Frustration. Thwarting ill will. Our Coorg trip got put off indefinitely once again, leaving all of us fuming. We wanted to go out somewhere badly. As a respite, I suggested Skandagiri to the few in our group who too had the same frustration of the trip getting cancelled. Another alternative was to go to Wonder La. I was initially apprehensive as the drive wasn’t a great distance, but later gave in as the others voted for Wonder La over Skandagiri; and My God! It wasn’t a bad choice at all..!!
I left home at about 10 AM and picked Abhi from the hostel, had breakfast from a hotel nearby; and then embarked on “Mission Wonder La” with me piloting my Apache and Abhi being the Co-Pilot. The weather was sunny and bright for a good day’s entertainment. As I started giving in to the temptation of great roads take over my mellowness, we were brutally intercepted by the Kengeri Police who started asking me for my documents: license, insurance, RC Book. Am pretty used to the routine checks done by the police, but this was a tad too much; especially with the police asking me to repeat my address, vehicle Registration number and all that..! He suspected if the vehicle was actually mine, courtesy – my different looks in the photos of my Driver’s License, RC Book and my present look..! Finally, after abusing my convincing abilities, the cop let me go, and “Mission Wonder La” was back on track, with a 10 minute delay.
Wonder La is about 30 km from my place, with the latter part of the drive comprising the Rider’s Delight, Mysore road. We ogled at the NICE road to our left and I earnestly promised my Apache that she’ll atleast get to strut on NICE road. We reached Wonder La at about 1130 AM. The rest of the cavalry : Hari, Srikar, Ajay, Bharath and Yeshavanth, arrived 15 minutes later. We bought the tickets, dumped our stuff in a locker and entered the arena; looking for game.
On the ‘Wonder La Bamba’We started off with the ‘Wonder La Bamba” which seats 2 rows of people, and the whole apparatus moving clockwise and anti, with sudden accelerations. This seemed simple at the outset, but me being acrophobic [fear of heights], found this simple ‘walk-in-the-park’ ride itself scary. But determined to get over my fear, I sat through the whole 2 minute session without screaming. We then tried out ‘Wonder Splash’ which has a wooden raft, hauled up the hillock by conveyors, into a tunnel. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and also a steep incline, which ends in a pool of water. The raft hurls down the track at high speeds in to the pool, sending out a huge spray of water; drenching all of us in the water. We did this twice, as Bharath wanted a better pic than the first one. These two rides made me lose my fear to some extent.
Maverick. This was the next; and true to its name, one of a kind ride. It seats two rows of people, about 20 maybe. It has many twists, turns, swivels, rotations and defies gravity; putting Newton’s laws to shame. This ride made me do two things which I thought I could never do. One was that it made my acrophobia get a phobia, so that I was really able to enjoy the ride. The second thing was that I had finally discovered that I could scream. Never before had I heard my voice cross the barely audible mark. Both these events are intertwined. Once the ride started, a voice in my head gave me two choices. One was to close my eyes and stays put, or keep my eyes open and enjoy the ride. But my acrophobia, being the evil that it is, didn’t allow my conscience to keep my eyes open. But my instincts got the better of it, and made me open my eyes. All these civil wars happening in my mind gave way to excess pent up energy; which showed up as a burst of voice.. and voila..! I was screaming..!! Post Maverick, there was a fulfilling feeling that I had achieved something great in life..!
We then finished the ‘Pirate Ship’, ‘Techno jump’, ‘Drop Zone’ and the ‘Net walk’, all of which were dwarfed by Maverick. Later we had lunch and got into the water gear to attempt the water rides.
I am a hopeless swimmer, barely managing to float. The others, barring Ajay, Hari and myself were good swimmers. We started warming up, or rather cooling off, with the Baby Pool, which is about 5 feet high. Then we ventured into the wave pool, and spent about 45 minutes there fighting the apparently ‘gentle’ waves. Then came the other thing which I had never done before. Rain Dance. The beats of the music coming as a crescendo along with the heavy rain in the rain disco managed to make my dead-stiff body make a move or two with great difficulty. We then finished off the water slides, along with our self made ‘races’; and the ‘Water Pendulum’. Water rides were fun altogether.
The best was yet to come. We had left out the mother of all dry rides. The ‘Y-Scream’. We hadn’t got the quorum required to start the ride in the morning, but we had a few seats left when we came back after the water rides. Hari, Abhi and myself were up for it, and seized the opportunity thrown at us with both hands. The Y-Scream consists of 8 sets of capsules suspended from a bow-like structure. The bow swings and whirls like a giant wheel, and the seats spin about their own axis; giving the rider a unique experience, on the lines of co-piloting a Sukhoi..! I could literally feel the blood rushing to my head. The evil Acrophobia popped its nosy head again, but my instincts, now made stronger by ‘Maverick’ routed it out from its roots. Y-Scream was the icing on the cake.
Next was the classic, entertaining ‘crazy cars’, in which we need to keep bumping into each other; followed by a splendid LASER Show. We took some snaps as memorabilia and then dispersed.
What followed was a stupendous night drive on Mysore Road with the night air making its way through my helmet, giving that titillating feeling a biker needs to push his vehicle to its limits. My Apache, listening intently as always, obeyed my orders without any huffs. I dropped Abhi back at the hostel, and returned home at about 9PM, with memories that will last for a lifetime. The Wonder La trip is truly an experience to remember…