Ever since Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey told the story of warrior Odysseus’ ten-year journey home from Troy, Travel has influenced all of us. It makes you a story teller.
Every trip offers unexpected friendships, in fact, I travel to make friends. You get to meet all sorts of people, different breeds of wonderful humans of this lovely planet. As much as I love being in new places, I am fond of being with new companions. More often than not, friendships are discovered, not made. Here is a story of how I made a bunch of friends in an amazing trip.
A little about the destination - Jog falls. With a plunge of whooping 830 feet, it is the second largest Waterfall in India. Situated in the Western Ghats in state of Karnataka. It offers breathtaking view from the top and bottom alike. In order to find this magic of nature, you have to travel deep into the ghats and then take a 900+ steps descend, but don't worry the stairway is as good as your apartment. Unlike other attractions, this one offers the tidiest tourist place. So forget about the germaphobe inside you and get your bags packing. The steps till the base of the waterfall is neatly maintained and has proper railing which even the elderly can rely onto. Our group had people of all ages and everybody did it like a charm.
The journey started from Mumbai at around 4pm, we were 13 people boarded train from different stations in different coaches. None of us had previously met or known, we just discussed everything in a whatsapp group created a few days ago. How cool it will be to start a trip with complete strangers?? Read along, you will know.
The beginning of the trip itself was thrilling, as one of the girls had a delayed connecting train. she was supposed to be at Thane station but couldn't make it on time. The arrival of her train and the departure of ours was at the same time,we came to know this only 20 mins before the departure. Everybody cheered her even though it was in the Whatsapp group :-) Finally she boarded the train at the last possible second. Even cheering for someone who is going to be our companion seemed exciting. Of course when like minded people travel, it is sure to happen. We all decided to have a gathering in one of the coaches after Panvel.
I enjoyed the journey from my window seat, the train was rushing past the concrete jungles of Mumbai into the laps of lush green stretches of the south India
I was a bit skeptical at first, but when I met them I found out they all are more amazing than I thought. By the time i reached the coach they were having snacks. It made me happy, of course if it is not food, what else can make us happy? After a brief introduction we went on to play Uno. Card games in sleeper coaches has a special cheer of its own. By the time the game is finished we became good friends.
The next morning we got down at Honnavar station. A small station among the greens with awesome views and character.
The bus was waiting for us at the station. We started our fun road trip from Honnavar, its a 2.5- 3 hr journey to the Jog falls. It is at this journey I made friend, Kkrish, He is an avid traveler with a keen passion for Bungee Jumping. He has been to most popular Bungee jumping locations all around the world. He was my best buddy for the rest of the trip.
The route to Jog falls was even more refreshing. Wider roads were being developed, but without hurting the greenery much. Karnataka state has one of the largest green forest in the country. The roads were foggy even at 11am. We stopped midway for breakfast, all were keen enough to try the local Neer Dosa, Idly & sambar . It was near a huge Hanging bridge across Sharavati river.