Year 2021 Trips

So another year comes to a close and it’s time to log this year’s trips!

January – Rishikesh

We try to go to Rishikesh at least once a year as it is our family’s favorite destination. This year we went to Rishikesh on the Republic Day long weekend. We stayed at Aloha on the Ganges, a beautiful, 3-star resort in Tapovan, Rishikesh, a little ahead of the Laxman Jhulla.

Though the hotel was good, I missed the regular vibe of Rishikesh that you get while staying near any of the hotels or ashrams near Ram Jhula. These also provide a much easier access to Ganga, which would have been good as my Mom was with us. This was her first visit to Rishikesh, and I would really have liked for her to experience Rishikesh the way we usually do.

March – Kerala

In March end, Mom and I went to Kerala for a two week trip. My dad had passed away in April of 2019, and we couldn’t go back in 2020 for his first death anniversary. This year, Mom really, really wanted to go. The problem was that quarantine rules were not very clear. As elections were being held in Kerala during that period, different rules were applicable than was officially stated on the government portal.

Anyway, we ended up spending one week in home quarantine and one week just settling things. Except for one of my aunt who was staying in the same house on a different floor, we couldn’t meet any of our relatives. Mom was happy though to meet neighbors and be at her home, even if it was only for a short while.

Quarantine food! My aunt would make awesome food and keep it midway on the stairs. I would go and collect it after she had left, thereby maintaining our social distance.

We cut our visit short and returned to Delhi as the dreaded Second Wave had struck. We feared there might be another lockdown and we might be stuck if flights were cancelled. The next two months we remained in our house, hardly even venturing downstairs. Covid was back with a vengeance and this time it was taking out people we knew – acquaintances, neighbors, friends, and relatives. It was no longer something happening to other people, something we just read about in the papers.

July – Bhimtal

By July, the second wave had subsided. My husband was desperate to return to Bhimtal. We were all fully vaccinated but as per travel norms then, we got our RT-PCRs done. Entry to Uttarkhand was only allowed with if the RT-PCR report done within the last 72 hours was negative.

We stayed in Bhimtal for a month, through the rainy season. On the days that were sunny, we went for long nature walks.

October – Bhimtal

In October, my sister came to visit us in Delhi with her family for the Dussehra holidays. We managed to fit in a three-day trip to Bhimtal with them. As there were eight of us and a dog, we made the trip in two modes – some of us by car and some by train. Thankfully, the weather was pleasant throughout.

With my sister and nieces

November – Vrindavan

Mom has been to Vrindavan only once, and that was a long time ago. That had been a day trip of Mathura – Vrindavan, arranged by my dad’s office. I was a kid at the time and only remember that it was the sort of trip where you rush from one spot to another. My mom also didn’t remember much about that trip so Mom and I decided to go on a one night trip to Vrindavan. For the first time, we used Uber’s outstation services. While booking the trip duration shown was 2.5 hrs or so but actually it took more time.

On the first day, we visited Prem Mandir and ISKCON temple.

On the second day, we visited Nidhiban and then returned home. I’ll write more about this trip in detail later.

November – Goa

A four day to Goa with friends, just like in the movies! Actually, my friend and I had been planning to travel together since a very long time but it never actually happened. In March 2020, I’d met her and two of her colleagues with whom she has previously travelled with the specific purpose of getting to know each other and planning future trips. But then Covid came around and lockdown was announced just two weeks after we met so again our travel plans were postponed.

This time, she she texted and asked, “How about, Goa?” and I confirmed instantly. Things sort of fell in place after that and we did our flight, hotel, and Doodhsagar planning with less than 10 days to go.

At Aguada Fort

I’ll write more about this trip too in detail later.

December – Bhimtal

Finally, rounded off the year with a quick weekend trip to Bhimtal at Christmas, travelling by train after a very long time. On both days that I was there, we went for long walks, once along the Dhoomsil road and once on the path to Karkotak Mandir.

So that’s it folks for this year. Wishing you all a very Happy 2022!
May all your dream trips come true.

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Published by Leena T Pandey

I have been reading voraciously since the age of five when I first discovered the joys of reading. I would lap up anything in print. Unrolling an emptied newspaper cone with one hand, stuffing roasted peanuts in my mouth with the other, all the while devouring the printed content on the cone with my eyes, was one of my first experiences in hedonistic pleasure. In fact, sometimes I feel that I am on an adventurous journey through the secret dreamworld of other people's imaginations, interspersed with occasional visits to my own life to attend events like graduation, first job, marriage, and so on. As a true-blue reader, I think I am uniquely qualified to comment on and critique other people's works of labour. I can tell exactly what puts the average reader to sleep, what sets their pulse racing, and what has them salivating for more. Write to me at leenatpandey@gmail.com.

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