We once read a beautiful quote during our stay in Zostel Khajuraho, which said – “Travelling leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller”. We really loved the quote. So today we are here to present to you the top anecdotes from our travels that we have experienced during our travels.
In every traveller’s life there come moments when you may feel stuck or paranoid or panicky but, when you are old enough, sitting with a group of friends having a beer, reminiscing the good old times, these same anecdotes will tickle your bones and bring smiles to your face.
These moments happen in everyone’s life- they leave you speechless, they become stories and they remain with you forever. Just like us I’m sure even you would have your own stories to share that are funny, panicky, thrilling – all at once. We hope that you are able to relate to some of our stories.
Though it’s hard to choose from myriads of our experiences, few of them are very vividly alive in our memories. Let’s start with one of our goof-up stories that happened during the Kumta-Gokarna trek.
Goof-Up Story from Kumta Gokarna Trail
Though referred to as a trek, this is actually a beach trail which takes you through the beautiful coastline of Karnataka, and you come across some of the pristine and virgin beaches of India. Even though it’s not a very treacherous or a tricky trail to hike, the extreme heat and humidity does test your endurance though.
And so it happened that we were to cross from Half moon beach to Om beach. Since we were already tired because of the heat, it was unanimously decided to skip the trail and take a boat to cross over. It was a very short ride of about 10 min. We went up to the boatman, inquired about the cost and were happy to find ourselves a good deal of 150 INR.
After we got down, we handed him the promised 150 INR. He looked at us with inquisitive eyes. We didn’t understand his dilemma since we were done with the formalities, or at least so we thought. That is when the whole chaos started – when he had said 150, he meant 150 per person and we happily assumed 150 for 10 people.
A miscommunication turned into arguments flying all around. After a lot of back and forth, we negotiated on some price to pay him. But yeah, it was way more than 150 INR. Lesson we learnt that day – be clear in your communications :-).
The distance between those 2 beaches was around 3 kms…meaning 1 KOS which brings us to our next anecdote.
7 Kos Door…
You read it right guys – KOS the unit of measurement for distance used in India in the earlier times. There are still villages in India which use these measurements even in such modern times. Recently while travelling to Seeta Mata wildlife sanctuary near Udaipur in Rajasthan, we were crossing this small village called Bhyana.
One thing we have experienced during our road trips is that Google maps are not so reliable when it comes to the roads of Rajasthan, especially in the rural areas. So we make it a point to ask the locals about the route in every few intervals.
It was a typical village scene of the afternoon where the roads were empty and there were hardly any people to be seen. Right then, we noticed and old man sitting outside his house. We asked him the distance to Seeta Mata sanctuary and his reply brought a smile to our faces. His reply was – “wo toh saat kos door heee” (It is 7KOS).
Though we knew that Kos is an indian unit of measurement, but since it’s not prevalent anymore, both of us didn’t know how many kms makes 1 kos. So we googled it and found that 1 kos is almost around 3 kms. That incident made us realize how far behind we have left our roots. Today, forget about using… We don’t even remember these basic units of measurements which were commonly used in the earlier days.
People before Technology
This also showed us that the Indian villages are actually the reflection of ancient India. Which also brings us to the fact that technology does not always help. Sometimes human interactions are more helpful and more fulfilling to a traveller. Even during our Jaisalmer trip, when we were following the google map to reach our campsite. Instead of reaching the camp we were left in front of the huge sand dune.
Map showed our campsite only a 100 mtrs away but it was nowhere to be seen. Again a local there came to our rescue. He informed us that the camp is actually 100 mtrs away but we needed to cross the sand dune to reach there. Somehow the maps assumed that we were driving a hummer and would drive our way through the dune, right to our campsite :-).
Another similar incident happened with us on our road trip from Udaipur to Haridwar, during the month of December. It was the time when farmers’ agitation was at its peak, and they had blocked the national highway near Rajasthan borders. We had to take a detour to reach the other side of the highway. We actually had to meander through the network of villages and it was interesting to know that India has such beautiful village networks.
Kohoj ek Khoj
Whenever we think of our travel anecdotes, the KOHOJ trek incident just flashes in front of our eyes. One of our friends recommended going for Kohoj which is supposedly a kinda straight trail without any diversions. But when we started, we found a lot of diversions and no markings at all. We kept on walking, thinking it to be the right path. But by the time we realised we were on the wrong path, it was a little late and we were lost.
