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Old 15th May 2022, 17:05   #1
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Default An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend

As GURGAON completed narrating the horrible incident, we turned back at the screaming people and saw two things gushing away in those waters. One was the guy who fell off-board into the river and the second thing....

An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-story-start.jpg



FLASHBACK- A few days ago

The different shades of 'BRO'
Brooooo…..” Said my friend over phone from GURGAON (keeping location names for easy identification of friends)

There are different types of “Bro” calls on the planet. Being friends since childhood, I could sense that this particular BRO call from my friend GURGAON was filled with excitement, exhilaration, and enthusiasm.
Me – Wassup bro?
GURGAON – Wife is going to her parents’ place for a week.
Me- Broo (happiness level increases with each O)
GURGAON - Brooo
Me- Broooo, great news. Let me check flights and book one.
His wife was leaving on a Saturday morning flight. I booked a flight from TRIVANDRUM in a way that GURGAON could pick me up from the airport when he comes to drop off his wife.
Since it was work from home for both of us, the plan was to chill at his temporary ‘bachelor’ pad for a few days, roam around in the evenings, savor local food, do some highway drives on Sunday maybe, watch some movies, Playstation etc. In other words, relive the usual school-college days.
But then I dropped the message in the school buddies' Whatsapp group. Coincidentally, another friend of ours ‘MUMBAI’ was supposed to be in the capital at the same time. He said he would join in at GURGAON’s place instead of the Hotel he was planning to stay. Another friend ‘KUTCH’ said he would join in too. (For those who don't know,Kutch is the largest district of India which is bigger in size than some states like Kerala, Haryana and the most of the NE states). There was some medical conference that was going on around the same time in Delhi and that was the perfect alibi for my doctor friend to escape from his wilderness.
Thus, this sudden 'Chill-at-Home' plan with my friend now metamorphosed into a mini get-together.

The D-Day and an impromptu travel plan to Rishikesh via Leh and Kathmandu.


The D Day arrived. It was a Saturday. GURGAON’s wife left for her place in the morning flight. I had an early morning Indigo from Trivandrum with its 1- inch reclining seats. MUMBAI was supposed to reach around the same time I landed. However, MUMBAI had booked an Air India, which got delayed by an hour. I guess the Tata effect will take a little more time to set in. GURGAON was there at the airport to receive me. We had some time before MUMBAI landed. So we went to the food court in Aero City near the airport to have breakfast.

An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-aero.jpg
While having an Aloo Paratha and tea, GURGAON gets a phone call from his brother in law. Now my friend GURGAON has two rides, a Fortuner diesel Automatic and a Tata Nexon AMT. He primarily uses the Nexon for the city drives because, 'Dilli-Gurgaon chaos' and the Fortuner for long trips.
Brother in Law – Can I take your Fortuner for a short trip to Jaipur?
GURGAON – Ya, please take it. I am anyway planning to stay at home this weekend with friends.
BIL- You sure?
GURGAON- Ya sure, you take it and have fun. What good is a Fortuner to me in the crawling weekend traffic of this city?
BIL- Ok will reach your place soon.
G- Keys are at the usual place. I will reach a little late in the evening.

End of phone call. GURGAON looks at me. I look at GURGAON. Again, being the long time buddies, we both understood what we meant. It meant “WHAT IF…..” followed by a long list of options. We have an eccentric MUMBAI who is our 'Elon Musk Lite' and KUTCH en route. Anyway, it was time to go back to the airport and pick MUMBAI.
MUMBAI landed as per Air India Standard Time. We picked him up, had some kulfis and shikanjis on the way to the Railway station to pick up KUTCH.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-2-shikanji.jpg

We reached the railway station almost an hour before the train’s arrival. We were waiting in the Nexon somewhere near the railway station when MUMBAI suddenly said,
“Bro, Let’s go to some hill station or somewhere away from the city. I spend my time in the cities. Don't want to chill another 2 days in the city.’’

