Road trip of surprises


An unplanned road trip is what you need, once in a while, to understand the beauty of journey without worrying about the destination.

I recently went on one such road trip. The best part of the road trip was that nothing was planned except the route we were travelling on. I was really looking forward to the road trip as I desperately needed a break after my last trip to Taj Damdama with family and Pushkar with friends.

The trip was finalised a couple of days back and then rescheduled too. In fact, the time of travel wasn’t fixed even on the day. Finally I was given an hour’s notice to reach assembling point. So, the adventure actually started even before the journey began.  

And this uncertainty turned out to be the best part of the journey. When you are on the road but don’t know whats going to happen next, the location and destination become irrelevant. Its only the journey that matters.

The Road Trip Begins…

The day we set out was a full moon night. One hour into the journey and the plan was still changing. But the full moon night took over all discussions and that became the focal point of places to stop over. The hotel too was booked on the go around midnight and check-in happened after midnight.

Magical Full Moon Night

The first stop was a place where full moon night can be witnessed in its full glory. The moon light was falling on the mountain range and its reflection could be seen in the lake below. At one point, the area became pitch dark and we witnessed the place in its full glory. The only source of light was the full moon light with few distant lights from villages far and beyond. That gave a kind of luminescence to the whole scenery and added to the beauty. And the sight that will remain with me forever. So, I didn’t try to capture it through lens and undermine it.

It was an amazing feeling and then the experience was further enriched by UFO sighting, as proven later. My first reaction was that it was a shooting star. But it kept moving very fast and disappeared after some time.

Night Safari

After witnessing the beautiful refection of mountain range in lake under full moon, the next stop was night safari through the jungle. Driving through the jungle around midnight and spotting animals at that hour was my first such experience. and I am already looking forward to next. This is the best time to see the animals. They are more relaxed and are playing around without the fear of many cars moving, people making noise and such disturbances.

As long as people respect the law of jungle and don’t bother animals, they too continue being themselves. I learnt about nocturnal animals. I had no idea that their eyes shine at night and can be spotted from a distance.

These two events turned out to be the highlights of day one. And we finally called it a day. Who knew at that point that day two has more such surprises in store for us.

Day Two of the Road Trip

Since we were on a trip where life was unplanned, we had a relaxed morning and started around 10. As we drove through villages and towns, it was amazing to see the life at usual go by… something we do ourselves everyday but today we were observers. It felt nice but not something that was being missed much.

As we drove through beautiful mountain ranges and through little greenery, due to approaching winters, an idea was forming up – why not cook some food along the highway and then eat it rather than stopping at a food joint. And that turned out to be quite adventurous. The travel partner in crime had some cooking essentials so we decided to use the opportunity.

Highway Kitchen

Step one was to decide what to eat and then buy ingredients. After that looking for an apt spot to set up shop and cook food.

After a few options, we settled on vegetable pulao and then set out to buy rice, oil and vegetables. It was interesting to look for basmati rice but no success so we picked up whatever rice was available and mustard oil. Once ready with ingredients, we drove around for a while looking for an apt spot. Looking for a discreet spot on highway can be challenging, where there is not too much breeze, a little away from main road to keep away people from stopping and crowding and also a bit of green area to avoid too much sun.

After driving for around for a while and enjoying good music, we finally found a place where we could park for a while. And then started out highway kitchen – setting up stove, peeling and cutting vegetables, washing rice and then finally cooking it. Some people did give us stares but that was also part of the experience. And finally, the pulao was ready but too hot to be eaten right away. So, we packed it in the box and  decided to explore the area a little further. As the food came a to an edible temperature, we stopped at a dhaba and ordered tea to accompany our vegetable pulao from highway kitchen. It tasted quite good and the experience of cooking at highway gave a different high to the food.

Return to Base

And soon after that it was time to turn back and return to base and get back to routine but this road trip was quite refreshing. I am already looking forward to the next such adventure. These maybe the highlights but what made the whole trip memorable are many more things. The relaxed pace of travel without the pressure of ticking things off list, the travel companion, the music, the conversations and also silence to soak in the beauty of the experience made the experience memorable.

I have deliberately not bound the trip to any locations because that would limit the fun out of the adventure. Such experiences can not be bound to any location as they are universal. The idea is to acknowledge the opportunity and experience the fun. So do share in the comments section if you agree with this and where you find yourself having a similar Road trip of surprises. 

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