Travelling was my all-time favourite hobby I would say. But honestly, I haven’t travelled much. Just like any youngsters, riding to the hills on a bullet, with a camera on hand and a GoPro on the helmet; with heavy boots and leather jackets; these were always my dream.
The first trip in my life was a trip to Ooty. But that didn’t end up well. As I was accompanying my friends, I really didn’t have a voice in that group. No one gave ear for my interests. And that made me take a decision. From now onwards, I will be going only for solo trips. Just me and my inner voices. A few months after my tragic trip to Ooty, I planned for a solo trip to Vagamon.
HAIL THE HAZE
With a borrowed Bullet and a leather jacket of my friend and my old pal Canon 700D, I started my first solo trip to Vagamon. The first destination was the famous Vagamon Hills. To witness the beauty of Vagamon embedded in the chilling mist, I reached there by 6 in the morning. No one else was there at that time. ‘Paramuchettan’, the only tea vendor open at this time said it will take another 3-4 hour for tourists to come here. Well, that’s good, I thought. I could perceive the grace of Vagamon in peace. Paramuchettan’s ‘chukkukappi’ (Dry Ginger Coffee) was the best thing happen to me that morning. With a glass of chukkukappi and a pack of ParleG biscuit, I started my exploration of Vagamon hill.
LOST IN THE WOODS
The sun began to shower harder. I decided to go to the Pine Forest, which is another famous destination at Vagamon. After a light breakfast from Vagamon Hills, I headed to the Pine Forest.
There were some groups of travellers at Pine Forest by the time I reached there. The fog has cleared. Stricks of sun rays filtering down the canopy can be seen here and there. The Pine Forest gave me some pretty frames. I spent a lot of quality time there. When my stomach began to growl, I head to a small hotel nearby for my lunch.
After a short visit to the Modern Bull Mother Farm and Vagamon Orchidarium & Floriculture Project, it was time to go to the campground I would be staying overnight. I wished I wanna do something different for the night stay. Rather than going to a hotel room, I decided to experience camping and tent stay.
‘THANGAL’ AT THANGALPARA
A friend of mine from the online travel group suggested me Thangalpara Top Camp run by Campper. I had already booked a night’s stay there.
The check-in time was from 4 pm. I reached the base camp by 4:30, up to which only we can drive. After parking my bullet at the base camp, I trekked to Thangalpara Top Camp.
The cool breeze eased the trekking. The landscape and the evening sky was soo tempting, it made soo many frames.
The welcome drink was ready as I checked-in to the campsite. The caretaker Sanju was there of everything. He showed me my tent and introduced me to other campers. I quickly became friends with some of the campers there.
After freshening up, some of the campers there and I set out to explore the landscape. The camp is located at the highest point of Thangalpara region. There is a cliff on one side, which brings out the astonishing view of the landscape beyond. After trying out some photographs of the night sky, we returned to the camp. Sanju was preparing our campfire.
The campfire was a great experience. The slow-moving winds and the mist surrounding us made the campfire more blissful. The soothing music by Sujith, a fellow camper, enhanced the beauty of the campfire.
The dinner and BBQ followed the campfire. After that, time for bed. After a whole day’s travel and explorations, what I really need is a place to sleep in peace. Cammper would provide beds, pillows and blankets for the night’s stay. That helped me to reduce my backpack’s size.
After a sound sleep, the sun woke me up in the morning. Other campers have gone for another round of trekking. Sanju greeted me with a black coffee. Sipping the coffee and sitting idle in a tent on a cold November morning would be the best way to start our day. I got freshened up, by the time the fellow campers came back. They were planning to go for a jeep trekking around Vagamon and asked me to join in. But I said no as I have already covered Vagamon and I’m planning to head back to my home. After our breakfast at the camp, we said goodbye to each other. We just had a night’s acquaintance. Still, we felt like a long time’s friendship.
I checked out from Thangalpara Top Camp. Sanju bid adieu while preparing the campsite for a new bunch of campers. Riding back home, I realised I really had a great time outside. And the camping was like topping on a cake.
By the time I write this, I bought a brand new RE Bullet 500. I completed three solo rides. And I have always camped with Campper during all my trips. I would be hitting the road again, in search of new landscapes and horizons. And I would be looking out for Campper‘s campgrounds, always.