My Realm

Meet me - know me - read my posts and try to figure me! Well I am someone who is always thirsty for adventure, someone who simply hates playing sheep(u know the types - follow the herd!). An enthusiastic trekker, who loves to travel and ever ready for one of those wierd new found sports- luv to make new friends and njoy being my family's pet :)!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Ride to bliss..

Being fit and off injuries I really needed to do something over the weekend, the trek that was getting finalized never made it to the fin-ale. That's when Nachya told me of this TP ride to Thoseghar.

Saturday morning Nachiket, Amit, Ankush and me left from the sinhagad phata after the usual delays and troubles. Was there something on at BVP, many cars stopped by asking us for directions... Anyways, a hot cup of tea later astride our bikes we thudded down towards Katraj tunnel.

The weather which seemed to be gloomy in the morning gave way to white clouds and a glowing sun. Why did we get our set of change of clothes?! Old memories from the mega ride took over the senses as we zipped down the road at an average of 80kmph (it was sort of pre-decided -this being a short ride we don't do something stupid). Following lane rules and basic riding sense prevailed throughout the trip. We soon zipped past Natraj hotel and took our first break at the Bharat petrol pump. Nachya's bird started showing signs of the usual oil leak, but all was well and nothing serious. Amit got himself a new CBZ tyre for his Pulsar :-) but kept saying it was not grip-py enough, with a bent frame I fail to understand how can any rear tyre be grip-py. With the bike bellies full, we rode down the stretch of black tarmac.

Here we kept getting our bouts for the need for speed. Amit managed to touch 125 while I loved leaning low at various bends at over 90 (no I did not get to touch 3 digits). Nachya and Anky(pillion :D) simply thudded constant like sensible cruisers all the way at a near 80. Here we did some good riding as well, at a point we overtook an St. bus and the 3 of us simply rode like a chain, overtaking the bus- time seemed to pause as we rode at a constant 80 and the bus seemed to slow down as the lead pushed his left indicator and then we did as we serpented in front of the Bus and rode on. It was like one of those moments you get to se on TV, I witnessed it - one of the advantages of being a trailing rider :D.

Soon we arrived at Shirwal, our next planned halt and the odo clocked ~50kms. It seems Shirwal is famous for Wada paavs, so we took a halt at the famous Wada Paav center and ordered ourselves plates and plats of fresh wada's pohe sample etc etc. This place does seem to be a famous spot, many travelers had stopped by and then 2 bus loads of college/school goers got off to add commotion to the serene spot. Stuffing our mouths full with the left-overs we dashed away from the place and thudded on towards Khambatki.

Leaning and speeding Amit and me took a breif halt post the Khambati toll for the thunderbird to thud in. As it did we rode on, just to loose the bird to its constants. Khambatki Ghat is one awsome ghat to nourish and file your riding skills. Taking over buses and errant car drivers was a piece of cake, overtaking an SX4(for one)- who was plying smart ass was the best of the lot: Amit took right and me left as we got ahead leaving the driver with a wide open mouth.

The ensuing ride involved us geting ahead of each other at numerous ocations as the average speed shot up from ~80 to ~90 in my case. Eventualy came Satara Phata and soon directed everyone to take this exit, all assumed we had to take the second exit - whch was not the case.

Geting off the highway and riding down the single laned road to Satara city was cool and quiet. Geting off highway driving to city took a few minutes to adust so thuding by we came to the fork that would lead us down to the base of Ajinkyatara fort via the old city and eventualy Thoseghar.

We wanted to have tea, but no place around here offered tea so we rode down the very narrow streets of the old city as we came to the road end to take a right to the tunnel. I must say, we were quiet a sight - 4 riders all in attire and riding with a calm head (something that might be alien in these parts).

Post the tunnel we took a halt, just to regroup and Nachiket pointed to a sign board that read "ठोसेघर ला ज़ाणारा रस्ता बंद आहे ।". Oh common! Well so we caught hold of some locals and they said that bikes can go over the road, as I shed my philosophy of riding over landslides might be possible by bikes Yiekkes! Amit relished the distant sight of the windmill clusters oacross the valley behind Chandan-Vandhan forts.

The scene transformed from roads, vehicles and houses to distant mountains, a single grey carpet of road, green fluorescent pastures all around and the constant ups ad downs along the ride. The scene was beautiful and the helmet visor was a distraction - Up it went. The cool fresh breeze, the chirping of the birds, the soothing hues of green, the muffled thumps from our bikes, the riders going sea-saw over the carpet road at a constant pace - Bliss!

We stopped by at a couple of places asking for tea, and were directed to a place beyond a bridge where we would get some. Soon came the bridge and then the shop it had a board hording "wada paav, misal paav... ...". Amazing this was our next halt.

