The moment had finally arrived and we were on our way to weekend getaway. We took off in my cousin’s Honda City to Maredumilli, away from the humdrum of the city. The weather was just right for a drive. Listening to old classics of Ilayaraja, on a cold winter morning, is certainly one of the small pleasures of life. We drove for about 4 hours before we halted for lunch at one of the roadside restaurants along the Bhadrachalam bridge. As we passed, through the bridge, I noticed the river was far from its prime. For a brief moment, I thought of the times I stayed at one of the towns on its bank. For most of part of the journey, we cut through many small towns and villages, it certainly didn’t feel like the road trip we were looking forward to. Post lunch as we resumed our drive like it does in a session right after lunch during a Test match, there was a sudden shift in momentum, suddenly, the roads got less and less busy and we were surrounded by more trees than people and vehicles. A sense of serenity encompassed us. We were lost amongst the beauty of nature, the hill-tops. The sun tried his best to outsmart us with his game of hide and seek as the rays tried to cut through the dense and tall trees on the hill. It was in those moments that we enjoyed the golden hours of the dusk the most.
At this point I would like to mention an interesting experience, as we were lost in the surreal beauty of nature, we have come to one of the steepest hairpin bends on the ghat road and there was a truck carrying a load of gravel stones right in front of us. It was overloaded and the driver was so reckless that a lot those stones fell off from the truck on the road. It caused us a lot of problems, but my cousin being a skillful driver that he is, he managed to climb up the slope with some dexterity. It reminded of one of those commercials from CEAT tyres on TV, that the road is full of idiots, it is our responsibility to stay safe. That indeed felt very true. Oh, yeah, please ensure you fasten your seat belts. It really proves very helpful and for our own safety J
It was very dark and the temperature seems to have dropped by many degrees by the time we reached our stay the destination. Well before I move on, I would like to make a point on the etiquette of highway driving during the nights, every time you see a vehicle approaching you in the opposite direction, please ensure you lower your high beam, else it might block other person’s vision and may lead to accidents. As soon as we reached the place of stay, we were served with warm and sumptuous dinner. The next day morning, we headed to a hike in the nearby forest at Rampachodavaram. We did enjoy a lot of guavas freshly plucked from the trees in the forest and trust me, they were the tastiest ones I have ever eaten. We visited a temple under one of the caves in the forest. Later in the evening, we have been to a sanctuary close by and we spotted a few of wild deer. It felt lovely to spent an entire day in the valley of nature cut away from all the chatter of the city. In the night, we had some interesting conversations with the people in the villages close by about their way of living and how life goes by for them. Those conversations felt really insightful and it reinforced my belief that we do have something to learn from everyone we meet.
Next day we set off back to Hyderabad and on the way back, we made a slight detour to visit the waterfalls near Rampa and it was breathtakingly beautiful. We could hear the gushing sounds of water from almost a couple of miles away. We spent more than a few hours without realising how time passed by. We found it hard to leave the place, but we had to as we have a life of sorts awaiting back home ;). It has been close to a year since I visited that place last, but every time, I feel like getting recharged, the mere of thought the place makes me feel so refreshed. Maybe you all should try visiting that place sometime soon. Trust me you would thank me for suggesting it for you.