Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Sandeepa Chetan
About
Posts

Post has attachment
A beautiful forest covered in clouds, dripping wet and walking through streams as the whistling thrush gives you company. Cascading waterfalls, thrilling crossings. Lush green valleys and forts rising up to the grey skies.

How boring, right? Here's the recipe to spice things up a notch:
1. Insert people - Lots of them.
2. Make sure at least some of them need alcohol. Beer and rum bottles have to be seen around.
3. Now make these people shout, preferably under waterfalls.
4. Waterfalls have to be on slippery rocks close to the ledge. So that when these screaming and some drunk people throw caution to the wind and show complete disrespect for nature, some will fall off. This will then lead to newspaper headlines.
5. To celebrate this disregard and disrespect, add a dash of loud music to the muddle.

Raise your hands and nod your heads in empathy if this sounds familiar. If you have thought about how this can be changed, do share your angst.

I saw with pangs of envy a post by Mariellen Ward of Breathedreamgo about her canopy walk through a forest in Canada. We have seen similar stuff in 100% Pure New Zealand. THAT is how you treat nature. And until we can learn to do that, I suggest a recipe of "sit-at-home-listen-to-any-music-you-want-shout-as-loud-as-you-want-get-drunk-on-whatever-your-want-but-PLEASE-spare-the-hills-the-forest-and-the-trees-they-DO-NOT-deserve-us."
Photo
Photo
7/18/17
2 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
The day we chose to just "be"

Scene outside Pembroke Park just outside YHAI hostel in Wanaka, New Zealand

We walked out of our wooden cabin like dorms to walk towards the main building and were greeted by a double rainbow waving from above the red treetops.

Made ourselves some piping coffee and sat by the window seats in the dining area. It was actually a glass wall. In front was the hostel porch followed by a wide road and then the Wanaka lake spread out. We sat as the sky played games of light and clouds. We sat as the rain lashed, and sat as the sky cleared and turned blue again.

Imagine the scene - you are seated on big comfortable chairs. Breakfast is the best bacon available in Wanaka (we were so “happy” with the colourful vibe of Wanaka that we decided to treat ourselves with the best bacon and not look around for the ones at a special price!). The table is big enough to hold your coffee, breakfast, laptops, phone, chargers (charging points are also just below). The dining room is a warm wood panelled area not too narrow to overhear other conversations and not so big that it feels like this impersonal communal hall - just the kinds that are inviting to travelers and their travel buzz. Travelers - young working holidayers to older couples traveling around in their rented caravans are dropping in.

Outside, the red and orange trees and swaying, sometimes gently sometimes with a flurry to the tune of the rain. The Wanaka lake is changing colours from grey to blue, depending on what the sky is feeling at the moment.

And you are sitting in the midst of it all, with all the time in the world - if you choose to. On that day, we chose that. We chose to be a part of this moment and just sit there being silent observers.

Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Monsoon Outings continued...This time to Tamhini Ghat - Waterfalls and gushing streams are all over...
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
With over a 160 comments and our personal experience, all your doubts about going on a pilgrimage to Amarnath are answered. How to prepare for the Amarnath yatra? Can you trek the Amarnath yatra on foot? Which route is better for Amarnath yatra? How are the food or stay arrangements at Amarnath yatra? Can you start your AMarnath yatra at Pahalgam and end at Baltal?
Answers to these and many other questions.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
#MonsoonOutings continued...this time at Tamhini Ghat. Had heard many tales about its legendary rains. Checked it out for ourselves. Took parents along, so rented a Zoomcar.
Some suggestions:
1. Leave early from Pune/Mumbai/wherever you are based. This gives you enough time for taking as many halts as you want.
2. You WILL want to stopover and look around at many places. Almost everywhere is a picture postcard perfect. Take the time to soak in the rains and the landscape.
3. This is the region that grows a special variety of rice called "Indrayani". It's an aromatic, flavourful sticky sort of rice. You'll see the village folk working in the rice fields all through the journey. Feel free to ask any of them if they have some to spare and stock up on some special rice.
4. Waterfalls and gushing streams are all over. Some - stunning ones are visible on sheer cliffs at the roadside. There's no fencing whatsoever, giving everyone an "easy access" to these cliffs. Be careful. Don't let the excitement cause any harm.
5. There are side roads along the entire Tamhini ghat road which leads to fairytale-like villages or dense forests. If you venture in here, make sure your car is in excellent condition. Preferably have more than one car in your group, for safety's sake. The roads here are pothole ridden.
6. We were asked by some tourists who had driven down here about what was there to do on the Tamhini ghat. We were at a loss for words, just pointed to the landscape around and said..."look at this?". Soak in the beauty - that's what you do at Tamhini ghat.
7. IMPORTANT: Nature is best enjoyed minus the influence of alcohol!
(All photos shot on Zenfone 3s Max by ASUS.)
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
7/4/17
9 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Starting a new series on Firstpost about longterm travel hacks we employed in teh goal to make travel our lifestyle.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
It was the proverbial icing on the cake of our South America travels. We haven't yet written about it on our blog, this is the first time we talk about travelling in the cargo boats over the Amazon river, crossing an international border inside the Amazon and dreaming about dal-chawal! (It's the 4th of our 4-part South America series for Firstpost).
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Travel hacks, tips and inspiration (we do not take responsibility for your daydreaming in office!) from some of the most exciting travellers in India.
PS: We made it to this list as well. Thank you, Thrillophilia, for make us a part of such a cool group!
PPS: We are so delighted that they have used one of our favourite photos in this piece - taken by Zaibon Nissa, the smartest little girl we met in our travels.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Argentina, Bolivia and Peru - what we found in the cities of these Latin American countries, what really struck us, the people we met and the memories we brought back.

This is what we talk about in Part 2 of the South America travel series we are writing for FirstPost,
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
From São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, getting to know Brazil through its cities

This is the first of the four-part travelogue we will be writing for FirstPost.
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded