Right. It's been twice unlucky, but there has been a lot of fast paced action and a whole lot of photography involved till now. Very nice indeed, but all would come to waste if we did not get to see the things that we came here for. The reason why the trip was called "Trip to Velas for TURTLE Sightings". Yes friends, if you did not guess already from my previous posts (here, here and here in order), we were here to witness TURTLES being born and making their way to the sea. Treks and Trails India had brought us here all the way from Mumbai and Pune for us to see this beautiful event happening! I was sure hoping it would not go to waste!
So enough of the intro suspense thriller that the first paragraph brought (or so I hope!). Let's get down to business.
Time : 5.20 AM
Place : Velas Village (I think that the village is named after the beach, if not then I do know someone who reads this will correct me in my comments, and I get that many more hits on my blog! *WINK*)
The alarm rings. I wake up. AND IT'S FREEEZZZZIIIINNNNGGGGGGGG!!!!!! Early mornings at this place are very VERY cold. So cold that you would get stuck to the bed, and you would not be able to get up. So cold that if you open the tap, the water would not reach the sink, and would freeze mid air. So cold that...... OK i'm just over dramatizing the coldness, but you get the picture.
I wake up to see my blanket gone! VANISHED INTO THIN AIR! Was this why I had painstakingly washed and neatly folded my blanket in my bag? So much effort gone to waste. CHA! So I wake up and search around in the darkness, trying to find my blanket. And there it is, neatly covering my dearest best friend who had taken the bed right next to me. I turn around, and see a whole set of blankets lying unused. WHAT THE! HOW CAN HE! OMG! THERE WERE SO MANY BLANKETS THERE AND HE COULDN'T USE ANY ONE OF THEM! After that "WTF" moment, I proceeded to give him one tight slap, and go ahead and have my bath before he could realize what hit him.
By the time everyone got up and got ready, it was time to go to the beach for the final time. THE FINAL RECKONING! Would we be third time lucky? Or would the Gods conspire against us this time, and deny us this beautiful sighting?
The suspense fills the atmosphere around the beach. Tensions rise. You can feel the tension in the air.
Organizers : Let's open Basket No. 1.... (opens basket no.1)
OOOFFFF... AFSOS!! Nothing there
Crowd : BOOOOOOO!!!
Organizers : Let's now open Basket No. 2!!! (builds the tension by going slowly to the second basket)
OOOFFFFF..... NOT HATCHED YET HERE EITHER!!
Crowd : OH NOOO!!
AAAANNNNNNDDDDDD... LO AND BEHOLD! WE GOT A STRIKE! 2 IN FACT!
Crowd : YAAAAYYY YIIPPEEEEE!!
Me : I'm glad we got to see 2 turtles atleast! TRIP NOT A COMPLETE WASTE. I got to see my awesome photographer skills AND see the turtles! I guess Treks and Trails India were right in calling this VELAS BATCH 2 (Get it? Batch 2...2 turtles... No?)!! HIGH FIVES!!
|FINALLY. NOT JUST 1 BUT 2 OF THEM! YAAAAY!|
|Another sighting of the reaction of the general public.|
A few of us had a feeling that something would happen this time around (You know, our photographer instinct always kicks in at the right time.) So, us photographers started hatching strategies in order to get the best seats in the house to take the awesomest pictures of the 2 turtles moving to the sea.
Prime Strategist (AKA Me) : "OK. So we are expecting it to happen, right? Why simple stand at the enclosure then? Let us go ahead and stand by the beach in the perfect positions now itself! I am sure they will all come here itself and thus we get our prime seats! YIPPEE"
Subordinate Strategist : "Ummmm... All that's good, but what if they don't come to where we are and go else where?"
Prime Strategist : "ELEMENTARY WATSON! We will move accordingly!!"
Secondary Strategist : "?!?!?"
Prime Strategist : "LET'S GO GO GO!!!"
So, as soon as we saw the green light, we tried running (of course with the sand it was pretty tough running) towards the sea and took up the best seats in the beach! WE WILL DEFINITELY TAKE SUPER AWESOME PICS NOW! And, of course, witness the event!
|The enclosure's made. The turtles take their catwalk to the ocean from here.|
So we took our prime locations, and started clicking away! The turtles were so kind to us, they even came all the way towards us just to pose!
|WEEEE!! I want to flyyyyyy!!!|
|OK! Wait! I'm coming towards you. AREY WAIT NA! You will get your super awesome clicks! DON'T WORRY!|
And that was that. The grand finale. Done and dusted. Our money's worth seen. And delivered. We were happy. End of story.............or not!
This was not the end! We still had the rest of the day to go! What did we do in the meanwhile?!
After seeing the turtles off on their voyage, it was time to head back to the village, freshen up, have breakfast and leave for the temple at Harihareshwar. At breakfast, each one of us was asked to give a feedback video to the resident videographer and professional photographer (RVPP) (well, he did have a lot to learn from me, but I let it go this time...). We were given very strict instructions on how and what to talk in the video.
- The video would last only 20 seconds.
- You would tell your name, what you do (if you want), and a brief feedback on Treks and Trails and the trip in general.
Sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, thankfully there were no Gultis (People from Andhra Pradesh) in our trip. Imagine what would have happened then.
RVPP : OK Buddy, your time.... starts... NOW!
Gult : Hello! My name is Venkatesh Rama Lovely Kattamuri Krishna Kumuri Vemuru Lakshmana......
RVPP : ....AAAAANNNNDDD that's it! Your time is up!
Gult : ...Chandrasekhara Rao.. WHAT!! I haven't even finished my name! What about the feedback?!?!?!
RVPP : NEXT!
Gult : :| :S :|
Once the video session was done and we had our food, it was time to head to Harihareshwar! As usual, the roads were narrow and very tricky to drive on, but leave it to the super awesome bus drivers to take us to our destination in no time! We had to ferry through a river to reach our destination.
A bit about Harihareshwar...Harihareshwar is a town in Raigad district, in Maharashtra, India. It is surrounded by four hills named Harihareshwar, Harshinachal, Bramhadri and Pushpadri. Harihareshwar Temple complex has two adjacent temples. The smaller Kalbhairav temple is expected to be visited first, before entering the main Harihareshwar temple housing an ancient Shiva Linga. (That last paragraph means I DID get something from GOOGLE Uncle. Pretty satisfied with my research, I decide to show the fruits of my efforts to all of you!)
After the visit to the temple, it was time for lunch! And we were famished! We were fortunate enough to go to a restaurant that served non-veg too! What's a trip to the coastline without yummy seafood, right?
|Look at their faces. The satisfaction of having sea food!|
And to add to it, those who finished their lunch late got free ice-cream! I take this opportunity to profusely thank the person who went out of their way to having those ice-creams and the seafood delivered to us to gorge on! Much appreciated indeed!
And that was it! We got into the bus and in no time we were in Mumbai. Along the way, we were whiling our way our time, reminiscing on the trip that was, and finding innovative ways to display movie names like "Astitva" and "Rakhwalla" to the junta who were willing enough to play a game of dumb charades.
And thus ended the trip! All of us were so sad that it got over! I thank Treks and Trails India, and in particular Mr. Ankit Savla, Ms. Bijal Gala Savla and Mr. Hiren Vora for organizing this trip, and for giving me memories that I would cherish for the rest of my life!!