Year: 2012

Mountains and river crossings

Mountains and water crossings: ooh, aah, shiver!

We surveyed the scene before us. But none of us wanted to take the plunge. The cold mountain water gushed out from the left embankment of the road, formed a big pool of water and then gushed into the valley below. Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have bothered at all and walked through. But this was different. This was ice cold water that none of us wanted to wade through. After our first day in the mountains, all of us got wise and bought ourselves gumboots. Perhaps the best accessory purchase decision we made before the trip. We were somewhere on the way to Leh, having started from Manali. And to add to our woes, we were on two non-mechanized human powered wheels. Also called bicycles. If cycling wasn’t foolhardy enough, we were also trying it with gumboots. Wasn’t exactly a very pleasant activity. There were times when I badly wanted to throw them out, but the thought of these icy water crossings would keep us going. We were a set of 10 brave souls who decided …

Wine and sunshine

Wine and sunshine in California

The roads stretched out in front of us, winding from one winery to another. There was a winery at every corner as we drove into Sonoma, our first stop on the wine tour. If you’re a wine aficionado visiting the valley area, you’ll probably be recommended a tour of the Californian wine country. It would be unwise to leave without a customary visit around this wine producing region, responsible for producing 90% of all US wine. The day actually began on a gloomy note. Our guide for the day, Vlad, a Russian settled in San Francisco, assured us that it would not be long before the weather cleared and the sun shone down on us. And he was right. As soon as we reached the outskirts of the city across the Golden Gate bridge, the skies cleared and magically the sun was out. We were quite cheerful already. To which Vlad added that we shouldn’t rejoice too early, as we would probably have trouble find our way back by the end of the tour. We …