Road Trip That Changed Travelling

As humans, we often underestimate the true value of a particular moment in our lives, this one small step in a direction can set a new lifestyle for us. It can be the stepping stone for our future travels. One of my own moments that reshaped how I thought about travelling is illustrated down below.

A routine trip could face a twist in the upcoming few hours. Who knew right? It was a planned road trip from point A to B, all we had to do was drive on the same national highway and arrive at the destination at our own pace. 3 cars 1 destination 10 opinions, how dull could a road trip get.

This was until our navigator (Akram) anticipated a left turn on Google Maps, it was too late even to say "Waaaaiit". The driver (Nikhil) had steered the car, which left us (me & Sumanth) to experience the inertia of the hard left turn - we smashed into the right side of the car. Before we knew it, we were confronted by a checkpost guarded by a few forest officers. They interrogated our whereabouts and asked us the reason why we were entering this restricted area. My witty mind recollected the names from the green board that was placed a few meters before the turn. Recalling the place (Kekkod) in mind from the board, now all I had to do was gain the trust of the officer incharge by blending as a localite, my mind shifted to a stereotypical Karavali accent that I had picked up during my previous visits to the county. He let us enter the area even though I could see him speculate my accent - nevertheless, we were happy with how it played out.

We drove forward to explore what it beholds. A mere 10-minute drive later, We encountered a village (Kekkod) that looked abandoned, all of us wondered where the villagers were in the middle of the day. As that village was a dead end, we had no other way to go, but our preloaded maps showed us that there was a diversion that would connect us to the highway after a few miles. As the car wouldn't be able to take narrow sharp U-turns in that place, we all got down and started traversing the location on foot. Our main objective was to find the road that would lead us back to the highway, even though we could retrace our steps back to the checkpost, this group of young gentlemen weren't ready to accept defeat yet.

Grasslands Kokkode
Grasslands in Kokkode gave a different vibe

After running around searching for trails, one of us found a driveable path that was off the beaten path. We wanted to test how our bloody luck was. Few hundred meters down the path. We encountered a big ditch and wondered how we were gonna get across it. We underestimated the capability of the car that was built for these types of roads, Nikhil and his skilled driving helped the car climb out of it without breaking a sweat. He controlled the car so that it doesn't get stuck and it also explains that a daring stunt that would have been unnoticed by passerby had a big impact on all of us. Or else, we would have had to walk the walk of shame to the checkpost requesting help.

Stream in Karnataka
The stream that would be a river in monsoon.

Our navigator who was sceptical about our trail search was worried about how his one wrong turn cost us time and money. The emotions that run in his mind was seen on his face, we stood there waiting for him to contemplate the plethora of sentiments. The trail had gone cold by that time - it led us to a private farm. We had no other choice but to return back to square one. We again passed through the ditch which we later learnt was a river crossing that would be filled completely during the monsoons.

Returning back with a frown on our faces, it was time to face the fact that we weren't successful in our hunt for adventure. We were about to head back and face the officer who awaited us, but collectively we all thought one last try never hurt anyone did it. So we did the same. There was this old forest office building which, like the rest of the village was abandoned, but there were tyre tracks beside the building, I got down to investigate the trail.

Bike ride
Me hitchiking

A 200-meter walk later, when I was about to give up. I heard a vehicle approaching us, I was in a dilemma whether it would be our saviour or the forest officer who had come to arrest me for trespassing. But, my face lit up when I found out it wasn't the officer. At first glance, I understood he was a resident of this place by his demeanour. Behind him, our car was plodding its way through the muddy path. I could feel the satisfaction that this glimmer of hope in the form of a localite had brightened our broken hearts.

Tata Nexon Offroad
Tata Nexon plodding along

I boarded the bike requesting him to lead us to the highway, while I sat behind we spoke about how beautiful his village would be when it rains, the car followed us until we had to part ways. We bid him adieu and thanked him for his guidance. We were happy even though this was a mini-vacation or a detour, this adventure would commensurate with when Columbus first discovered America in late 1400s.

This adventure even though short-lived would be reminisced when having a sip of beer around a bonfire. Kekkod had a drastic influence on our life and it taught us how not to panic and enjoy the curveball that life would throw at us. This inspired us on an idea that could be adopted for enhancing your travel experience in the future.

A quote to end this travelogue " Not all those who wander are lost" -J R R Tolkein


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