On the Black Sea Coast of Turkey – 2 Days in Trabzon

We have arrived on the Black Sea coast in Trabzon at around 8 am after an 18 hour bus ride from Istanbul. Inspite of that, we feel fresh as the bus ride has been very comfortable to say the least. 2-3 names of hotels and guest houses have been shortlisted to stay in Trabzon. Ask…

All in a Day – Delhi to Istanbul to Trabzon

Our Delhi – Istanbul ticket was originally booked for 21 December on the 1050 am flight on a sale in May. As the day of departure came closer, we made a rough plan for exploring parts of Turkey we hadn’t been to in 2018; and Trabzon (located on the Black sea coast) is the first…

Winter in Ladakh : Revisiting Turtuk from Leh

Yesterday was a crazy day of hitchhiking that included visiting Saspol, Alchi, Likir, Basgo and finally reaching Leh to stay for the night. On the next leg of our journey we want to first head to Turtuk from Leh. Since this is winter time in Ladakh we don’t want to make too many fixed plans…

A Rendezvous with Bharmour, in Winter

We wake up at HPTDC’s Hotel Iravati in Chamba and decide to leave for Bharmour by an early morning bus. It is winter, we have celebrated Christmas the previous evening sipping wine over a bonfire in Chamba. The weather is already cold and promises to be much chillier in Bharmour. The distance from Chamba to…

Exploring Tirthan Valley in Snow – Bathad Village

We make our first stop before reaching Gushaini in Tirthan Valley at a dhaba and have food. It is still raining continuously on the Gushaini-Bathad road and someone tells us at the dhaba that even worse weather has been forecast for the entire week. We are excited, snow is exactly what we have come for!…

A Snowy Sojourn : Shangarh in January

The first snows in the mid-reaches of Kullu Valley were forecast around 15-18 January. I, along-with 3 of my friends had made a flexible plan to explore some villages and enjoy the fresh snow as we did so and Shangarh had turned out to be first on our wish-list of places to see shrouded in…

Memories of a Utopia : Munlom Nature Resort in Dzongu, Sikkim

On my first visit to the tiny erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim, back in the early 2010s – I had stumbled upon this word called ‘Dzongu’. It sounded very mysterious and romantic. This first Sikkim trip was with the family and we had a sort-of fixed program for 10 days where we were going around…

Hitchhiking in Winter in Ladakh : Alchi, Likir, Basgo and Leh

It had been a cold and almost sleepless night at the Onpo House in Saspol. Inspite of the many warm blankets provided by the owners, the concrete walls of this annexe had allowed the cold to seep in. I had developed a slight fever overnight and the dim sunlight made matters worse in the morning….

Basar Confluence – An Authentic Tribal Festival in Arunachal Pradesh

First the sad part – I was distraught at not having been able to make it for Basar Confluence or BasCon 3.0 in 2018. Especially after coordinating with Doni and discussing the logistics for the trip to Basar, continuing onward for Mechuka Adventure Festival and possibly to Namdapha National Park. Now for the Happy part…

Old World Charm of Landour, with Rokeby Manor

On the circular path of Landour, a board hanging on a tree announces ‘If we liked noise we wouldn’t live here, if you like noise you shouldn’t be here.’ Immediately, an inexplicable rush of happiness courses through my veins. I’m no stranger to Landour; having spent multiple lazy vacations in this tiny fairytale town (if…

Himachal’s Newest Offbeat Secret : Thachi Valley

It must have been 2 years ago, in 2016 when I had first heard (or read) the word Thachi. I’d reached Balichowki on my way to Gushaini and was having paranthas at a small eatery when I saw a bus with Thachi written on it. I asked the dhaba uncle and he said the road…

Winter in Ladakh : The Goodness of Strangers from Hordass to Saspol

Woke up after a relaxed sleep in Garkon. We were staying at Master Sonam’s Homestay and our chief reason of being in the ‘Aryan Valley’ region was for the wine! Our breakfast consisted of shalgam leaves (turnip leaves) and rotis to be washed down with milk tea. It was very tasty and fresh and we…