I looked at GURGAON and he looked at me. There was the Whatif moment we feared when the call with the BIL got over earlier. We both laughed as an amused MUMBAI looked on.
In the next 15 mins, we explored the options like Shimla, Dehradun, Nainital, MacLeodganj, Manali, Auli and some from Uttarakhand and HP but all were rejected due to the distance as none of us wanted to spend most of the next 2 or 3 days driving since the basic goal was to relax.
Checking out the optionsAn ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-3-checking-hotels.jpg

MUMBAI suddenly said- How about we fly to Leh?
That was a question GURGAON and I were not prepared for, but okay, it was a good thought, we agreed. That way we will not have to drive too. Since both me and GURGAON had made the ‘We will go to Leh Ladakh someday’ promise to our wives, we also started thinking about the explanations for the upcoming show-cause notices we will be served at home once we are back from this trip to Leh.
GURGAON was now checking out the options to stay and I was on call with KUTCH to check his train’s status, MUMBAI went a step ahead and said
“Let’s book tickets to Kathmandu for tomorrow?”
‘BROOOOOOO’ – GURGAON and I shrieked in unison. ’Do you realize the consequences we will have to face at home? If this Kathmandu trip happened, it will be saved in the recordings and used for torturing purposes in future.

Now began the convincing game for Kathmandu or NO Kathmandu, the mighty MUMBAI against the two of us. The pros and cons were discussed, with CON being only one - the wife. Leh Ladakh itself was a ‘Maut ko chhookar takk se waapas aagaya’ scene explaining it to the wife.
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Kathmandu was an out of syllabus question thrown at us by MUMBAI. MUMBAI being a shrewd businessman, had the upper hand naturally in the convincing battle and when GURGAON and I were on the verge of surrendering, I suddenly remembered the Brahmaastra we had - KUTCH. The reason why KUTCH was coming by train was his AEROPHOBIA – the fear of flying. That’s it. That closed the discussions.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-4-outside-station-kutch.jpg

Kutch sat inside the Nexon. MUMBAI asks KUTCH- “Shall we go to Kathmandu?”
Apparently MUMBAI had no not given up.
KUTCH-“Okay Lets go. How long is the drive from here? Always wanted to take GURGAON’s Fortuner on a long drive”.
We bulky guys broke into such a heavy laughter that someone watching the shaking Nexon from a distance would have interpreted it for something else.
KUTCH was the one with the amused look this time. – ‘Okay what is it? Fortuner is not home?
MUMBAI- “That is one and we are FLYING to Kathmandu”
NOOO BROOOOOO- KUTCH’s shriek made us guffaw louder. But that sealed the deal and we decided to visit any location nearby with minimal driving. Thus Rishikesh was decided after a quick chat. Since it was already weekend, limited options were available for stay. We went to GURGAON’s place to pick up his stuff as the rest of us had our bags packed with us. We looked at the Fortuner’s now vacant empty parking space, and then looked at the Nexon and then at each other and giggled. Ah, such a miss!
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-nexon.jpeg

The trip started, first halt was for fuel and a late lunch at a restaurant called Highway Kitchen on the outskirts of Meerut. We stopped there as we saw a lot of cars parked outside and assumed it to be a happening place. Went inside only to realize that crowd was from a wedding function going on there. Food was okayish.
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The late lunch had a cascading effect and we stopped for a late evening tea at a random dhaba.
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We crossed Haridwar at around 8:30. Did not halt due to the weekend rush on the roads.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-7-haridwar.jpg

Reached Rishikesh by 9.30. The traffic was moving at a snail’s pace. Since ours was a last minute plan, we booked the first hotel that looked decent online. MJ Opulence. Reached the hotel before 10 p.m. Parking was at a separate place as this was just another hotel among many cluttered near the main attractions. The hotel is just okay for an overnight stay.

Day 1 ends...
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Last edited by AnnaRocks : 15th May 2022 at 21:38.
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Old 15th May 2022, 18:30   #2
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Default Re: An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend.

DAY 2
Since the dinner we had from the same hotel was not so good, we decided to try out something else nearby. Did some Googling online and offline (locals and co-tourists) who suggested this spot near the hotel. Ira’s Kitchen.
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Gave an impression of a hippie favorite spot with mostly foreigners doing Om, Namaste stuffs, musical instruments in hand, reading spiritual books. The service was average with only one confused guy taking the orders and serving but food and the ambient set up under the trees was great though. Being in the open, some insects might bother you. If that doesn't bother you much, it is a must visit for the taste.
We had Aloo Paratha, Scrambled eggs, poha, pancakes, juice and tea and everything tasted good.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-aloo-paratha.jpeg
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The Aloo Paratha you see in the pic had more stuffings than some of the Pizzas out there. We left the place with our hearts and stomach full. Went back to the hotel, checked out and started for the next resort that we booked for the next 2 days. It was around 20kms east from the main town.


