Thursday, July 24, 2008

Three - Day Camp In Dubai ! ! !

Last Sunday, I had been on a short trip to Dubai, for a two-day business meeting. We left Mumbai at about 9:45 AM on 20th July and reached Dubai in 3 hrs. It took some time ( quite some time ) in Immigration formalities with eye scan etc etc and reached the Hotel in the evening at 3:00 PM. One of my college friends, Imran Khan, who is based in Dubai, had arranged for a Desert Safari on the same day. He came to the hotel to pick us and we started off for our leisure trip at about 4:30 PM. It was a Toyota Land Cruiser, and we first went through the beautiful roads of Dubai to a place for Desert Biking….. It was an absolute stunning experience. From there we left for Dune Bashing, a roller coaster ride of the SUV over the desert. It was definitely a breath taking ride and we kept wondering, why the car is not tumbling down….The roller coaster came to a halt at the highest point on the desert for having us see the beautiful sun set and we had a wonderful time clicking some gud snaps out of our cameras…….From there, we moved to a camp for dinner and a Belly Dance by a Russian Female…….There, we even we had hookah / sheesha, with different flavours…..Ooooh…. the safari came to an end and we were dropped at our Hotel in the night at 10:30 PM…. We rushed to our rooms and slept to be active for the meeting on the following day.

The next day, meeting started at 9:00 AM, and all the delegates from all across Africa, Middle East & Hongkong were present….It was gud, meeting all the big guns of the organisation and knowing how the business runs and it’s past performance, as I’m new to the organization. After the meeting, we were invited for a dinner in Grand Hyatt, Dubai. It was a real adventure having food there, bcoz, I had to search, understand and hunt for vegetarian food…. Went back to the hotel at night and slept as usual again for the second day meeting. On the second day evening, Imran came down again, and we moved to Deira City Centre, a big shopping mall to meet Adnan, my ex-colleague in Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd. We had a coffee in Star Bucks and left the place and went to Swati Mehta’s house at about 10:30 PM to have Indian dinner at her place….She is one batch senior to me in NIMC, Kolkata….After we had delicious dinner at her place and were about to leave, we realized that she had recently bought a Peugeot Convertible and it is so obvious that we wud go on a ride. In the night at about 12:30 AM we were racing the car at 130, 140 Km/hr on Dubai roads and it was I wud say, Sexyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…..
Came back to the hotel with Imran, and picked up another colleague of mine to for another ride with Imran in his Honda Accord. After a couple of hours we came back to the hotel early in the morning to sleep for a couple of hours and get ready to fly back to Mumbai. It’s Imran again….. He is everywhere….. Came down to the hotel in the morning at 10:00 AM to pick us up and drop at the Airport…. The three day stay was wonderful and the cars in Dubai need a special mention….. Just glance through some of the cool snaps clicked in these 3 days……

Smile Always,

Raja Gopal.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Lonavala Trek Camp....

It was last Sunday, when I had been for first trek camp. I guess, my Mumbai masti has taken shape. On 29th June, early in the morning at 8:00 am, we started off our journey from Mumbai to Malavali, a place near Lonavla. The team included, Bhaskar, Mohit, Ashish, Anuj and Myself from Mumbai and Saptarshi and Madhavi from Pune. All of them were either juniors or friends.

At around 9:30 am, we reached the base of the hill, which is to be climbed. Parked the car there and started off straight. Because of rain, the path was slippery and so was tricky. With the help of the plants, trees, and rocks, climbed some part of the hill and reached a spot where we can sit and breath. Rested there for a while, rolled the digital camera all around and on ourselves as well and started the second spell. From that place, we could actually see the end point of the hill where we had to reach, which has lifted our spirits. The lush green grass over the hill was very soothing and refreshing for the eyes. While we were on our way to another resting spot up the hill, there was a mini dhaba which was offering some refreshments. So, rammed into it for some eatables and continued from there in heavy rain. After we reached a place on the hill, from where we could see the end point, everyone waited for a minute. It was a breathtaking view, and we realized that we had to reach the other end. But, everyone cud see the finale only and with full energy and no second thought took the narrow, slippery and sliding way to the end of the hill, which has remains of an old fort. It took us around 3 hrs to reach this place from the base of the hill. We were seven, when we started the trek and were lucky that even at the end, the number was same. Enjoyed the rain, fog and the view of the lush green hills around, clicked some cool snaps and started the descending journey. Reached the ground in a couple of hours and traveled back home.

It was stunning and a very exciting experience. Rainy season is generally not the time for a trek but this is probably one of those few places where rain invites trekkers. Roll your eyes through some cool snaps clicked when ever we could free our hands on the way and sit down at a place……

Smile Always,

Raja Gopal /-