bhargavkesavan

Travelogue, Nostalgic memories and more…


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TheBlindList – My blind date with Earth!


As a child I’ve dreamt of places which I don’t know if exists in this world or not. I’ve imagined me going to forests and spending more time in nature, thought about camping (which I was not aware such thing existed and the very name “camping”) but it was my imagination that I’ll spend time in forest & mountains.

Then twenty years later came a time when I visited Havelock Island in Anadman Islands. the most beautiful place on earth. I spent few days with my friends wandering in the woods which was our first hiking experience which turned more adventurous when we heard elephants trumpeting at a distance! We cancelled one of our days plan to enjoy snorkeling, it was like a blind date with earth! I jumped on to the reef with just the snorkeling kit  & I was floating for half a day enjoying the most colorful fishes in the crystal clear waters. It became more wonderful when I saw a family of Nemo fishes just that the little nemo was not lost! And my first bucket-list was complete when I did a scuba diving at Chidiya Tapu in Anadaman through Lacadives.

Without any expectations we went to Andaman like going on a blind date just that this is a date with our planet! And of course I was not disappointed and still cherish my Snorkeling & Scuba memories at Andaman!

Four years later, which was this year. My wife & I made plans to visit Grand Canyon. We booked our tickets to Vegas and booked ticket to Antelope Canyon. We were very excited to explore the places we were about to visit and we were openminded about this exploration.

As soon as we landed we rented a car and filled up the trunk and back seat with necessary eatables and water for our 6 days trip. Since it’s most hottest place we have arranged the trunk such a way that food won’t get spoiled. We began our trip to Grand Canyon from Nevada via Route 66, it’s called as “Historic Route 66”. It’s the most deserted place in USA & a heaven to bikers and car enthusiasts who travel to explore & to those who go on exploring the world.

 

As soon as we landed we rented a car and filled up the trunk and back seat with necessary eatables and water for our 6 days trip. Since it’s most hottest place we have arranged the trunk such a way that food won’t get spoiled. We began our trip to Grand Canyon from Nevada via Route 66, it’s called as “Historic Route 66”. It’s the most deserted place in USA & a heaven to bikers and car enthusiasts who travel to explore & to those who go on exploring the world.

The reason this route is so famous is that it’s a straight road for hundreds of miles with absolutely nothing on left & ride sides of the road. There will be signs marked on the way that there are no gas stations (petrol bunks) for next 100 miles or so. You can easily see 10 miles ahead of you on a clear morning or evening when sun is not at peak. Try to keep your AC full, haha it won’t workout! It’s so hot that you will feel you’re in Chennai on a peak summer day or in Hyderabad or Delhi during peak summer and yet it’s more hot than that. You can easily fit one or two of our Indian states in this road as you can see the entire state is just empty area with deserts and rocks and mountains.

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Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

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Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

 

As soon as we landed we rented a car and filled up the trunk and back seat with necessary eatables and water for our 6 days trip. Since it’s most hottest place we have arranged the trunk such a way that food won’t get spoiled. We began our trip to Grand Canyon from Nevada via Route 66, it’s called as “Historic Route 66”. It’s the most deserted place in USA & a heaven to bikers and car enthusiasts who travel to explore & to those who go on exploring the world.

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Historic Rt 66, you can easily see 10 miles ahead of you! It’s a straight road for 100s of miles.

When we reached Grand Canyon we definitely didn’t think we are on earth, it was like diving in Mars. We went to Southern rim of Grand Canyon and we were on self exploration skipping the maps and finding our own trial to hike. To our surprise we saw four weathers on the same day at Grand Canyon. To our surprise we experienced Snow, never knew there is snowfall at GC, thought it’ll be just in December or January but a snowfall during April last week that too during our visit was unexpected! As we started to go back within just 3 miles, it was too sunny and hot! On coming cars looked at us so surprisingly and they had no clue they’re entering Snow land!

After a day we headed to Nevada back via Monument Valley, Utah. Every road is an exceptionally awesome and scary at the same time. Reason why it’s scary is that there is no town or mobile network for hundreds of miles. So you better keep your tank full or running for at least a few hundred miles or keep a hardcopy of maps. When you look from aerial view you will be in middle of no where! Scenes around me never changed as we drove! As we entered Zion national park after 250 miles from Antelope we saw few cars and trucks and felt like back to earth & that we got company or at least there are people to help if you honk! I was very glad when few cars stopped by to check if I’m good & need any help when we parked our car in shoulder.

