Murmeli goes India

An AIESEC traineeship in Hyderabad, India

Trip to Vizag

Araku valleyLast weekend I did a trip to Vizag (Visakhapatnam), on the coast of the state of Andhra Pradesh, by the Bay of Bengal. I went there with Tobias, Magda, Eduardo, Yusuf and Stephie. We arrived in Vizag on Saturday morning at about six and started immediately organising the connection to Araku valley, which is supposed to be a picturesque valley about 140 kilometers from the city. We got the train tickets and also booked two cottages in Jungle Bells, a really nice bungalow type hotel close to Araku valley, in the midst of the jungle. I started feeling really bad all of a sudden. I was sweating like a horse and I was terribly tired. I asked Eduardo and Yusuf to take care of the rest of the reservation process and went to be sick in the bathroom. I was so dizzy that I was not walking straight anymore. Luckily this sudden attack of nausea disappeared fast and I was able to get on the train with the others.

The train to Araku valley was packed with people. The funny thing about them was that whenever we went through a tunnel they screamed and banged the walls loudly. They seemed to be enjoying it a lot 🙂 Weird. According to Lonely Planet the best views on this stretch of tracks are on the right, and once again the bible was correct. The tracks ran really high on the side of the valley and the scenery was amazing, at least after spending so much time in a big city like Hyderabad. After the monsoon the view was also extremely green, which made me – a hard-core nature lover – very happy. The trip was well worth the 19 Rupees each paid for it 🙂 Cheap, would you not say.

We got off the train at the Borra caves station. After fierce haggling we got a jeep to take us to see a waterfall, then the Borra caves and then to Jungle Bells about 14Borra caves kilometers back along the railroad tracks. For the jeep we paid 100 Rupees per person. The waterfall was also very nice, as well as the caves. These sights and the whole trip was the most enjoyable of all the trips I have done here as far as the nature aspect is concerned. Places along the route were relatively clean, although you can never really avoid the Indians’ obsession to litter. Well, when there is not really any organised way to collect waste it tends to end up on the ground.

Finally the jeep took us to the hotel. The driver hurried fast along the winding hill road but we were still able to enjoy the great scenery. Driving a bike on those roads would surely be a wonderful experience 🙂 The hotel proved out to be up to its reputation,Jungle Bells cottage although the restaurant was a bit of a letdown. Still, I enjoyed a lot being in the jungle. The road passes the hotel a bit too close, sadly, but there was not too much traffic and most of the time you could only here the birds singing in the trees surrounding the cottage. In the evening we saw a show consisting of traditional tribal dances (Araku valley is still populated by some indigenous tribes) and had some dinner. We went to bed quite early to be able to wake up for the organised trekking at 6AM. The trekking was not really trekking. First we did a trip around the hotel and ended on the road. From the road we went to the train station 🙂 It is a cute little station but does not fit the idea of trekking. Then we went through a “long” railroad tunnel. And came back through the same tunnel 😀 Then the tour was over and we came back to the hotel for breakfast. The only wildlife we saw were monkeys and ants. Anyways…

Next we took a bus to Vizag. In the city we headed straight to Rushikonda beach, the bestGroup picture on Rushikonda beach, Vizag place for swimming. The beach was really nice. It was quite clean, the beach was great for swimming and we had the most beautiful weather. I had not brought any swimming gear with me but Yusuf lent me his shorts so I was able to dip in too. Swimming was actually forbidden but we thought there was nothing dangerous out there. We did not go too far anyway.

That’s about it. Oh, except for the train back. We did not know that there were some problems with the tracks north of Vizag and our train back to Hyd had therefore been redirected to another station. We found this out when we got to the station in Vizag. There was a bus taking passengers to the other station but we missed our train by about five minutes. We managed to get on another train that was just leaving from Vizag to Hyderabad. Of course we did not get to sleeper class. We were directed to the last car of the whole train where there were two police officers, a man and a woman. The female officer was very keen on Magda’s Ipod so Magda let her listen to some Spanish music. Her male colleague gave the device a try too. There is a cool picture of the woman listening to music in the gallery.

At first it seemed that we would be sharing the compartment with the police but this soon turned out to be too good to be true. As we went along, more and more people came to the same car. Tobias got to sleep on one of the upper beds and then the rest of us slept where we could. I decided to sleep on the floor and it was not a bad decision at all. It took me a few hours to find a comfortable position and adjust my rain cloak and back-bag into a nice pillow, but I managed to sleep for a few hours 🙂 We got to Hyd at 5.45, slept a couple of hours and went to work. Basic routines of weekend travelling.

