JayJay Mody

All articles by Jay

 

Road trips are made of these…

If the world was a sea then we would be the flotsam, drifting endlessly from one continent to the other – between cities and states and countries and territories – never to be stopped until we perish. For the quixotic version of eternity that we spend in each place, we drive. From the Mountains of Montana to the fjords of Norway and from the desolate outback of the Northern Territory to the lush highways of the Garden Route – it has been one delightful journey after another. I hope it never stops. I hope I always find something to reminisce and write about.
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Angkor What? – Our pick of temples to visit

We wrote about the magnificent night-life in Siem Reap in our last post. But we all come to Siem Reap for a reason. And that is to marvel at the ancient temples that were built at the height of the Khmer Empire sprawling all over the Angkor Complex and beyond. The spiritual history of the Khmer Empire is somewhat confused. Mahayana Buddhism which originated in 1st Century BCE spread to
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Siem Reap: The merry side of Angkor Wat!

There were no lush green meadows or never ending mountain sides rolling into chattering rivers. No sir. It was the rush of the tropical summer wind, heavy with the impending rains and with it, a thousand dreams. It was the roll of trite vehicles on the dusty streets of a city ensconced in a war-ravaged nation. There was resilience in the air and a spirit of entrepreneurship. Stories of weary travellers from around the world beckoned you to come a bit closer and immerse yourself in this mega-confluence called Siem Reap.
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Postcards from Petra

Petra is often associated with the quintessential visit to Al Khazneh (The Treasury). But there is more to it than that! Walk a bit deeper into Petra through our series of nine post-cards and unravel other experiences beyond the magnificent Treasury.
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To Mildura and Back…

We were in the midst of autumn in the southern hemisphere, when we embarked on a four-day trip to Mildura on the Easter weekend. A few weeks before we had spent three days camping in Gippsland along the Ninety Mile beach and that created an appetite to visit more national parks. After all, this country is known for its rugged outback and the coarse natural beauty that is sprinkled across its vast flat continental plate. As we started planning this trip we knew we had to get away from the hordes of tourists that would no doubt saturate the southern parts of Victoria. We started exploring the map and I thought Mildura would be a great base to visit the Murray Sunset National Park.
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Island Vacations – Part 2: How to Pick a Resort

While embarking on an island resort vacation, there are so many choices that need to be made before you zero in on the ideal destination. In this article we attempt to share some of the knowledge that we have gleaned through our travels in Costa Rica and Seychelles. Below are some factors to be considered in no particular order.
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Island Vacations – Part 1: How to Pick an Island

Beach-front, beach-view, garden-front, over-water bungalow, pool-side, all-inclusive, adults-only, private-pool, bed and breakfast, full-board, half-board – these are daunting terms you will come across while deciding on an island vacation. We traveled to Costa Rica and Seychelles and spent a considerable amount of time in trying to select a resort and an island. It is time to share some of this knowledge to help you make a decision when booking your next
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Desolate & Delightful: Our Pick of Hotels Unreachable by Road

What is it that pushes us to explore the off-beat and yearn to visit places that not many know about? It’s the undying adventurous spirit of human beings. It is what led to the discoveries of America by Columbus and the sea-route to India by Vasco Da Gama. It still pushes us to go to great lengths to walk the ancient pathways and fight with nature to tame the most
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How to plan the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru

Ever since we traveled to Machu Picchu and trekked the Inca Trail back in November 2012, many of our friends and acquaintances have asked us about it and what are the things that one should consider while planning this trip. In this post we provide a quick run-down of all the things you need to keep in mind while planning the Inca Trail.
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The Jordan Jaunt: Amman & Jerash

… We visited the Citadel which is located in the old part of the city. It was created and conquered by many empires that rose and fell through the years of Amman’s long and troubled history. Much of it, like the other attractions in Jordan was in ruins. It was fascinating to see the Temple of Hercules which is visible from almost all elevated parts of Amman during the day and lit up at night. It had 33-foot tall columns which tower over the city. Some of them had collapsed and broken in perfectly cylindrical pieces and lay in a straight column formation. As we walked back, the azaan was reverberating from the entire city of Amman and it felt very peaceful. Evening was beginning to descend through cold wisps of air and shadows were beginning to win their battle with the sun yet again…
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The Arctic Dream: 2 Days in Oslo

As we made our way around Youngstorget square, we saw the city slowly coming to life – we sat at a bus station and saw the people beginning to amble around with their daily routines. Shops opening at their pre-defined times, young boys delivering flowers on bicycles, older men and women taking a leisurely walk, several middle-aged ladies walking their dogs and buying fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market. It is beautiful to see a city wake up. You feel like you are a part of the city, as if you’ve always lived here and these walls and these streets have always been your friends. A few more minutes here and we would have started confiding in the city, our deepest secrets.
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Vertical Limit: The Inca Trail

… The clouds tumbled down the lush green mountains as the first rays of light streaked through the dense skies and through the rear-window. The air was humid with the early morning mist and the driver habitually turned on and off his wipers. The navigator beside him yawned as if he was already bored. I stirred from my Tuesday morning stupor as the car lurched precariously along another curve. Beside me our chef slept like a log. On the other side, my soon-to-be wife, slept with her hair in tussles, beautiful and with a confident calmness about her. We were in Peru and on our way to Ollantaytambo to the beginning of an epic trek – The Inca Trail…
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Made By Men, Touched By God: Australia

The night rolls away with a puff of wind among the vast, cold plains of the New South Wales winter. We drive through the thunder and with the rain almost impeding us at every turn. The wipers move with a death rattle that could leave us in the lurch at any point of time. We’re singing songs along the way, oblivious to the rain outside, yet enjoying every minute of it, smoking cigarettes, talking about old times and all the things in life that won’t matter to us during the next 10 days. The Mid-western Highway abruptly stops its sprint as it ends with a final sigh into a T-junction – gear shift, clutch, brake – the engine almost complains as we bring the car to a halt after taking a left towards Hay.
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Lonavala: Through Good Times Again

The match had just ended and so had our two hours of furious drinking. Portugal had lost. A little sad at the defeat and anxious about the ensuing adventure we set out. Three out of five. The other two were already in seventh heaven. We were pretty sobered up by the time we reached the car in the parking lot. We were in Lonavala – a hill station located about 3 hours from Mumbai. Darkness enveloped the dead of the night as the parking lights jumped off the car in myriads of directions as the silver body gleamed. Wearily I lit up a cigarette as the realization of having cut 120 kms just a few hours back dawned upon me. My body almost ached, but the desire for an adventure is always overpowering.
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