The Vacation (Not!)

It seems almost all our trips have to be eventful. As we were coming back to Bangalore yesterday, after a lot of physical and emotional stress, I was wondering if we ever had a holiday where there have not been any issues. No. Right from our very first together, our honeymoon to this latest one – we have had it all.

From co-passenger issues to random arguments to a whole night of power failure to google maps taking us through reserved forest trouble to nearly missing the train to reaching too early to the station to scary driving experiences in non-existent roads, we have faced almost everything that is usual to very unusual. To add to our repertoire is the latest highly expensive supposedly inexpensive two day holiday at Yercaud.

We had been planning things and then we planned some more that I really lost track of how long we have been planning to take a short trip. I know I have been very irregular here and that there is a lot to be said but for now, all I can say is going off on a weekend was also getting impossible for us. Last Thursday, both of us decided enough was enough and booked a night’s stay at one of the resorts in Yercaud. What we didn’t realize in our excitement is that it would turn out to be most stressful trip we have ever made.

Things started really well. Early morning sun, long drive through empty roads, best kind of breakfast, lots of songs, whole lot of talking, breath taking views of the hills and the valleys, we finally reached our destination. The resort was so beautiful that we strolled leisurely around clicking pictures and then after a delicious lunch, we set out to explore the locality. We were at the top most peak at Yercaud, enjoying the view when S decided to take the car to the other side of the view point. Seeing that there was nothing but few guys on high, we decided to leave that place immediately. Except that our car was not starting. We tried for more than half an hour with no help around. On top of everything, our phones were out of coverage (something we thought of to be a boon at the beginning). Luckily S saw a police man and went to him for help. After interrogating him for few minutes, he started calling around for help. In that small town of Yercaud, a mechanic was hard to find by. He then advised us against staying there and to walk around checking for any mechanic advertisements. Everywhere we turned, we saw bunch of guys heavily drunk involving in some sort of games or car adventures. At one point, I had signal on my phone for a brief moment. I stayed put there for next 45 mins without moving an inch, while our hotel arranged for a mechanic to be sent. After a long wait, the mechanic did come but we were not sure what he was up to. He plucked and prodded every wire he could find. Looked for fuse box (!!) under the car seats. Tried to check for diesel pipe (!!) all around the car. It was not a simple battery issue and even otherwise, he didn’t know how to jump start. It was getting very dark and that’s when he told us to push the car downhill in the hope that it would miraculously start. It didn’t. We were stranded on the ghat road, with zero lights (as the mech wouldn’t allow us to turn on the lights) with heavy traffic on both sides. After a lot of drama, we towed the car down to the hotel and somehow parked it in the steep narrow parking spot.

We were yet to realize that the worst is ahead of us. Our hotel had arranged for a movie screening, bonfire and live wood fire pizza. But we were in another world altogether calling out road assistance, fighting the weak mobile signal and dropping phone charges. We had to run around crazy without having a moment to ourselves. Since it was the weekend and this place being new to us, we were suggested that we tow the car to the nearest service station which happens to be Salem. It was past 12 when the towing truck came. By then, every soul had gone to sleep. Between S and me along with a helpful watchman, we had to push the car out of the steep parking, push it upwards on to a safe point where it could be attached to the towing truck. It was worrying to look at S and I couldn’t just stand there by myself. In spite of him shouting at me to stay away, I had to help him. As such, we had spent all our money thanks to that mechanic and his towing service. This towing guy demanded that we pay him 5K. We bargained as much as we could and in the end, had to pay up. We had to search lows and highs of our bags to count every note we had to pay him as advance. Sad, I know.

We came back to the room after 1 and I broke down. It was not supposed to be this way. All I wanted was some time to relax. There we were in a new place, without our car, no money in our hands and had not seen anything yet. S then ran down to the reception to arrange for a cab for some sight-seeing. It is at times like these, I realize how lucky I am to have him in my life am. He looks at positive things, however tiny they might be. Since the reception couldn’t arrange for a cab early in the morning for us to see the sunrise, S had apparently gone around asking cab drivers and found a cab! I actually have tears now thinking of how much he does, just for me.

S talked me into putting this car issue behind us and to enjoy the rest of the trip. We saw the best kind of sunrise, with the entire view point just to ourselves. It was as if there was no one between those hills, sun and us. The cab driver then took us one of the most beautiful viewpoints, which again was secluded. As S held me, I felt like the happiest person in this world and that has reflected in our pictures too. We had a hearty breakfast at our hotel and they were courteous to arrange us cab service to go to Salem.

We went straight to the service center and the next shock awaited us. While towing the car through the hair pin bends, the bumper had been badly broken. Sigh. But guess what was the issue otherwise with the car – the sensor in the key had malfunctioned. And it decided to do so while we were at a peak in Yercaud not while we were in Bangalore in some mall. And in the service center, the car started without any issues. I was lost for any reactions. Once we started back to Bangalore, we dared not to stop the car even for a quick lunch and took the car straight to the service center.

After every vacation or holiday, we come back tired but this was on a whole new level. We skipped food and went straight to bed, sleeping like logs for 12 long hours. I was bothering myself with a lot of why me, why us questions but at the end, let it go. We have to take this as an experience. Yes, it was not a good experience but quite an eye opening one.

On that note, I must thank God for showing us some way when we were totally lost. Everyone we had met or talked to were courteous. Yes, making some profit was on their minds but atleast they were willing to help and were not day robbing us. The biggest boon was that we could converse in local language, which was quite handy. But then, I can’t count the number of people who were only there for questioning us or giving us suggestions without moving an inch. Everyone has better options once we have fixed the issue. That’s people I guess.

On some good day, I share happy pictures from this trip.


12 thoughts on “The Vacation (Not!)

  1. Wow! What an expensive adventure! Important thing is you are both OK. Glad you wrote about it. Who knows – maybe a few years from now you will read this account of the experience and smile. Hugs! You deserve a getaway again to get over this awful experience

    • We have been discussing it over and over these couple of days and how/what we could have done differently in our state of panic. Sure, few years down the lane we will laugh about it 🙂 Hugs right back Pop!

  2. Oh God! That’s really bad. I know it must have been horrible that you didn’t have a moment of rest. But thankfully you guys are safe and back home.

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