En route to the resort, we saw some vehicles take a slight deviation uphill that went towards the Neer Waterfall. It was around 10 a.m. The check in at the resort was at 2 p.m. and collectively decided to see the waterfall. Found this forest dept’s check post, paid the entry fee to proceed further.
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But the roads and the weekend traffic were so bad that by the time we reached the top and had a glimpse of the waterfall, GURGAON who was at the driver’s seat groaned – ‘Not worth it’. Perhaps during monsoons with plenty of water and a not so warm day with lesser crowd, it would have been a better sight, but not today.
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There were at least 6 guys who were supposedly forest officials in plain clothes stopping vehicles at the checkpost for asking people to shell out money for tickets, but not one guy all along the route to manage the traffic.
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The good Samaritans among the public were managing the traffic, KUTCH from our group did the task for us.

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I got down to give him company as MUMBAI sat there attending to his business calls and GURGAON continued his grumbling at the driver’s seat cussing every other Collector and MP who were in a hurry to overtake on the already blocked narrow path, with the risk of a steep fall due to some idiot’s error of judgement. The time to include road manners as a subject in schools is long overdue.
This is KUTCH posing after clearing the traffic. You can see the serpentine row of vehicles in the background.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-kela-relaxing-after-clearing-traffic-hill-2.png

We climbed back down the hill on and stopped at a sugarcane vendor on the main road to get some relief from the scorching heat.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-down-waterfall.jpg

GURGAON was still cussing some of those idiots and the officials for not managing things back at the waterfall road. An ordinary glass of Shikanji at the roadside vendor cost Rs.80. I guess Inflation scaled new heights overnight or perhaps I forgot that I was in a tourist place.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-shikanjiwala.png

We moved on, paused near a bridge(Neelkanth bridge) and clicked some pics of the river flowing below.
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More bad roads and extortion by random people with tickets followed at a couple of places and we reached the location of the resort as per the Google maps. We saw the board of the resort but could not see the resort. We saw a road uphill. I was driving this time as GURGAON had suffered enough for the day. ‘Maybe it is on the other side of the hill and that is why we are not able to see it. Perhaps this uphill road takes us there’ I said and drove up the steep climb.
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But no, we are faced with a small Hairpin bend that was not visible from the main road below. I saw another board of the resort. Maybe it is at the end of this hairpin bend.
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I drove further up the zigzag road and there appears another hairpin bend.
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As I make that second hairpin bend, I see another one ahead.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-hairpin-3.jpg

At the fourth hairpin, we see a slightly longer road ahead but there is also some structure visible. ‘Ah, the resort, at last’, we thought.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-hairpin-4.jpg

But as we drove further up, we realised that it was not the resort. It was a small cabin, probably for the security guy. It had this board and 3 or 4 cars parked there.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-veda-park-here.jpg

We would have parked there but we did not see anybody there and a building that was probably part of the resort, was appearing to be located at a much higher altitude. We continued further.

Poor judgement by me led to tyre squealing at a turn during this unexpected perilous uphill task. Burning smell emanated from the tyres as well as from GURGAON’s heart who had just a couple of hours ago mentioned that he got new tyres for the NEXON a.k.a Fortuner recently.
As we moved further and steeper uphill, we saw a WHITE BOX rolling down towards us. As it came closer, we realized that it was a White Maruti S-Presso coming down the hill. As it came closer, all of us skipped a heartbeat. It was coming down at an alarming pace. We did not have much space to maneuver. I pressed the horn longer and harder. Either, the driver was super confident or perhaps he did not see us or even worse, its brakes had failed. All types of thoughts ran through us in a second’s time. I managed to squeal and burn the tyre once again. But this time GURGAON’s priority was staying alive and so was everyone else’s and hence, the burning smell was ignored. We were so petrified that we did not get this on camera. Suddenly we saw the S-Presso steer right into a bush. The ‘Brake Fail’ probability option went straight to the top of the list. But no. Apparently, there was a tight gap in between those bushes where the S-presso driver parked the car and came running towards us. He was the resort’s driver.