This all lasted just a while, as we entered Death Valley national park which is called as the most hottest place on planet! It’s 155 degree Fahrenheit / 69 degree Celsius on a peak summer day & it never gets a drizzle any time in a year. And it’s called as the darkest place on earth as well, an excellent place for astro photography. So many people do camping and go on to self exploration.

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It’s called Devil’s golf course!

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This is the lowest point in USA. This is how the ground looks & it’s salt.

Death Vally National Park is an area of 3.3 millions acres, you can imagine Goa, Delhi, Pondicherry together and still you will have hundreds of acres left to cover, it’s so huge that you need to travel for hours from one spot to another spot within the park. it has sand dunes, artistic palette, the lowest point in USA it’s called Bad Water Basin, you can literally see the ground with salt. Ground here doesn’t have sand, it has salt & so the ground is white in color. I burnt my finger when I didn’t realize it’s salt & I was scratching it like beach sand!

Generally hot weather is my first enemy on any time of the year, but I’m amazed how I didn’t feel irritated at all when I visited DVNP & I still want to explore it more. This place is definitely a travel inspiration to thousands of people across the world. We got to interact with a couple from Spain and another couple from Italy. If there is a place on earth which is hot and yet people love to visit, it’s definitely this place.

Here is a video that I took in Death Valley.

We’d an enriching experience in exploring a place on earth & yet feels like we’re on mars. We visited without any expectations and with blindlist to this spot on earth like a blind date & we absolutely fall in love with earth yet again! And we’ll never hesitate to go on a blind date with anytime!

Do you like to go on a date with earth & like to say #SayYesToTheWorld without knowing where you’re headed? Do checkout this URL & video below.

#TheBlindList

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Islands of Adventures – An amazing experience! – The Beginning


Universal Studios – Islands of Adventures! I’d no idea I’ll ever visit this place. On June 2nd, I’d visited Universal Studio’s Island of Adventure park in Orlando, Florida with Anu and my friends (Prem, Priya). It’s high budget & extremely adventurous Ramoji Film City of USA.

Two days before our trip, My wife and I visited the official Universal’s website to get an idea and pick the rides. We checked the names of ride and watched the videos in Youtube. After watching close to 10 videos, we felt like completing a virtual tour!

Two days later we reached Orlando. On our day 1 we started to the Park in our rental car Dodge Grand Caravan from the villa we stayed with rest of our group. While the other group were getting ready to their Disney park, we started to Islands Of Adventure.

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Anu & Bhargav (me! me!)

Since the park opens at 9 AM, we left the villa at 8 AM, since its going to be an all day activity we took food for lunch with us. Before reaching the park, we’d our favorite bagel and hot chocolate drink for breakfast from Wawa. My friends had their wishlist for the day and we’d ours. On the way to the park we four decided from which activity to begin our day. Prem did ground work already by visiting undercover tourist website and took printout of the maps already. It made very easy to plan the activities. Anu made a list of todo rides & not to do (Dragon coaster) list as well 😀

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Getting ready to leave villa!

While I checked the parking for Islands of Adventure, its a common parking lot for both the parks Universal Studios and for Islands of Adventures. I read some blog about parking which helped in choosing the parking. Yes, there are two kind of parking, regular & prime parking. Prime parking is close to the park while the regular parking is slightly far. But there are lot of moving walkways to make our walk easy to enter the park.

We took the prime parking ticket for $30 and reached the parking lot. They made it easy to remember the parking lot number by prefixing the number to movies like E.T, Spider Man, Cat in the Hat etc… It took just 5 mins to walk through the walkways, there was a security check in between and it was a moving crowd. We entered the park at 10:15 AM!

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Few people were issuing American Express credit cards to by pass the regular queue and get to the Express Pass for free! So here is the thing, there are two lines for every ride, regular line & express line. Just like dharma darisanam and 30 Rupees queue in Thirupathi temple, except that there is no dharma rides in Universal Park!

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After scanning our tickets and thumb print (over hype!) we entered the Universal Studios – Islands Of Adventure Park!

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Our day just started for the excitement! (To be continued… The rides we experienced, interesting photos & a short video)

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Islands of Adventure