Sigh. The trip to Corbett was by far the worst trip KC and I have taken together. It was a long weekend and we were planning to head to Chandigarh or something. We haven’t been to that city yet. I have been there for work but not really explored the city. And it sounded like a good road trip or maybe we would have spent 3 days lazing around at home. That sounded like fun too. Then KC’s mom- my MIL turned up at the last minute. KC has the habit of booking tickets at the last minute (don’t ask me why) and we decided to take a trip. I agreed. It was better than the 3 of us being cooped up in the same house. For example, I have been living in a 1 room kitchen for the last 7 days and counting.
I came across the Corbett running event by Running and Living and suggested the same. We haven’t driven to Uttranchal and Corbett is a good place. Of course, being able to book a safari was out of the question at such short notice.
Based on tripadvisor reviews, we booked Deer View resort. It was in the middle of the jungle and cheap. We decided to drive to Nainital for half day and for the first time I paid the full price in advance on goibibo.
We left from home at 5 am with the GPS guiding us. Apparently, there are many, many, many routes to Corbett and except one- all of them are pretty fuck all. We got lost near Barapullah flyover (under construction) first… then got stuck in traffic at Meerut… then took Dhampur bye pass road which is not even a road… it passes through tiny villages… and reached Corbett 9 hours later. After registering at the expo and lunch, we headed to our hotel in the middle of Sita Bani forest… and got lost. It took us 1.5 hours to find the place. And were shocked to reach a shit hole. The rooms were crap… dirty… the loo was horrible… and there was a broken tap. The owner, with who we had been on the phone for 2 hrs for directions, apologized and suggested we find another hotel. We had driven for 11 hours, were exhausted, hungry and in no mood to go looking for a hotel. We decided to stay for the night, check out early morning, finish my run and then leave for Nainital asap. The only dilemma was- What if the hotel at Nainital was also crap? At this stage, we couldn’t take one more heart attack. By then I was just craving for my bed back home. All I wanted was 1 good night’s sleep.
In the morning, it started raining at 4 am. My run was scheduled for 6.30 am and we had planned to leave the hotel at 5 am for the run. I half expected the run to get cancelled. Rather I was hoping it was cancelled. Who wanted to run in the rain, right? But there was no information and we decided to atleast go to the resort and check it out. Apparently, weather has no effect on runners. They run in extreme heat, cold and rains. And that’s what I did while KC and MIL waited at the resort. We decided to skip Nainital and just head home instead.
This time we asked around for directions and guess what? There is a fantastic toll road which takes 7 hours only. We returned home a day earlier… exhausted, hungry and bugged.
This trip was worse than the Karjat one in 2008. I cannot find the post on it, maybe I didn’t write one. Basically, it was planned by KC basis his friend’s recommendation. And we ended up in a run down resort during monsoons. The ‘riverside’ resort had a stinking river and a hole in the ground called the ‘pool’ with insects crawling everywhere. We checked out after one day and didn’t bother to get a refund. Or rather KC was too lazy to get follow up for a refund.
I am so glad to be back at work tomorrow. In fact, I’ve already made a to-do list for tomorrow.
I hope to never have a holiday like this again… I’d rather be working or even twiddling my thumbs in office without work instead.
On the other hand, I wanted a road trip and I wanted to run. Atleast on those two counts, the trip was a success.
Next post- on the awesome run…
Edited to add: While driving to Corbett, the bolts of one wheel came off. If we hadn’t discovered it in time, an accident was sure to occur. The puncture guy suggested we remove a bolt from another wheel and drive with 3 bolts (instead of 4) on the 2 wheels. Wow!! What jugaad. We managed to reach Corbett driving below 100 km/hr. On the way back, we got bolts put into the wheels but had to still drive below 100 as a precaution. Then, at some village in UP our car wouldn’t start. Thankfully, 2 guys in the other car pushed the car and helped start it. After that, we didn’t stop the car for the next 5-6 hours… no pee break, no water break and no food break. KC and I swapped seats keeping the car running. Nightmare.