You know you are truly alive when you’re living among animals, birds and mother nature!
What comes in our mind when we plan a weekend trip? What are the best things we can do on a two-day trip? Let me tell you, first we think to get rid of the concrete jungle, we wish we would have some memorable moments, we would meet new friends (maybe not human), we would know something new that we don’t, get ourselves lost in the lap of nature and cherry on the cake if get delicious food!!
And what if we can do all above on a 2day/1night trip at one place? The destination is Eco Point Soldhara. 75 km away from Surat.
Let me tell you about my experience at Eco Point, Soldhara. I am one of the volunteers of Nature Club Surat. Mr. Shakti Pathak, Mr. Chirag Tamakuwala, Mr. ID Sohan Kapadia, Mr. Maharshi Patel, Miss Krishna bhatt (Kruti Kuki), Mr. Chintan C Jhaveri and myself Jagdish Parmar. And We have 17 participants on this trip, they are from a software company located at World Trade Center, Surat.
The Warm Welcome:
It was the 19th of January 2019. We reached Eco Point in the morning 9.30am. Weather was quite cold but pleasant, one can call gulabi thandi (ગુલાબી ઠંડી). As we stepped down, We forgot our travel fatigue as quickly as we saw 5 lovely ducks were coming to welcome us. One the staff members gave us duck food to feed them and we all fed the ducks with our bare hands. I did this for the first time. It was an amazing feeling! After having enough food all ducks headed towards the lake.
All participants had been given the instruction that they have to gather at a particular place when listening to the whistle from the volunteer.
After few minutes Eco Point staff had served hot tea and Idada (ઇદડા) at the lake side. All participants and volunteers had noticed wonderful bird life around the lake.
After visiting the lake, all the participants had enjoyed net climbing. All participants had been allotted tree house. One tree house for females and one for males. one tree house for volunteers. The volunteer’s tree house was a tree house indeed. it hadn’t stairs, we were actually climbing the tree to reach our allotted tree house.
Honey Production and Honeybee Life:
Suddenly whistle blown, all participants had been taken towards the honey production area. The Instructor Mr. Ashokbhai had given very good information about honey bee’s life, its habitat and how important a bee for the ecosystem. we saw different subspecies of the honeybee. They taught us that honeybee only attacks when they feel danger. They gave us bee-hive to take a closer look. We all took bee-hive in our hands. The best part of this session was everyone was fearless and friendly with the honeybee. That day we learnt that we didn’t know anything about the honeybee.
After the honey bee session, we had a Gujarati dish at lunch, it was delicious. We rested for an hour.
Luxury and fun are not just two different words, but they are different in meaning too! Having a bath in a luxurious bathroom is certainly not fun always. But having a bath in a river and open-air (of course in the swimming costume) with a bunch of friends or colleagues are guaranteed a fun-filled. at 3 pm we headed towards a river, the river was 2 km far from the Eco Point, We all volunteers and participant had fun at the most. you can see in pictures. after having fun for almost an hour, we came back to Eco Point and rested. We had hot tea and snacks at 5.30 pm. and we all took rest and spent a good time.
at 7.30 pm We had a Gujarati thali (શાક રોટલી દાળ ભાત છાસ ગોળ) at dinner.
Then there was the most awaited campfire time. In the lap of nature, frizzing cold and bunch of friends. We sang our nature club song and danced. One of the participants had a music system. all participants had sung the song of their liking. and one of our volunteers was a surprise element, yes new volunteer miss Krishna, she was an amazing singer, I couldn’t forget the song… “MOH MOH KE DHAAGE…
What an amazing night it was! Overall we all had fun. All went to their treehouse to sleep. In the deep silence of the jungle, we all heard so many peacocks call in midnight. personally, I didn’t want to sleep, I knew I would not hear that sound in the city where I came from. but I had to sleep as we all volunteers had to wake up early.
In the morning…
We all had good breakfast and hot tea. and took rest for sometimes.
We all went for bird watching, it was half an hour drive. We reached the spot at 9.30 am. If you are a bird lover this place is for you. A senior volunteer has shared his knowledge about the birds and birdlife, identify some migrated birds. it was a soothing experience to watch so many birds altogether. We came back to the camp. We allow all participants to visit the lake and enjoy the ferry ride, and they took selfies and had fun.
We all had a delicious lunch. All the participants rested.
Volunteers got busy to set up some adventure activity for participants. It calls the river crossing. many thanks to senior volunteer Mr. Shakti Pathak for setting it. at 3.30 we were ready and started the river crossing one by one. It was a thrilling experience. Many of them were doing it for the first time. Some participants had crossed the river two or three times. they enjoyed it a lot.
And this was the end of that fun-filled trip!