About the work. Today I was really happy after the excellent weekend trip and I was really motivated for the first time in weeks. Stephie and Yusuf, my team, came to work too but they were really tired and could not really concentrate 100%. Anyways, I continued planning the project and doing some programming also. S&Y tried their best to fix the drag&drop problems. My boss was exchanged today for another person for reasons that were never brought to my attention. Whatever. I was asked to do a timeline for the project by Wednesday. I should be able to do it now. I have not been feeling 100% comfortable with the project because I, in my capacity as the team leader, am supposed to give some kind of an estimate of the resources that the project requires. I was a bit uneasy about not having done this yet, although my plan was to write good use case scenarios first and then make the timelines and stuff once the scope of the application is clear. What irritates me still is the fact that there never was a meeting with the big boss about our project. In the meeting we were supposed to take a look at the features and talk about the timeline for the project. One suggested deadline was the end of this month, but I have not received any confirmation about that. I don’t really like the way you have to remind everybody of everything. I am not really good at that so sometimes things tend to go unattended. Anyways, I am now feeling pretty good about the project and once I get to do some timelines and estimates, however impractical and useless some of the procedures at the company might seem, I will feel even more comfortable with it. I have less than two months left of my traineeship and I want to make the best of it. I want to learn something here. My goals for the project are: to be able to come up with a good design for the application, to be a good mentor and coach for S&Y and to make resource estimates that will not be too far off from reality.

Me happyI can say that I was actually happy this weekend and also today at work. It has not been so rosy in the last few weeks mainly because of work. I am such a work-oriented person that if work sucks then I tend to loose interest in many other things as well. But, as I said, it is looking OK now 🙂

Go see pictures from Vizag and Araku valley in the gallery.

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November 6, 2006 - Posted by | Being a trainee, Indian life, Pictures from India, Traveling in India

11 Comments »

  1. Nice info Murmeli…
    I am in a dilemma, whether I should go for a 2 day trip to Rushikonda or should I go your way, that is 1 day for Araku valley and another for Rushikonda.

    Are Borra caves that good? How much did your hotel Jungle Bells charge?

    Thanks,

    Comment by Sundeep | October 18, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hi there,

    Glad you enjoyed your trip to beautiful Vizag!! As a Vizagite living in the States, the pictures were absolutely delightful to see with a touch of nostalgia.

    Thanks,
    Arvind

    Comment by Arvind from The Yankee Country | September 24, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hi Murmeli,

    Last week I made a trip to Vizag and Araku Valley. It was my first trip to Araku….and frankly speaking I was just mesmerized by the natural beauties…

    Glad to find your post here and I am really happy that you too experienced the same.

    One thing I would like to clarify, is there any waterfalls near Borra Caves? I have only seen a small stream comming out of the Caves.

    And one information for you too for your future Araku trip (if any), Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation organizes a conducted tour to Araku and they have two reserved compartments for this tour in the same train.Those compartments are not at all crowdy and you can enjoy the beauty a lot more.

    Thanks
    Soumik

    Comment by Soumik | December 12, 2008 | Reply

  4. well well,yeah there is a waterfall near borra caves!!i think the stream is called gomati or sumthin,,its been ages since i went der!(i went when i was 7)lol
    i love ma place(vizag)but des days gettin polluted! gobal warmin showin a bad face over the city! the beach is coming close day by day!!

    people should start thinkin about it

    and well mr murmeli, i wish sumday i could be like u,always wanted 2 travel awl over!! (i think i still have tym,im 16,gosh)

    Comment by anusha | December 17, 2008 | Reply

  5. You went to Vizag and did not go to Kailashgiri!??

    Comment by Vikram | February 20, 2009 | Reply

  6. I have visited the cave on 19th june 2009 and it is amezing. I was thrilled to see the 150 millionsyears old one. One can see Jattayuvu, Siva & parthi,Ellephant, and the feet of Hanuman immages.The govt of India has to gove more publicity and protect the Place

    Comment by G Sreevaran | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  7. hey man..thx for sharing u r experience with us.. really exciting..vizag is a beautiful city in andhra..

    Comment by saranya | October 15, 2009 | Reply

  8. Hi Murmeli,

    I am a Vizagite. Its good to know that you liked our place. The info on Jungle Bells would be useful.

    Bharat

    Comment by Bharat | December 3, 2009 | Reply

  9. India is all beautiful and more of greenery and beaches of south cities makes it all time tourist place.

    Comment by india tour | February 22, 2011 | Reply

  10. You have given me great insights about the city and the way how I should plan a trip.. thanks for this article murmelli…

    Comment by Jai | January 2, 2012 | Reply

  11. Vizag is really good !!
    I have to make my trip now..
    Thanks for sharing the beauty of vizag 🙂

    Comment by Arli shree | September 8, 2012 | Reply


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