Driver- Namaste sir, so sorry you had to drive up till here. One of us (staffs) was having lunch and I was returning to the security cabin (the parking we saw earlier) after dropping some guests. There is a calling bell under an umbrella right as we turn from the main road. You have to press it and we come there to pick you up as this climb can be risky when you come here first time.
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Me- And how are we supposed to know that?
Driver- Someone from the resort usually calls up the guests and informs them.
Yes, someone had called on behalf of the resort, but perhaps he skipped this little part of ringing the bell.

The driver politely offered us to drive us till the reception. The other three hulks with me jumped out of the car and somehow managed to fit into the S-Presso. The driver’s confidence weighed heavily while considering the option of driving further up with me at the steering. I drove ahead and reached the main entrance of the resort. A polite staff (probably the second driver) took the car keys from me and another one took out the luggage. I saw the S-Presso climbing up with élan carrying my bulky friends. I will never look down on that car henceforth.

We were given a warm welcome at the reception in the traditional way with a teeka, beaded bracelet and welcome drinks.
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The ambience at the reception was noticeably pleasing and took away the stress that we endured few moments ago.
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The polite staffs explained the hotel procedures and services. One of them accompanied us till our rooms, which to our horror, we found out was at a further elevation and perhaps the highest guest rooms in the property. The staff showed us where the restaurant, play area and pool were located.
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By the time, we reached the ground floor of the section where our rooms were located, everyone including the staff was gasping. We took a pause and sat there before climbing the steps to our rooms.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-taking-breath.jpg
Catching a breath

We remember seeing a weight loss plan at the reception, which we obviously overlooked. Perhaps this was the plan. The guests will climb up and down the slope a few times for a few days and they will anyway lose weight.
We climbed up the stairs to reach our rooms that were on the first and second floors. We gasped and breathed in the air and a beautiful view. Got that ‘Dilon mein tum apni betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho toh zinda ho tum’ dialogues from ZNMD running in the minds for a short while.

We soaked in the fresh breeze and the pleasing sounds of nature around us. I am sure all you who live in the hustle and bustle of cities can relate.
We discussed the spa options and decided to keep it for the next day.
Rested for some time and headed to the pool. Water was cool and the pool had a good backdrop.

An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-pool.png

By the time we walked(climbed) back to our room, it was time for the tea and snack which was being served at the restaurant near the pool. Again a walk(trek) back to the restaurant. A staff at the restaurant reminded us that they would be playing a movie in the hall above the restaurant at around 7 p.m. We walked back again to the room and by the time of the evening movie show, GURGAON and MUMBAI were in no mood to walk back again to watch the movie or have dinner. So I walked down with KUTCH to check the movie which turned out to be an eyesore as the projector was an ancient one, probably bearing the curse from tons of corporate presentations. The audio output reminded you of those Chinese phone speakers from the past decade. We went in and came out from the hall in no time. Climbed back to the room. Convinced GURGAON and MUMBAI to climb down from their abode for dinner. Even tougher was the climb back up with the stomachs full. The food was delicious. Thankfully, the rooms had Smart TVs. As a Malayalee, it is my birthright to forcibly show Malayalam films to my non-Mallu friends. We watched the superhero flick Minnal Murali that not surprisingly, none of them had heard of.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-minnal-murali-2.jpg

DAY 2 Ends…..

Day 3 coming up....
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Old 15th May 2022, 19:13   #3
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Default Re: An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend.

Day 3-
This was the morning view
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Ordered the morning tea in the room obviously.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-22-evening-tea.jpg

One thing was decided from the previous day’s experience. We will get out from the room for breakfast only when everyone is ready. No climbing back after breakfast to collect any stuff or anything. Have breakfast, climb down further to the spot where the staff would bring our car. Drive 20+ kms to Rishikesh. Visit as many places until noon, try river rafting, come back, Spa. That was the plan. Just basic Googling and “Bhaiyya yahaan achha kya he paas me” stuff.

