Monday, October 29, 2007

Wave pools, a waterfall and some great fun!

This weekend, with Pushkar and Jiten, I went on a short holiday to Bangalore and Hogenakkal.

I've been wanting to visit a waterfall for a long time and finally the trip to Hogenakkal materialized. The run up to the trip was not without its share of ups and downs though. From an estimated 7 people, we were down to 3 in the end. But we had great fun.

We reached Bangalore on Saturday in the morning and were off to Wonderla, an amusement park about an hour's drive from Bangalore.

Its really a great place with a lot of water based and dry activities. There's a wave pool that simulates waves on the beach, a rain dance section, water slides and a whole lot of dry rides. I have a video of my favorite ride. You get into a small open car. It goes up an incline and then comes down real fast into a pool of water that splashes all over you!

We returned to the hotel around 7:30 in the evening. Had dinner at Woody's in Commercial Street.

Next morning, we started off at 6:30 for Hogenakkal. We had breakfast on the way at a restaurant (called A1) at a Reliance Petrol Station. Surprisingly tasty stuff.

We reached Hogenakkal at around 10. We almost got taken for a ride when some locals led us to believe that we would need to walk for 3 kilometers to reach the place where we would get on to the boats and be taken to the waterfall.

I called A Srinivas who had been to the place about a month back and he told us where to go. We went there and after a bit of bargaining, found ourselves in a putty (a basket shaped boat) in the River Kavery.

The boating trip was interspersed with long and short stretches of walks (Jiten always had to carry the oar while our boatman, Velu carried the putty, Pushkar carried our bag and I carried myself). We were taken to see some really beautiful waterfalls which had a lot of water because of all the rain that the region had got recently.


Jiten at one of the waterfalls

There was one especially breathtaking view of the waterfalls on three sides of a gorge, one side of which was Tamil Nadu and the opposite side was Karnataka (Velu told us this about 5 times).

Pushkar and I at the 20 fall - wallah gorge

At another place, where the water was a little calmer, I actually got into the river for a swim. This was exhilarating. I've swum in many pools before but there's something about nature that is different. The water was not half as clean as a pool but was very refreshing.

Swimming in the Kaveri

We then went to a quiet part of the river bank which had some rocks and were given a massage by Velu. I went first.

The massage was torturous to say the least. I always thought massages were meant to relax. This was an assault on the senses. The way he hit, pulled and slapped - you could be excused for thinking he is getting back at you for bargaining on the rate.

Jiten went next. As if the physical assault was not enough, he then waged a mental war on me (while Jiten was fighting the physical one). He showed off his body and he told me that my body was horrible. He advised me to go to the gym (adding casually that he got his body without a gym - only by rowing the putty).

He spoke in Tamil (and the only two words of Tamil I know are Anga Ponga - which mean please go there) but I could understand what the scoundrel was saying because it was accompanied by some animated gestures and agitated facial expressions.

I don't take comments about my physical appearance too lightly. I had half a mind not to pay him anything for the massage but relented because I knew he was trying to be humorous.

He then washed off the oil from our bodies and we proceeded to the spot we began from.

The return journey was uneventful. Had dinner at a place called New Shanti Sagar at Koramangala and started our journey back to Hyderabad.

Overall, we had great fun on both days and my long overdue vacation finally happened!

No comments: