water bodies below me! It felt like being suspended in heaven.

An Accomplished Bloke

An Accomplished Bloke
This jump dates back to November 2011 but even today when I see the video, it gives me goose-bumps. Yes, I had put myself out of my comfort-zone but it was worth it. Besides, being comfy all the time is just plain boring. Upon landing, I had imagined myself turning into a celebrity and people running towards me to click pictures and get autographs. None of that happened, alas! However, a feeling of accomplishment was quite conspicuous.

This post is an entry for a contest by CupONation, an online retailer of discount coupons, and The Shooting Star travel blog.

Written by Sangfroid

March 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm

One Crazy Ride

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Even the most intrepid of travelers like the affirmation that they are headed in the right direction or that there is a way ahead. Ever heard of trying to find a way that does not exist or motoring through paths that might have ceased to exist. That is exactly what a group of five riders did some years back. They called the journey – One Crazy Ride and rightfully so because the A to Z of it was madness.

    Riding through Arunanchal Pradesh, a region marked by insurgency and border conflicts
    Looking for the elusive route to traverse the breadth of the state without entering Assam

But what is life without adventure and madness. In the end, the mission was accomplished.

OCR_Bamboobridge_1024

This was the only way to cross the water body

This Sunday, I happened to attend the screening of ‘One Crazy Ride’ in Bangalore.

Hats off to Gaurav Jani for having pulled this off and also for the much acclaimed Riding Solo To The Top Of The World

I bought the two DVDs after the screening and, these are highly recommended. Do give them a dekko.

Some teasers available here.

Written by Sangfroid

August 18, 2009 at 10:40 am

On Road Trips :: 78mm aka ‘Larger Than Life’ Adventures

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The phone vibrated. Early for a Saturday morning, I lazily answered it with a lethargic Hi hoping that my friend would have pity and call me later. A minute into the conversation and I was out of bed, talking to him animatedly, simultaneously admiring my stubble in the mirror.

For me – travel, road-trips or anything even remotely related to it generates instant euphoria. More so, when the circuit is as challenging and adventurous as Ladakh. While I blurted out name after name (Pang, Sarchu, Leh, Gata Loops and the likes) to him deciding on his itinerary, my Ladakh trip from last year came flashing back. Priorities for the summer of 2009 are set otherwise I would have been heading to nature’s lap in the Himalayas, this year too.

I’m caught up but maybe you are not and are indeed contemplating … on a vacation amidst serene surroundings, on a road-trip, on camping by the riverside, on doing that trek. If so, read on. Even if that isn’t the case, read on. You might as well change your mind and be a part of this adventure called – Road Trip to the Forbidden Land.

78mm-road-trip

The detailed brochure can be downloaded here. Give it a shot and be blown away.
The mode of travel is no constraint. You could get your cruisers, 4×4 or hire one. Going by the itinerary, these 9 days promise loads of adventure for the adrenalin junkie in you. Registrations have already started. Hurry before the seats fill up.

For latest updates, join live discussion at the 78mm Adventures forum and get all doubts clarified.

I, for one, have no doubts about the fun and adventure that lies in store for whoever embarks on this 9 day road trip. But as luck would have it, the possibility of yours truly doing epic road trips, such as this or Ladakh, in 2009 is ruled out.
In hopes of appeasing my wanderlust with a short trip in South India while you(I hope) unravel secrets of the forbidden land.

Written by Sangfroid

April 25, 2009 at 8:00 pm

The Tour Of Nilgiris

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Ages ago, a certain General Knowledge lesson apprised me of the Nilgiris – ‘The Blue Mountains’. And till date I wonder why they are called so.

It was around four years back when I visited Ooty for the first time and that was my maiden encounter with the Nilgiris. The drive from the town of Ooty to Dodabetta, the highest point in the Nilgiris, was steep and exhilarating. The memories of that winter morning are faint but what I remember distinctly about the mountains is that

  1. Although, they weren’t blue
  2. They were spectacular

You see, I am not the one to discriminate on color so #1 was no concern but I am a sucker for anything that is spectacular and hence the love for Nilgiris has grown manifolds over the years!

My latest rendezvous with this beauty is as recent as the last weekend when I rode to Masinagudi, a cozy little town at the foothills of the Nilgiris. There was a chill in the air and the weather was simply awesome, as seen in the snap below.

Nilgiris in the backdrop with peaks covered in clouds

Nilgiris in the backdrop, with peaks covered in clouds

With a few exceptions of me being caged, most of these journeys have been on my dear Madonna.

During my Ladakh Ride earlier in June this year, I had spotted a few foreigners near Sarchu, Himachal Pradesh (at an approx. elevation of 13,500 feet) riding their bicycles and was amazed at their guts. It made me wonder if I would ever be able to achieve such a feat.

As fate would have have it, I met a few bicycle enthusiasts and came across ‘The Tour Of Nilgiris’ in the last couple of months. The benefits of cycling are more than one and I am not here to outline them. Having said that, my interest in this sport was piqued greatly and for a while, I even considered giving it a shot but refrained due to certain unavoidable circumstances. Sounds lame but it is true.

Nonetheless, I have been keenly following updates on TFN and in particular from one of the participant Sameer – a BN’er and a fellow biker buddy. Kudos and best of luck to all the participants!

As for me, I would have so loved to say that IamCycling

But, for now, will have to be content with ISupportCycling


A brief on the tour – The Tour of Nilgiris is a 7 day, 919 km bicycle ride across the famed Nilgiri mountain range in South India. The Tour of Nilgiris takes off from Bangalore on 25 December 2008 and ends on 1 January 2009. As the name suggests, it is a tour and not a race. On the tour you get to ride with 40 like-minded riders on what could be the journey of a lifetime. For more details, check out the website


Happy Bicycling! 🙂

Written by Sangfroid

November 28, 2008 at 2:20 am