It's a been a longish while. What have I been upto? Some travel I can plead, but that was just this last month; the fact is I've been moody and self indulgent in this grand all-negating manner.
After I got back from Kurnool, Shweta and I took ourselves off to Jabalpur to trek with the YHAI. It wasn't an altogether fun experience - the organisers misunderstood the concept of trekking and put us into a rickety rattrap of a bus and carted us all over three districts, Jabalpur, Seoni and Chhindwara. We passed through some magnificent landscapes, though - through the Satpura ranges, touching the wonderfully soothing hot springs of Anhoni, the elegance of Pachmarhi and finally the mecca for tiger spotters, Pench, where, no, before you ask, we did not spot the tiger or the leopard.
My own troubles on the trip started on day one, when I discovered to my horror that a fellow traveller had managed to give me conjunctivitis. I was already in Jabalpur and there was no help for it but to mop up and hope everyone else wasn’t susceptible. I had nightmarish visions of a busload of red-eyed people pointing accusatory fingers at me.
The trip included three nights on the bus and this was truly horrible, more horrible than I can say. The bus tended to hurl its occupants out of their very cramped seats, the driver was fond of loud grating sounds banging through the night, and we stopped roughly every hour, when all the lights would come on and 70 people would get off and then try and fit themselves in again. Looking back, now that I have spent every available minute of the past three days sleeping, it looks better. Some views will stay forever, some people will never be forgotten and the long descent into Patalkot is a story I’ll be telling around campfires.