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 :)!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Stress ride to Lonavala

Again the trek plan took a hit and had to do something about it. So effectively on Saturday morning Jayram and me met at Chandani Chowk and after a few ideas decided to ride down to Sahara City/Lonavala area via the Mulshi route.

This was one route I had always wanted to do for a long time.

On we rode the smooth roads that led to Pirangoot(~9:30am). The weather was pretty dull with clouds all around but with no trace of humidity. Jay was all attired in his 4500/- armored riding jacket :). Soon we rode past Bhugaon and post a few misses finally synced up near Manas. Riding past Pirangoot Ghat- Pirangoot- Sutarwadi we eventually neared Paud. Decided on taking a breakfast halt past Mulshi at one of the dhabbas. As we rode on the city/town scape was taken over by the rich green landscape. The roads seemed to have been laid through a meadow of wild shrubs. The temperature dipped.

We stopped just before the Mulshi dam road-fork. Jay mentioned of a road that goes by the fork to Lonavala, but we decided to stick to our plan of riding past Tahmini and taking the notorious path to Lonavala. The ride ahead made the distant plateaus and green mountains with clouds perched atop them visible. Soon we were riding along the Mulshi waters. Here we took a break at one of the roadside dhabbas and relished on Pohe and tea. Surprisingly my grumbling tummy seemed content :D. I was ~10:30am.

The ensuing route had me trailing Jay. The water body to the right and plateau for us makes this section of the ride amazing. That's one of the reasons you have so many tourists visit these parts. The scene remained more or less the same with the roads twisting and skirting the Mulshi lake. Roads too were pretty decent. A couple of halts for snaps and we continued on as I loudly hummed tunes from "My Fair Lady " and "Singh Is King !!!!" :)).

Soon we rode past Tahmini village as were headed steady to the distant mountains. A few of them clogged in dense clouds. "Humara rasta wahin se janne walla hai boss" commented Jay. Amazing, we will have rains or so we thought as we neared the point for the Lonavala bifurcation.

The path leading straight goes on to Dongarwadi while the one to the right led to Lonavala and inner Mulshi villages. A group of riders -possibly headed towards Dongarwadi saw us coming and gaped as we took a right and stopped by the bridge. What we saw was nerve wrecking. The "kuccha path" led over a little bridge took a left and climbed over rubble- yes rubble! It looked like a landslide and nothing more or less.

Jay and me exchanged glances and he persuaded me to lead the rest of the path :). Packed with confidence and a cool head we slowly chugged to the landslide. Soon we were over loose stone and gravel. It seemed many heavy vehicles had passed over this terrain as the tyre tracks layed two little compact rubble paths - we rode on those. Slowly bouncing /skidding /jumping /throttling and playing with all sorts of levers we were atop and saw the beautiful landscape spread ahead of us.

To our lucky stars nothing was broken and we rode a little ahead and took a butt break. An S.T. bus rode in the opposite direction and over the rubble as it took a left to get down the landslide! So yes this path is ridable. From here one gets the view of the Plus valley from a different perspective you are standing lateral to the ravine facing a huge rockface of the mountain across the valley. Snaps and laughs later we rode on. The path got from worse to bad to good. The road seemed new, we rode by a Yoga ashram. Soon we took our next immediate halt.

These parts are so beautiful, it s a tough job to get over the temptation for nature-gasping while riding. We got off road over the plateau to a vista point near the valley. This spot was even more amazing. Distant waterfalls over the rockface and dull clouds over the sky simply made this place heavenly. We pondered over how one can get to the mountain across and possibly sit at the mouth of those gushing falls! We had to move and so we did.

