Travel Memoirs: The Hotel That Was Locked!
The best aspect about travel of any kind is the myriad of experiences one brings back home. A person who knows what to gather from a trip to any land new to him will invariably bring along a rich fabric woven with threads of things like new places seen, people met, culture experienced, food eaten and a number of incidents, some pleasant while others not so, that keep happening along the way. Strange things happen to frequent travelers, which become unforgettable stories that are shared for a lifetime.
Take this one instance for example when my friend Abhijit & I were on a motorcycle trip across Gujarat. One evening, after we had been riding for almost 300km, we found ourselves staring at a hotel that was locked. An hotel, which we had booked earlier the very same day on a travel website and had received a confirmation. Yet here we were in a town named Okha, about 35km further North from Dwarka, right at the tip of the Western coast of India with our bikes and luggage between the locked gates of a hotel on one side and the vast ocean on the other side within touching distance completely lost for words. An empathizing neighbor who was completely in awe when he heard that we came all the way from Pune on our bikes helped us out as he knew the owner of the hotel. When our story was relayed to the owner he promptly came and opened the hotel for us. He said he had listed his property off the website in question and was surprised that inspire of that they had taken the booking. He could have easily denied the booking, but he did not want two people who had traveled so far to land in trouble. He also arranged an attendant for us to stay for the night at the property. Eventually after settling down we enjoyed a wonderful windy night at the sea facing property and early in the morning we let ourselves out and started our ride to Rajkot.
It would not have been difficult for us to ride back to Dwarka that evening where we could have found plenty of options for accommodation, but it would surely have put a dampener on our spirits as we wanted to make a stay at Okha right at the tip of the coast and then begin the return journey. Thanks to two good samaritans we could enjoy that.
I don't think either Abhijit or myself will ever forget this experience in our entire lifetime. I mean how many people in the world would have had or will have the experience of ending up at locked doors of a hotel?