A couple of people in the shop said, the road was open and that bikes could go across, as the workmen at the site made sure bikes could get across. We were relieved. Here we befriended a dog. He seemed vicious at first- all black, lean-mean with deep tangy orange button eyes. A few whizzles and he still did not show interest, a couple of biscuits and he was all wags and kept stretching himself and came off his lair from under the bench and wagged to glory next to us. Anky probably presumed he should have been a public service guy as he posed in the drivers seat of a rickshaw. The tea was amazing and the biscuits were relished by all 5 of us (our new 4 legged friend remember).

A few bells and whizzles later we took the road leading to Thoseghar. The climate was fantastic and the views were crystal-clear. Sajjangad never looked better! The ride continued as we rode the wonderful tarmac in the blissful green surroundings. Soon we started riding over a ghat and eventually alongside Sajjangad but continued to our destination -Thoseghar.

Anky was riding Amit's pulsar took a turn at the ghat and slowed down. We thought, it could be the bad roads. Then we witnessed what the other guy meant when he said the workers made sure bikes could cross the road! The statement was literal!

The ghat road had caved in to the valley below, there was a huge trench in the road. The workers worked over the trench stuffing it with mud and all that can fill it. There was a small temporary plank set up against the hillside over the cut with various bamboo sticks acting as support pillars for the plank. The road was nothing more of a mud bath before that plank. So off we got our rides and pushed 'em across the makeshift road one at a time. The plank was strong, as the workers and various bystanders gave s huge smiles as we came to the other side.

Flashing 32 teeth later we rode on, the roads were lined with trees on both sides, the speed fell down to a soothing ~50 as we maintained good distance as we rode alongside green fluorescent pastures over the dips, rises and turns of the road. Soon we arrived at a board that read "दबदब्या कडे". We were at Thoseghar. Here we decided lets ride to Chalkewadi Windmills first and then get to the waterfall.

So on we rode, the road went up a hill and swindled around to the plateau on the hill the other side. Windmills started sprouting in the distance and the farm made itself visible. Here we took a halt, some snaps, enjoyed the views and injected ourselves further into the farm. The roads got from good to bad to worse. The distant valley across the plateau seemed beautiful as some mills were lost in clouds. The dark clouds with a mix of fresh white ones with the blue skies made for a wierdly sultrish and cool weather. We halted next to a functional huge windmill.

"Thrummmmpp.. Swooosshhh... Whisssskk..." The blades rotated with the breeze. Many of the mills were standstill. "Maybe the power supply is off in those mills" Amit joked. A few clicks, lots of art snaps in various angles against the sun made for some really cool snaps. Alas, I was tagged "talented photographer" and my mates were the lucky subjects. Many snaps later Anky said we had enough windmills for the day lets see something different like a waterfall maybe :).

So back we took the route downhill that twisted down to the signboard. From here we went a little ahead and took the little path to the Thoseghar dhaba. Parked our vehicles, and made ourselves comfortable at the eatery. Here we had to place our order before getting to the waterfall. So 8 pitla-bhakris (bajra) with some patal usal and anda burji was the order. Placed our helmets and jackets at the managers desk and made our hike to the waterfall.

The path was from behind the dhaba and down a fleet of steps. We kept gossiping and discussing all sorts of things, soon we came down to the concrete platform that was full of people. Three of four waterfalls were vibrant and the river down below did not hold a lot of water - just a reminder that it did not rain too much in these parts. Soon the group dispersed and we had the platform all to ourself to test our photographic talent.

A few minutes of snaps and off we were from the platform and found ourselves a new pathway along the hillside that in one way or the other led to a little bridge and across to a fence that eventually opened to the river that made up the waterfall. A group of people were already jumping for joy in the cool waters. Made our way over the rocks and enjoyed the wonderful scenes of little waterfalls and the rapids that let to the final fall.

Anky Nachya and me went over to the water while Amit decided to guard our bags. Nachya decided to head back and the 2 of us got off our shoes and crossed the water over to a little rock posing for snaps. The water packed a lot of force and that in itself explains why so many people loose their lives here on a regular basis.

It started drizzling and we headed back to the dhaba. This time we took a walk till the "waterfall" board and the road back to the eatery. The weather had gotten very humid and somehow all the colours around us were at a +10 contrast ratio.. everything seemed bright and the colours striking. "Maybe the city pollution dos'nt let us see clearly u see" commented Nachya.

Amazing lunch and a few extra bhakris made up for the course of the meal. Had a great time relishing the simple and lip smacking delicacies and the complementary "मिर्चि चा ठेचा". Of course a round of tea always ends a great meal :). The waiters, the hotel owners and the sneezing canines made us great company throughout the process. Post lunch we contemplated paying a visit to Sajangad. But with the clock showing 2 we were not too sure as we had to get home by dark. Amit insited we go there since wehad come here all the way.