We halted at Phoolchatti bathing point first.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-23-phoolchatti-ghat.jpg

I stepped into the waters first. Icy cold, way more than I expected.. The guys walked in slowly from a distance. I waited for them to get down and feel the waters. Each had a different expletive coming out from their mouth as soon as they touched the waters.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-24-gurgaon-chill.jpg

We sat on top of the rocks on the banks there enjoying the pristine beauty.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-ganga-3.jpgAn ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-raft-1.jpg

Now about our river rafting plans, GURGAON was very clear that he would not be accompanying us in it. Right from the start of the trip, he mentioned this point a couple of times. We assumed that it was the semi-germaphobe in him talking, considering how dirty some of these equipment are such places. Following was the courage level concerning our rafting mood:
GURGAON – 0%
KUTCH - 50%
ME- 100%
MUMBAI – 200%

While we were soaking in the dazzling view and feel, I decided to fill some Gangajal to take back with us. I stepped into the waters again, very careful of the strong undercurrents.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-ganga-1.jpg

As I was filling up the bottle, we heard screams coming from a distance. It was a river rafting group. Apparently one of them had fallen off from the raft and the others were trying to rescue him, throwing rope and giving him instructions. We saw that guy struggling to catch the rope and floating away from the raft. The flow of the water was so strong that they quickly disappeared from our sight. We assumed that guy must have caught the rope at some point ahead in the river.

Then in a few minutes, another guy came floating. This group’s scream was louder than the previous one. The guy off-board was more panicky than the previous one. As the guy reached a point closest to us, we shouted and tried to cheer him up, saying that it is okay.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-floater-2.jpg
One funny thing was the host on the raft was more worried about his paddle flowing away and was reminding the floating guy to also catch the paddle. This group too floated away from our viewing area quickly.
Two back-to-back floaters and a slight concern kicked in about our rafting plans.
‘Cmon, this is a part of it. You guys chill’ said MUMBAI

We heard a faint scream and could the next floater guy from a distance.
‘Guys, I wanted to tell you something’ GURGAON spoke. We turned and looked at him as this was unusual from him.
One of my relatives lost his life during a river rafting accident in these waters’.
There was silence among us for a few seconds. GURGAON continued to narrate the horrible incident as the scream of the third floater grew louder.
He continued ’His body was found after 4 days’.

As GURGAON completed his narration, from the screams in the background, we understood that the third floater had reached next to us. I turned around and saw the guy who was floating. He was not even giving it a fight to catch the rope, just being swept away like a log in floodwaters. I saw two things gushing away in that river- One was the guy and second was our courage floating away at a faster pace than the guy.

Latest courage level
GURGAON – 0%
KUTCH - 0%
ME - 0%
MUMBAI – 200%
MUMBAI was the only one still convincing us to go for the activity but this time he was overwhelmingly outnumbered.

We moved on towards RamJhoola and Laxman jhoola from there. Crossed another extortion point on the way. Laxman Jhoola was closed due to some repair work. But the roads were so congested and blocked that by the time we reached RamJhula, it was well past lunch time. Too much honking by the vehicles, esp the taxis, matching Gurgaon standards.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-laxman.png

We did a quick photo session at the Ram Jhula which had more 2 wheelers than people.
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Then we saw the Chotiwala restaurants near the Ram Jhula which was apparently a popular place. There were 2 restaurants which had Baba with painted grumpy faces sitting outside at the entrance. That was the highlight of the restaurant. We do not know the history of the restaurants but both the babas had grumpy faces as if they were on notice periods. Understandably, not an interesting job sitting there all day in that get up.
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We saw that both the restaurants were not that crowded. The grumpy looks on the Babas and some of the staff's visible attitude to customers took away the remaining mood to enter.An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-grumpy-choty.png

We did some further googling and reached another place a few kms away.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-location-bistro.jpeg
It was already 3 p.m and we did not have the mood to travel back again through those jam packed roads and visit the famous Beatles Ashram or the Tera Manzili temple. So we headed back to the resort hoping to chill at the spa. The traffic made sure we did not reach there before it closed. It was evening when we reached back. Since the spa was about to close, we decided to check out the Sports and Games area.
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An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-veda-front.jpg
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Had the usual stuffs- Table Tennis, Badminton, chess, caroms, Library, drawing and painting area. Spent some time playing TT and Badminton. Back to room. Watched KGF 1 on Prime that day and played Monopoly’s card game late into the night.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-whatsapp-image-20220514-1.25.12-pm.jpeg

