On the road, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong – Murphy’s Law of Travel
This is not your typical travel post, consisting of details about the place or things to do there. This is the summary of my personal experience and what lessons can be taken from it.
In the desperate need to escape the hot June summers of Delhi, I decided to join my sisters as they were planning a road trip to Dalhousie with their families and friends.
It was simply supposed to be a weekend leisure trip and we were 14 people, 9 adults and 5 children. Instead of using public transportation, we hired a 16 seater Mini traveler bus and left from Gurugram (previously called Gurgaon) on Friday evening, and from here, the plan only went downhill, even though we haven’t left the plains yet.
Since it was a Friday, we met heavy traffic on the route from Gurugram to Delhi and it took us about 4 hours to leave Delhi and get on the highway which at any other day would have taken less than 2 hours. Then as luck would have it, we had a slow driver. He took 15 hours to complete a journey of 10 hours. As we started the journey in the mountains, suddenly the rear door flew open and thus we met our second twist – the lock on the rear door of the bus was broken and all our luggage and kids were prone to harm. Somehow, we managed to keep it shut by holding it all the way to hotel.
We reached Dalhousie at around 12 Noon on Saturday. All our plans of getting some rest in the hotel and cleaning up went down in the river. Everyone freshened up quickly, got ready and had lunch. By 3 PM, we left for Dainkund Peak and in the next 5 hours, we had covered Dalhousie including the famous market and Dainkund Peak and other places, which I would consider to be a world record for a person who is on holiday. After having dinner back in our hotel, we called it an early night.
Sunday, we hoped to start early so that we can spend proper time in Khajjiar and Kalatop, but the Murphy’s Law was at it again. At 9AM, as the luggage was being shifted into the bus, the key broke off inside the lock of the door. I went looking for a keymaker, but at a service station, found a guy who said he could bypass the lock,so brought him back with me to the hotel and removed the steering and ignition lock and using a screwdriver, he started the bus. This in total took 2 hours, and by 11 AM we rushed off to Khajjiar Lake, at noon, the place was hot as the sun was directly above us. The lake was dry and there were hordes of people enjoying different activities. After having lunch, we made our way to Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. On the way, some fool had parked his car in the middle of the road and it resulted in a 4-5 km long traffic jam. People waited for him to come back and called Police to get his contact details, but all in vain, after an hour or so, people got angry and lifted his car and put it aside, breaking its tail lights, number plates, bumpers in the process. The owner arrived just after that and started fighting with everyone, then police had to intervene and all in all, it took another two hours to get out of there and reach Kalatop. It is famous as the filming of 1942: A love story and Lootera took place here.
After Kalatop, we started our journey back to Delhi and planned to visit Amritsar on the way but the driver refused to take us there as the bus was only rented till Monday morning and if we went to Amritsar, we would have reached Delhi by evening. Thus, after an heated argument with the drunk owner of the bus, we returned to Delhi on Monday morning and the hectic trip concluded.
Lessons that I would take from this trip :
- Always double check the locks of the vehicle you have rented.
- Make sure you are carrying spare keys and other items such as Tyre tubes etc.
- Never book a vehicle by duration of the trip, always do the booking in terms of distance to be traveled.
- Don’t make hectic schedule, visit lesser number of locations but spend more time to properly enjoy the vacation.
- In a large group, take more than one camera, otherwise the person with the camera will end up being frustrated.
- Be prepared to see all hell breaking loose. Nothing ever happens as planned.