Luckily we heard a few villagers who were also going on the same route and they asked us to follow them. Thankfully we reached the top and after spending some time there, we started descending. But that is not the end of the story. That is actually when the fun part starts because we again missed the route and this time for bad.
It was already 6 in the evening, we were in the middle of the jungle and still searching for the route to reach down. That’s when the panic kicked in since it was almost sunset. We frantically started looking for the route. In that hastiness, we even lost the trail that we were walking on. We could actually see the lake down below and the path adjacent to the lake. But we didn’t know how to get there.
That’s when it clicked us to call one of my friends who had organised this trek before. A big sigh of relief was the full network range. So much so, that even WhatsApp was working perfectly fine and we were to send our exact location to the guys who had to come rescue us. When they came looking for us, our panic stricken faces turned into smiling ones. Honestly it seemed to be an episode of “I shouldn’t be alive” TV series from channel discovery.
A panic stricken moment
Seems so hilarious now but back then it was one hell of a trek. And since this incident we always take a guide with us on our treks. Some date that was. Actually now if we look back, some or the other incident has always happened during our treks. One such incident was on a night trek to Prabalgad. There were 5-6 of us and we missed the usual trail. After hiking for almost 30 min we realized that we were on the wrong track because there seemed to be no defined path ahead.
Right in front of us was a steep climb which was not easy to hike. Due to the nature of soil there, we were slipping a lot, not making a good move ahead. That’s when Ankur and a friend decided to go a little further to see if it was possible to scale that path. And while moving ahead there was a point where Ankur had to hold onto the grass to move up but the ground beneath gave away and he slipped. Right there was a loose rock which got displaced and rolled down to our friend hard.
Though the rock was quite small it did do the damage and made a cut on her lower lip. It started bleeding and her lips were swollen within no time. You can imagine the panic on all of our faces. We did manage to climb up and luckily found the main route as well but our main concern was finding the right medical aid in that jungle in the middle of the night.
To our benefit, there was a good network connection and we contacted a doctor friend of ours asking for advice. Again, this anecdote will remain with us forever with a lesson that we learnt. However small or hard the climb be, please always be prepared for the worst and do carry medical kit ALWAYS… without fail.
Beaten by bees
But what do you do when you carry the medical aid and nature has a completely different plan for you. It was during our Sandhan trek where for a few minutes, everything stood still around us and literally. There was a rock patch which we had to cross by rappelling and hence only one of us was able to rappel at a time, others had to wait for their turn. There were few places around where rain water had accumulated where the rest of us sat chilling waiting for our turn.
All of a sudden, there came a guy jumping down on the boulders from high up and directly dashed into the small pool of water right in front of us. We couldn’t fathom what made him do that. Right then we saw the commotion above and got to know that one of the beehives had been diturbed. And then came this swarm of agitated honey bees. If stung, we did not even have much medical aid to quickly help us. We really were left to find ways to save ourselves.
We took out our jackets, stoles, bags – whatever we could find to cover ourselves. Some of us just sat there motionless, bent down covering our faces and neck and hands. But the scary part was that one of our friend who was on his way down the rappel patch was actually left hanging in the middle of the air. Our technical lead got petrified and stopped the rappel rope. Poor fellow was left hanging there till the whole situation calmed down. Which was at least 15-20 min.
We were all laughing at his apathy back then but just imagine what he would have gone through in those moments of panic. What if it were either of us …just the thought of it sends chills down our spine. There were lots of beehives in that trail and supposedly the smoke disturbs them which could cause real havoc to the humans if it were to happen. One of the guy there was smoking which probably caused the whole chaos.
This incident left us with more learning. Never take nature for granted rather play by its rules. We need not try to be cool in our way when amidst nature. Even a small mistake or casual attitude of ours can cause disturbance in an otherwise peaceful environment. Please be mindful of your surroundings.
So these are some of the memoirs that we have shared and tried to put across as vividly as we could. Hope you enjoyed reading them There are still many such stories that are etched on our minds and we hope to bring them to you in our following blogs. We are sure even you must have a lot of such interesting travel tales to tell, and we would love to hear them.
If interested, please share with us your travel anecdotes. Maybe we will learn a thing or two from your experiences as well. Travelling teaches you many things. You live a different life in all your travels. At least we cherish each of our travels – be it a trek, a road trip, a train journey, a bus journey, a simple beach walk or even a flight trip….