Day 3 ends
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Old 15th May 2022, 19:29   #4
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Default Re: An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend

DAY 4

As with most trips, the final day consists of just packing, checking out, buying mementos, stopped etc. The property Veda 5 was overall a good experience. The delicious food, the view(I am sure it will look stunning in the monsoons as the mountains across had dried up waterfalls and streams), the food, the courteous staff and if you are someone who loves exercising, you will perhaps also love the climb to the rooms.

An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-trick-shot.jpg

We did one final adventurous climb down from that resort and moved towards Delhi. MUMBAI had his flight in the evening, KUTCH had his train the next day and my flight was in the afternoon. We stopped en route for lunch at Namaste Midway, Mansurpur, around 100 kms from Delhi. We had 3 days of mostly Satvik food at the resort. We realized how our food habits have changed over the years. With this realization, we continued our lunch at the Mc Donald’s there.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-namaste-midway.jpg


One thing that we noticed not once but thrice during this trip was private vehicles, two of them Innovas and this Fortuner ahead shameless using Ambulance sirens as horns. While the other two were during the night when we gave way for the vehicle only to realise that this was some jerk taking the law for granted. Those were not govt officials for sur either going by the stickers and mottos on them. This Fortuner had fully black tinted windows and Chaudhary written across on the front and back of this SUV. I guess that is the Touch-me-Not signal for Cops in these parts.
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We reached Delhi post noon, did a round of the Delhi Gate and moved around the Rahstrapati Bhavan and Parliament areas that obviously had changed a lot due to the Central Vista construction going on.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-india-gate.jpg

Had tea and dropped MUMBAI off at the Airport, went to a mall and ended the day watching KGF 2 at an IMAX screen.
An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-kgf2.jpg

We left for our respective places the next day. One thing was decided-If anyone among us are having their Home Alone moment next time, we will land at that place and leave for another ad hoc trip like this.

If anyone is still reading this, thank you for your patience and I will make sure to make it shorter and capture better pics for the next one.

THANK YOU
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Old 16th May 2022, 04:58   #5
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Default Re: An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th May 2022, 11:59   #6
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Default Re: An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend

Coincidentally, I was there at the same time, also designated as GURGAON. Had ample amounts of fun with our little asthmatic Triber and grandparents. Wallowed in the traffic caused by the infamous VIKRAMS and rafters. In classic Meerut fashion , our tires got un-filled and our tank filled with leaded petrol. Were just right there at the entrance of the highway to Badrinath, but seeing the nature of our little Triber and old parents , the thought of Mana Pass went down the drain, well that is for later. Images attached.
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An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-3df9ee6244c942429615fbc3321de846.jpeg  

An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-1f2702283e30423dba7c8b0d3ebe4750.jpeg  

An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-1efde393b47b4dd7971c8926262dad63.jpeg  

An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend-d4011d7b126f4531801788cb46098e31.jpeg  


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Old 16th May 2022, 16:42   #7
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Default Re: An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend.

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Day 3-

One funny thing was the host on the raft was more worried about his paddle flowing away and was reminding the floating guy to also catch the paddle. This group too floated away from our viewing area quickly.
Two back-to-back floaters and a slight concern kicked in about our rafting plans.

Day 3 ends
This is true and happened to me as well, once I fall in the water while doing rafting in Rishikesh, the guide is more interested in saving his equipment's and only once they all are secured his mind deviated toward saving/pulling us from the water; They don't give rat sh**t for your life and since we have not signed anything before starting our ride (99% works on this model only), they run away as soon as some mishap happens.
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Old 17th May 2022, 18:47   #8
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Default Re: An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend

Lovely trip. Looks like a proper "Crank starting a cold one with the Boys" (automotive equivalent of cracking open a cold one).
It was an absolute joy to read it!