The ride went though a jungle and open plains and rode by little water dams as we neared our second bifurcation. The road straight ahead-which was good- led to the village of inner Mulshi while the one to the left went over a bridge and eventually over rubble and sharp stones with loose tyre track paths. We stared at the road ahead shook our heads and took the path. Slips and dances over the vehicle was a norm for this section of the ride. We rode over low-bridges and eventually past little hamlets. Many school children cheered along as we rode down and up various inclines over rubble. The torture seemed endless. In reality it was not that bad - There were a few meters of bad tar roads for every kilometer of rubble :). Eventually the rubble and bad roads gave way to better ones.

We could spot Korigad in the distance and the various neighboring hills. We took a halt by a stream, freshened ourselves in the cool fresh mountain water. The only thing we kept repeating "Arrey kya mast jagah hai yaar ".. "sahi sahi.." .

The ride went went over various water puddles and bad and good roads in patches and soon we were nearing various hills. At one halt we did spot Telbaila engulfed in clouds in a distance and made calculations over where Ghangad and Sudhagad could be. The ride went past some weird mountain formations and soon we could spot Ghangad in a distance. It was barely some 5-6 kms away. For any other given day we would have made a dash for a climb, alas we had to return by evening. The sight was beautiful. Telbaila too made its majestic appearance in the near vicinity. The cattle enjoyed a lazy bath in the near waterlogged farm which spilled water over the roads. Here we rode by some nature eco-tourism site and eventually by the bifurcation that leads to Telbail village.

The road now ascended though a thick jungle and got really bad. Lots of craters and blind turns got us atop the hill as the road got better the path took a downward plunge. The roads were lined with blue flowers -"Karwi"! Atlast we spotted what I really wanted to- the flower that blooms one in 10-12 years! Jay confirmed it was the rare blossom post some close inspections. The place was beautiful and perfect for a long halt - a near gushing stream by an old moss ridden temple, the roads lined with blue bushes and not a hint of daylight down the thick canopy of trees.

The path soon went down the hill and just as immediately we were riding on air! The road was now smooth "Tarmac"! We were nearing the SaharaCity bifurcation . At the bifurcation we took an immediate left and decided on ditching the rich City. Roads were awesome, simply magnificent- a 2 laned well divided road with smooth tar all over. The wheels and engine loved the smooth touch. We did take a halt to click some more "Karwis".

Riding on we got to a major 'Y' bend and post some inquiries for Mulshi took a 'U' bend and rode on. We were returning back via the path Jay mentioned at the start of the trip. The time was near ~12:30. We were without water and our last food was that at Muslhi.

The roads were pretty wide and decent. At one point we did loose track but then rode straight into a "Road closed" gate, the guard there said "This road goes to Sahara city, for Mulshi you need to take this thin one by the side". The thin road was again a kuccha road and ascended alongside the adjacent hillside. At one point Jay pointed to a kuccha path that lead to Tungwadi inwards to the left- the road looked bad. We rode straight on. Enroute we did spot many little tuns that had a "Road Closed" gate - all lead to Sahara City.

At one occasion we did come to a prominent fork and simply decided to follow our instincts and ride straight on. We were not sure where we were headed. The ride went past little make shift looking hamlets with no inhabitants. Maybe these were displaced villages due to the Amby Valley project or possibly the workers for the same I thought.

The ride and road was relentless, simple torture. Our backsides were pleading for mercy. Many an occasion we would stop part way and wonder if the fork we left behind was indeed the correct path. Korigad was now visible from the other side and that confused us further. We did not know what to do and decided to ride on.

At one village, the villagers did confirm the path led to Mulshi. But the path seemed endless,we were continually riding alongside a hill. We took our major butt-break. Jay was frustrated and exhausted over the torment,I decided to ride back a few meters where a couple of bikes were parked, hoping to meet some people - I did! The farmers seated under a tree did say the road led straight and went all the way to Paud Gaon. Joyous and content got back to my compadre who was now off his riding gear and seated on a pile of mud. "Baith ja yaar" he said... :)

So we sat and simply did nothing and in a few moments starting yapping. The clock ticked past 1:30pm. A few moments of rest and assurance that the path did go the right way we dressed back for the ride ahead.

