Saturday, December 5, 2015

The unexpected destination for an unexpected activity

The only thing I had done in the past two years was travel around the world planning on paper with no execution, the plan ranged from trip to New Zealand to Europe. I was very frustrated with the lack of trip. The only trip was a visit to Paris for some requirements gathering and that too I had just 2 days off so it was not like a trip. So I decided to chuck all and do a trip alone but where was the question, again I was going around in circle. They say you realize few things in places that you least expect and that is exactly what happened. I was sitting waiting for outside operation theater for a minor operation, there were few magazines which were on the table, A lonely planet magazine was there and I thought I will get some idea out of it and will help me shortlist the trip. I was flipping through the pages which ranged from top 10 hotels, destinations nothing caught my eye; then towards the end of the book I saw a surfing pic. This was one of the things I wanted to try but never thought it was so famous in India. I started reading it to see where it was in India and it said Pondicherry. I got really excited, its a place I had thought was only famous for ashram, beach etc but never thought there was surfing there. After this my only plan was to go and do surfing and decided to enroll on a 7 day course. The only sad part was doctor asked me not to do any activity for 2 months which meant the earliest I could do this was only in December. Indirectly the frustration of not going out anywhere and the 2 months without any activity motivated me even more. Before anyone or anything could deviate me from this I enrolled my self and did all the hotel bookings. Fingers crossed.... I did not tell anyone about where I am going to. This made people more suspicious and few even commented that I will be at home and would be taking rest since it was a very hectic month for me and even more for my team. Well for me rest does not mean sitting idle, I like to do things which I like the most which means something which gets the adrenaline flowing. Ya you will think now that I am showing off, but its true...

Finallyyy going for the trip-
    Finally my trip day came and it was the best possible time since the client had just came and had a given a little positive feedback which helped me to be relaxed in my trip. I was feeling like I was a kid whose summer vacation had just started, woke up early packed everything in 30 minutes and got ready to leave and I un installed whatsapp and logged out facebook so that there is no distraction. My dad and mom somehow got to know that I was going alone without telling them where I was going, they were really annoyed. I just made some excuse and made sure that I quickly got into the car and started.

    It was a chilly morning and there was lot of fog. I thought usually is present but underestimated how much it had reduced the visibility. I went over the electronic city flyover and I could hardly see vehicles which were some 100m away. All of them had turned on the blinkers but the speeds was well above 100kmph. It was the perfect start to the trip. Driving in the fog is dangerous but it has its own fun, open the windows and let the fog come inside and feel the cold air. It was the same till 7:30 am. Then it became really hot and I was experiencing the famous Chennai heat, I was sweating in the car even though I had opened the windows. The initial plan was to go via chennai, but I missed a board and went to Salem instead, I was wondering all the while why there is only Salem board and no where Chennai was mentioned in it. Then realised that I had taken a completely different route and I have to travel 70km odd extra to reach pondi. But it was the perfect wrong turn, the road was so nice and beautiful. There were farms on either side and the road was very good since it was a national highway, the car never went below 130kmph. The only down trun was the number of tollbooths, I have a big bundle of toll both tickets now. The best of the lot was this hill, it was huge and there clouds on top of it. I wish there was a route to the top of the mountain.
    Finally I reached pondi in some 5hrs and 35 minutes after an awesome 432km drive. The last 30km was the worst part of the drive, it was through various villages and towns. The roads and the driving of the people was horrible. The hotel was thankfully away from this commotion near the white town. this was more peaceful. I was really hungry and ate the chapathi which I got from home and slept like a baby for 2 hours. In the evening the first thing I wanted to check was the beach and went straight for it. Its not the one where I will be doing the surfing. The road was very nice, there was a nice walkway along the beach with all the houses on the right. The place was buzzing with people since it was a weekend. Hopefully the place will be more quiet in the coming days and my surfing experience will be awesome along with a list of restaurants in my todo list.

Time to hit the beach -
    The weather forecast was bad. It was going to rain for another 3 to 4 days. I got up in the morning, when I go to the balcony I see its raining. This was the first mood dampner in the trip so far. Well there was no point cribbing about it so I went for a jog near the sea shore and it was a pleasant weather with the noise of the sea and hardly anyone because of the rain. Well this was one of my other to do list in life which was having a nice jog near sea shore with no one there. This reminded me my Santorini trip which was even more deserted beach. 

    The surf session was at 2pm because the tide was expected to high at that time. I was there early asusual and was looking at the sea shore, the waves were high but the sea shore was a bit of mess. The best part was I was the only person for the session that day and it turned out to be a personal training which was good. We got the surf board and went to the beach, the board was huge nearly 9ft. It was kind of difficult to take it to the beach. Then when you see choppy waves which were 8ft tall it gives you the chill no matter how much swimming you do in the pool. The instructor told few instructions on the basics of surfing and we hit the water first with out the board. The sea showed its power instantly the waves hit really hard and the current was also powerful, so we went a bit more to the side where there was a sea wall. The body drift was easy and picked up instantly so was the board drift which was also easy. Now comes the tough part, standing on the surf board. Even if you practised it several times on the beach doing it on surf board riding a wave is always difficult. I had to try nearly 10-12 times before I got it right. Well this was a good beginning hopefully things get more interesting going forward. Well on second day I was able to stand up most of the times, the sea was very rough with back waves which always caused my board to nose dive and topple me over. Well in the next two days managed to stand up on the surf and it was real fun. Had company of few pro surfers who were gliding across the waves and made really motivated to learn as fast as possible. On the last day if the conditions are good I am supposed to ride a big wave. Well did not turn out as expected, first there was heavy rain the morning, then there was a strike on route to the beach with no other alternate route which caused a delay and I almost thought I would not be able to make it. After 15 minutes the police arrived and cleared the route. On reaching the place the I saw the waves were really choppy so my aim for riding a big wave just became impossible. I just practised the normal rides and tried cutting across the foam waves. But the experience was totally worth it. For people who want to try surfing, I would suggest coming to pondi from the month of June - August for surfing.

    Well It was an awesome trip. I had finally done a lot of stuff on todo list, which were going on a solo trip in a car, going surfing, going alone to a nice restaurant and ordering what I want for a change. It helped me recharge myself by being away from others.
    Now that some of my todo list have been crossed. Looking forward for new adventures or trips soooonnn. Till then adios amigos, this is me signing off from Pondicherry.