We've got something like this planned in December. Hopefully they won't chicken out. We got:
GUWAHATI (software engineer)
BANGALORE (dentist)
BELGAUM (manufacturing engineer)
LUCKNOW 1 (consultant)
and last but not the least, myself LUCKNOW 2 (consultant)

P.S.: I am a pretty good swimmer but I wouldn't touch a raft with a 500ft barge pole
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Old 18th May 2022, 06:54   #9
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Lovely trip. Looks like a proper "Crank starting a cold one with the Boys" (automotive equivalent of cracking open a cold one).
It was an absolute joy to read it!

We've got something like this planned in December. Hopefully they won't chicken out.

P.S.: I am a pretty good swimmer but I wouldn't touch a raft with a 500ft barge pole
Thank you. December is a long time my friend @vredesbyrd. If this list given above is unchanged in Dec, it will be nothing short of a case study in itself. Do update when your story is ready.

Also, I am getting river rafting accident videos in YouTube suggestions these days.
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Old 18th May 2022, 10:15   #10
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Default Re: An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend

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The flow of the water was so strong that they quickly disappeared from our sight.

Then in a few minutes, another guy came floating.

We heard a faint scream and could the next floater guy from a distance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sach_511 View Post
This is true and happened to me as well, once I fall in the water while doing rafting in Rishikesh,
Quote:
Originally Posted by vredesbyrd View Post
P.S.: I am a pretty good swimmer but I wouldn't touch a raft with a 500ft barge pole
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaRocks View Post
Also, I am getting river rafting accident videos in YouTube suggestions these days.
Mass "adventure tourism" the way it's done by most operators in our country is unsettling. Most people don't really care about the activity- they just want the experience and more importantly, the photos. So, the price point is low, and so the only way the operator can make money is by taking large groups (less attention to each participant), paying the actual operators on the ground less (less qualified and trained people), and skimping on equipment (less reliable, not safety rated or world standard). The government when it makes the attempt to regulate, however good the intentions are, usually ends up doing the opposite - banning the amateur organizations that usually do these activities out of passion and consequently invest more in training, with smaller groups of volunteers, and better standards, equipment, and safety- but certify the (so called) "locals/professionals" who pay off the local authorities.

All make for accidents waiting to happen. It's sometimes just a matter of pure luck. Choose your operators wisely, if something seems off, trust your instincts and don't participate.

(I tried rafting at Rishikesh earlier this year too and even with the low water levels, it seems pretty risky to be taking so many absolute newbies on those rapids in such large groups. I have some friends who are professional kayakers and they too were wondering about the safety aspects.)

Last edited by am1m : 18th May 2022 at 10:39.
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Old 18th May 2022, 15:43   #11
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Default Re: An ad hoc trip to Rishikesh from Delhi on a weekend

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DAY 2

As we moved further and steeper uphill, we saw a WHITE BOX rolling down towards us. As it came closer, we realized that it was a White Maruti S-Presso coming down the hill.

I saw the S-Presso climbing up with élan carrying my bulky friends. I will never look down on that car henceforth.
Oh dear! I can't stop laughing

You have captured the 2 extremes of emotions here. We, specially here on the forum love to hate Maruti for their tiny tin cans, but when it comes to the toughest places, the same tin cans seem to be the most practical vehicles. You can have the best of SUVs at your disposal but, the fun you can have in a Maruti Alto on the hills is unmatched. It runs around on narrow steep mountain roads like anything.

Quote:
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DAY 4


One thing was decided-If anyone among us are having their Home Alone moment next time, we will land at that place and leave for another ad hoc trip like this.

If anyone is still reading this, thank you for your patience and I will make sure to make it shorter and capture better pics for the next one.
One of our friend's wife is going to be away for summer vacations and, the rest of our gang members can't wait for Friday when she leaves. The original plan is to chill around at his place but, after reading your post you might find us somewhere on the road heading to some random place.

You have got a killer writing style and I enjoyed every bit of it. So, don't bother keeping it short

Cheers.
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Old 18th May 2022, 20:44   #12
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Oh dear! I can't stop laughing
Thank you man! Have a blast with pals and go where the road takes you. We had more fun this time than some of our planned trips

Last edited by Turbanator : 18th May 2022 at 21:00. Reason: Quoted post trimmed
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