The path now went twisting and twining down as we could spot some major water body to the right. Possibly this was a rivulet from Mulshi we thought. An Endavor trailed us for most of the path and we lost him as soon as path went bang into a village. Riding past, the road widened but was a mostly a mud path as it ascended to another village full of cows.

We skipped the "does this road go to Paud" talk and rode on. Soon we reached a high point and could spot the huge water body in the valley at a distance. Took a halt. We walked over the hillside and were Jumping For Joy, when we realized where we were! We were bang on the opposite side of Mulshi lake. The water body below had various little islands and also a conical island behind which lay "Kailasgad". We were riding along some right track, we assured ourselves as we spread on the green pasture.

The sun was beating down refracting through the grey clouds, we slipped into a peaceful nap for a few minutes. The meadow our bed the light breeze our blanket and the open skies our roof- perfect. In a few minutes a couple of "firangs" dropped by astride bicycles. They were lost and were adventurers. We did help them with a few directions and they kept calculating distances on their GPS system. Bidding our farewells we rode down as it went twisting down below near the waterfront.

Riding over bridges and many bends we started ascending a hill, soon came to a high point where we could spot a dam in the distance -Mulshi dam! We were on the other side of the dam. From here we could see the road as it serpented down the hillside alongside the dam to the Poud road below. We kept laughing aloud as we spotted the Mulshi road, the poud road and the bifurcation near the dam. We were correct and were coming down the very road we had decided in the first place! Perfect.

Soon we rode down various twists and blind bends and over a bridge alongside Mulshi dam, eventually took a left that got us to the point where we contemplating on the road to take many hours back. It was now ~3pm.

We caught hold of a roadside hotel and munched to glory with a few new made four-legged friends. Here Jay displayed his armored handgloves he did not wear the whole ride "Arrey.. I still need to get used to it man!". Preplanned to take a halt at one of the HP petrol pumps near Paud we rode on. Soon we arrived at the pump and fueled in. Post this I decided to take the lead and do something a ride mandates -speed and lean the bend. Pirangoot ghat saw me do that riding at 70+ leaning at the bends I let Jay get ahead post the ghat. The one thing I noted about Jay- he is a rider who exercises utmost caution, and this kept our speeds well within safe limits for all of the ride.

We took our final preplanned halt at Chandani Chowk for tea, where we ended up gulping coffee. The ride was amazing and perfect -adventure to the fullest. We did thank our lucky stars we did not have to face any mechanical or tyre failures. Bid our farewells. No sooner did I get home did I crash to the bed. It was ~4pm.

Late that evening, we office friends did have a family get-together at Chandani Chowk. This time I took my car :)

Jay's version of the story
A few snaps from the ride

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Jayant Dofey said...

Dear Friend
Read your blog and its is really nice.

but you missed no of natural wonders and sahyadri forts in that area. A forest walk/trek that you cannot think also like it is really dense and full of biodiversity.

I was in amby valley for six and half years as a facility manager adventure/wildlife/heritage/tourism and established the departments.
Now I am working as a consultant in these fields that is first of its kind in India.

My website: www.29028adventureworld.com

cell -- 9823129439

e mail --jayant29028@yahoo.com

If you want to experience the unique and best for your group then contact me.

warm regards
Jayant Dofey
9823129439

4:02 PM  
Blogger vindy said...

HEy thanks for you comment Jayant! I did hear about you from my friend "Rohan Rao", I presume he was to meet you last week in Pune.
I sure am a thrill seeker myself and have been on many treks and hikes, but corporate life does keep a tight lid over me at times :).
I would contact you, whenever the need arisis.

7:04 PM  
Blogger RahulRocks said...

Hi,,

Nice blogs..
I am also avid trekker..
Would like to join u on ur trips ..let m knw if anything plans

~Rahul (rahultcd@gmail.com)

2:31 PM  

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