Pretty proud of our discovery of the magical forests of ‘‘Chorla”, we decided to take a couple of friends up there as well, the next weekend. A friend decided we would drive in his jeep. Knowing how directionally challenged we are (at times), they weren’t too enthusiastic about walking 24 kms, just in case we managed to get lost again.
The jeep looked like it had a lot of stories to tell, it had seen its fair share of travels and adventures. But would it be able to withstand the rough roads, the streams and giant rocks of our route? The owner insisted it would. And who are we to contest his judgement! Remember….that blog I wrote about “CARnnections”? He was sure his “old man” would be able to handle it.
So we drive off to Chorla, this time a little more prepared. Our destination was….... the ruins of the fort…..... we missed the last time.
The first 2 kms, we drove on smooth dirt roads. The monsoon greenery is just another experience. The weather was beautiful. Its showed signs of rain, but the chill in the air was so welcoming.
We passed green fields with farmers going about their daily routine. This didnt look familiar at all (we definitely didnt take this route the first time…..... did we? Or I was probably just so caught up looking out for leeches, that i didnt notice!)
We drove past huge waterfalls….that I was amazed to see. Where are the tourism department guys? How come no one knows about these places? On second thoughts, its good this is undiscovered. Better than being exploited for selfish and monetary reasons.
The jeep seemed to be handling the rocks pretty well. *Pat on the back “old man”*. Trust me…some of these rocks (not even pebbles…............but rocks!!) were HUGE! Take a look….....
And then we came to a stream. Here is when the real adventure begins.
There was no other way to cross the stream than to drive across it, walk over it (there was the cutest little bridge made of something and leaves), or walk through the stream.
We unanimously decided to walk through the stream….....swim a little while, splash a little water around and then walk to the fort. We estimated from our map (I told you we came prepared, didn’t I?), that it would be about a 4 kms walk.
But our friend who owned the jeep was sure that his “old man” could easily make it through the water. I really didn’t like the idea. Remember Tip No. 8 of my blog “Moonsoon Driving”? But, we sportingly got off and watched in anticipation…....... ready with victory cheers, moves and our imaginary vuvuzelas.
But we rejoiced too soon. The jeep hardly set “foot” into the stream…......... and busted a tyre!! We didn’t know if this the moment to laugh and scream “I told you so”, or console the guy and say “Don’t worry, we’ll figure a way out”. And honestly, your brain doesn’t have the time to process “next steps” at times like these….... so laugh we did. Laughed and how!!
The jeep was stuck. The “old man” looked like he was crying for help. His “foot” was busted and jammed between two rocks. Ouch!!
We tried getting it out, but in vain. So we decided to walk across the stream and up the hill….........to check how far away we were from the fort.
But this is all we saw…..............
And then in a distance we saw something(s) move. We saw life! Human existence! We screamed and shouted to a couple of guys standing and taking in the scenery. They were startled to see us too…....... and then laughed at the story about the jeep! We didn’t mind…..............Laugh all you want, Mister…. as long as you figure a way to get the jeep out. And they did! Help, that is.
After 45 minutes of tugging, “the old man” was rescued. I could see the glee on his face. (Its some sort of a sixth sense with me and cars…I can read their emotions. Not as intense as Maggie and Herbie in “Herbie Fully Loaded”. but close. Hehehe)
We left the jeep to recover, splashed a little water around, like we intended to…...... walked and walked and walked…
And there was the FORT!!! (or whatever was left of it)
It wasn’t really much to see…........ but just the thrill of finally getting there was exhilarating!
We drove back into the sunset. The “old man” had recovered and was putting up quite a show. I actually can’t wait to go there again. There’s something so surreal about that place. It will call soon, I know!