The ride back was again cool, but faster (somehow return trips always seem to be fast). We quickly got to the cut road and with and instinct trodded across to the other side and rode on till the start of the Sajangad bifurcation. Our bullet that stayed behind simply thudded upwards, we were visiting Sajjangad.

The road to the top was narrow and full of mud. Lots of twists and twines and bad roads later we got to the parking lot atop. No one really was in the mood of climbing the steps to the top, so we decided to simply spend a few minutes. Chito chat and exploring my hydration bag later we got back to our saddle to hit the road.

The ride back was through a few light showers and wet roads. The speeds fell down. We took our next regrouping halt at the tunnel. From here we made our way to the city and took the old city roads after a few misses and back to the road that led to the highway. We could spot multiple cloud bursts in the grey skies at a distance. We touched the highway.

The speeds rose from a steady 60 to 80 in no time. The weather now, was still pretty humid. Our speeds were pretty consistent. All of a sudden the atmosphere got very cool and really cool like someone had opened a refrigerator door. It stayed this way for a few minutes as we rode over some wet patches on the highway. The water sprays from the rear wheels of the various vehicles made it seem those vehicles rode on air.

Then it happened a few drops and then more and then I could see white fog.. my visor was fogged up and the rains had picked up dropping the visibility considerably. Quickly spotted a tree, and took shelter under it. We waited for the picking rains to subside, a calf behind us also shivered in the cold. Here were discussed about how we missed the rain and got that as well -making this trip complete. The rains slowly subsided. We decided on our next halt at Shirwal post Khambatki.

The ride went on a few minutes over dry and wet and slippery patches as we averaged at ~80. Then the drizzles seemed to pick up near khambatki again. With an instinct all 3 rides stopped just before an exit.
Me : "Do you think it would rain man...what should we do?"
Nachya: "I guess lets keep going.."
Amit : (pointing a few meters ahead of us) "Look its raining there and nothing here"
Allof us laughed, and the rain picked up all over us as we scurried for shelter kicking the engines back to life!

Amit and Anky took a tin roof for shelter while Nash and me picked a hotel. The rains were bad and seemed merciless. We stood at our respective spots for about 15 minutes but the rain gods seemed to be too pleased with us and decided on not shutting the tap. Soon we called Amit and Anky to the hotel and settled in at a safe (non-wet that is) table. Amazing tea (2 for me) and lot of chats ensued this phase of the halt. Each one of us were in splits when we spoke of the way we scurried for shelter. The rains simply did not seem to settle.

The clock ticked from 4 to 4:45 at the hotel. Riding slowly in the rains too was a foolish decision to be taken so we decided to wait it out. At ~5 the rains seemed to give way, and we kicked our engines back to life over the wet roads.

In no time we were in the Khambatki ghat tunnel and the speeds still were at a good ~70. The rains were gone. Here Amit and Anky sped off at bottleneck speeds while I trailed Nachya for the rest of the ride. The weather was beautiful and all I could think of were songs... So many of them, I sung one after another also lost control a couple of occasions that mandated a high pitch selection :). But this was easily one of the best- technically sound parts of the bike ride - follow the lead, follow the rules, don't get intimidated by anything! We neared the toll Plaza near Shirwal.

We regrouped post the toll gate and decided on meeting at a pre-decided hotel post the Katraj Tunnel. The ensuing ride saw loads of traffic at Shirwal but effectively decent stretches till Pune. Riding through the Katraj tunnel was bliss with roads all to ourselves. A couple of indicas enjoyed driving alongside us but seemed to have a tough time keeping up with us.

Eventually we got off the highway near Sinhagad phata and took a break at the hotel. Exchanged high-fives a few stretches and an amazing round of tea. Lots of talk later we decided to call it a day before making sure -make it to another similar ride very soon!

Amit and Anky took the highway and that's when we realized the bird caught her first flat in 27K kms! We did had to spend a few minutes at the tyre repair shop where the mechanic had a tough time getting the wheel off the ride. Well eventually in about half hours time the deal was done and we took back to the polluted interiors of Pune city.

Needless to say, I lost Nachya on the way back home just to reconfirm his arrival on SMS. We eventually were back home :).
Nachya's version of the story.
Pics from the ride

Labels: , ,


Blogger Yogesh said...

Reminds me of my ride to Thoseghar and Chalkhewadi on Bandya's bird. It was just awesome! And as i had its easier to ride ghats instead of drive. Cars end up nowhere but in RVM, unless he is a real motivated driver!

PS: Still to read you complete blog, man do you have an eye foe details :).

3:51 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home