2013 – My Year

What an year this was..A year where I found peace travelling, met some amazing people along, made me get in touch with the basics of what life is all about, gave me some moments which bring out those smile’s everytime I think about them and the best part is no regrets…

It was a year filled with travel. With me joining as an Organizer at GHAC in January travelling became a totally different ball game. Planning, organizing, executing, accounting..looks lot of work but believe me it was fun 🙂 . It was not just about travelling or seeing places, but what each trip gave me back…

Began with the trip to the beautiful mesmerizing forest at Maredumilli showing off the beauty of East Godavari. Such green forests, which will want you to get lost in them, with beautiful streams sparkling away along the way. Rampachodavaram falls, to jump in and have a party with the water..a boat ride across Godavari and seeing the famous kadiam flowers..

Into the beautiful forests @ Maredumilli
Into the beautiful forests @ Maredumilli

The next destination took me to Ahobilam – till date still my best trip. My favorite Nallamallas. This was the trip where I experienced an inner peace when passing through the thick forest and instantly fell in love with the woods. This trip also showed me how simple life can be, be it the food we eat at the satrams, the local villagers, the erra bus travels. Life was never so beautiful and peaceful…

From the top of Ugrastambham@Ahobilam.
From the top of Ugrastambham@Ahobilam.

Who thought a small konda near Mahaboobnagar would be so much fun. It was a place where we just lay down on the rock and stare at the stars on top of Koil konda..

We sitting on top of Koil Konda and enjoying the sunset view.
We sitting on top of Koil Konda and enjoying the sunset view.

Adrenaline rush..Hungry rapids…hanging onto your boat with a life jacket and rafting across River Kali at Dandeli was an experience which will give you a kick and say ‘Be glad you are alive’..especially after my fall into a bad rapid..loved the rush..

White water rafting @ Dandeli
White water rafting @ Dandeli

Water has always been my baby..so a trip to Kuntala and pochera waterfalls, trekking through the forest and exploring some new falls in Adilabad with a great bunch of people was a fun. Sitting at the very top with the mist of the fall blinding you was incredible. Camping near the forest under the moon with some spooky ghost stories session was a night to remember and smile 🙂

Kuntala Waterfalls
Kuntala Waterfalls

If anyone asks me which was the best group you have seen till now on a trek, this was it ‘The Araku batch’ . Awesome place which took us to some great locations, waterfalls, bamboo-chicken 😛 and loads of fun. Be it the hike to Katiki waterfalls and the awesome climb to Galikonda, sliding down chaparai waterfalls and best of all, a group from whom many became dear friends..some trips just do not end after a weekend, they last forever..

Captivating Araku Hills
Captivating Araku Hills

Can an year feel complete if you haven’t trekked at Sahayadri’s in Monsoons. Bhimshankar, a trip into the clouds. Green hills as far as your eyes could travel, climb above the clouds from where the world seems like a painting, countless waterfalls around, getting drenched in cold rains, staying in a small hut in the mountains, with the local villagers, their cows, goats, dogs, chicken sleeping right next to you near the fire. Simply awesome one.

Awesome Bhimshankar..a view from the foot..
Awesome Bhimshankar..a view from the foot..

Next it was, 2 days of getting drenched in rain with not a dry spot for 24 hours, walking and walking all day till we reach our destination, beautiful sceneries, one awesome huge waterfall -Dudhsagar it was.  One place I am going back to do solo next year.

Dudhsagar waterfall
Dudhsagar waterfall

I always travelled out of India once or twice a year way back from 2006 and which was something I planned to continue every year without fail. Its so much fun to see new ways of living, different cultures and backpacking into some unknown boundaries.This year it was a trip to Singapore. Went in with no plan and took each day as it passed. The city, buildings, wildlife, amusment parks, shows. A change from the regular natural setup but loved the buzz with which the city runs.

Merlion at Singapore.
Merlion at Singapore.

Beaches are meant to be fun, but never thought they can bring out that calmness from the drifting waves, endless waters, clear skies..Gokarna OM beach was one of the best beaches I have seen. Trekking along the coastline of this beach and camping in the sands at Om beach, with just the sounds of the waves for your ears, endless sea for your eyes and a smile for your heart was an experience which will bring out that smile out anytime of the day.

Along the coastline @ Gokarna
Along the coastline @ Gokarna

Next it was Jog falls – Missed it in its full glory this year so a place to go back again next year 🙂

Jogfalls
Jogfalls

This was where health took a toll and made me realize, travel,  but health is indeed one’s wealth. Never take it lightly. Had a few down days but building up that strength back took its time.

When you climb a peak, the joy it fills your heart with, and the way to see the world from the top is a feeling one should feel atleast once and for me it was from climbing Kalsubai-the highest peak of Maharastra. Such a beautiful climb with colourful flowers all around. Fell in love with peaks over here..next year watch out all peaks..here I come 🙂

On the top @ kalsubai
On the top @ kalsubai

‘The Papi’s’ we call ourself and we have seen papikondalu at its best. A leisure trip cruising along River Godavari, through the Papi hills, dancing on the boat to some Jhatkas and matkas, eating the most amazing food ever, staying at the beautiful Kolluru bamboo huts on an island. Campfire, moonlight walks, playing in the water and a totally charged up group – What more can I ask out of a trip which was meant to relax 🙂

Kolluru Bamboo huts @ Papikondalu
Kolluru Bamboo huts @ Papikondalu

The trip which might be my last one to end the year with a big bang..trekking along the Kondaveedu fort/hills and chilling out at Suryalanka beach. Kondaveedu was an amazing place to climb, with ruins of fort scattered across hills and we jumping from one hill to another. Empty beach, walking without shoes with waves touching your feet, seeing a sunrise along the way, birds flying across the rising sun..a perfect morning. A beach where you just lazy around, play in water and come hit the sand..a perfect day at the beack to end it all.

Sunrise @ Suryalanaka beach
Sunrise @ Suryalanaka beach

All these travels and people I have met along, made me realize one simple lesson..life is simple, beautiful and humble. There were times I prayed to life, skies, peaceful mountains for somethings and then you realize, it  is all about how you do it . Just go for what you want to do now and rest will fall into its place as time moves..not a bad idea to think big, but do not forget to take small steps first too 🙂 .

Adios 2013 for all you have given me. We did some real crazy things together and had our times and now lets get it done with, and jump into an exciting next one.

A new day is always a new beginning..Sunrise @ Dandeli
A new day is always a new beginning..Sunrise @ Dandeli
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