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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, December 21, 2009

Bike ride to Chikhaldara -Part 1

The last ride barely seemed a day away as we started with our discussions for the next year-end ride. The mails floated around as destinations seemed to toss all around the map. Gujarat and Rajasthan seemed to be very bright candidates as a ride towards central Maharashtra started taking shape. Panchmari (in M.P.) was very much a bright candidate but timing issues finally kept us at bay. The final route we penned down was Pune-Chikhaldara-Pune going via Lonar and returning via Ajantha lasting for about 5 days.

Just a couple of days before the ride, we got ourselves a group t-shirt printed, so "DaRomans" was now itched in print. Getting the "T" printed is a different story in itself. Nachiket, Mandar and Maneesh on R.E. bullets Amit on a Bajaj Pulsar , Dhanya on his HMSI Unicorn and me on the H.H. CBZ were the final candidates for the ride. 21st -25th of December were the dates and after a few initial hiccups, the day finally arrived.

21st Dec:
Mandar, Nachiket, Maneesh and myself left home at 7:10am for Gunjan talkies near Bund Garden bridge. We were to group with the remaining lot and Bandya too decided to come in to bid us adieu. within 10 minutes we were finally at the group-up point as Amit and Dhanya joined us and thus started the bag loading session. Mandar, Nachiket and Maneesh filled in their saddle bags with all stuff from Amit and Dhanya as mine was full to the brim. Bandya joined the party, boosted our confidence as we bid farewell to Pune and took the road down to Ahmednagar (~7:50am, 7.8kms).

Dhanya rode off ahead as his tank was low, and he said he would be waiting near an HP pump at Wagholi some 10 kms away. Little did we know this was be the start of events :). A halt at one of the pumps near Wagholi (17.6kms, 8:05am) held no sign of Dahnya and none of us spotted him anywhere. Hence we decided to keep an eye at other pumps ahead, but still no sign. By now our bike queue Dhanya missing, had Nachi and me trailing and the rest of the pack far ahead, but every now and then we would team in. Eventually Nachiket got a call/message from Dhanya, who said he would be near Ranjangaon. Thus we rode steadily till Ranjangaon(54.2kms , 8:42am) -still no sign of Dahnya. Amit knew of a hotel near the place at Saratwadi a few kilometers ahead, so we took our breakfast halt there(Hotel Navnath - 65kms, 9am) . Maneesh rode off far ahead and some calls later we called him back some 4 kms, Dhanya was missing. Nonetheless we ordered our munchies -Misalpaav, Wadapaav and the first of million cups of tea, some calls up and down with Dhanya finally got him to our place some 1/2 hr later. It turned out he was waiting for us on the wrong side of the highway -Big Bummer! Nonetheless, breakfast was done-simply amazing- and we re-attired ourselves back on our stallions. (~9:45am) We decided to take our halt some 50kms away which was a few kms past Ahmednagar, and also would be away from city traffic. (Khedgaon was our halt point).

The ensuing ride was via the good NagarRoad. The ride was, so to say, pretty monotonous. Sure people did keep overtaking each other and fell back on occasions. A couple of close calls with other vehicles but all was well. Soon we drove past Ahmednagar and finally arrived at out butt-break halt no. 1 Khedgaon (117.2kms ,10:32am). A quick synchup and off we were on our road ahead. Here the next halt was decided to be a place called Nevasa Phata some 60kms away. Again nothing much eventful took place for the rest of the ride, the sun too was not on a full bask and thus the ensuing ride seemed pretty comfortable.

(177.6kms, 11:35am) It was here at Nevasa phata that Dhanya decided to gorge on some eggs for his cold. The rest of us had some tea. Here we met a gentleman from Amravati and he was pretty intrigued by our bikes.... "kitna deta hai milage yeh bike" he asked pointing at Nachi's bike "... bees ya pandra" .. I said "chaliiss" and he went in a "oh man that cool..." sort'a expression. But again he was kind enough to give us all sorts of directions and help on where to stay etc. Got a few of our pictures clicked from him. With tea done we were headed to our next destination again some 50 kms away at a place called ChikhalThana on the outskirts of Aurangabad, some 1 kms past. All this was Dhanya's territory, since he is from Aurangabad (and despises the same for some off reason ). (11:55am)

So back on our bhps we went zipping down the highway enroute Aurangabad. Again the similar highway. Its quiet funny as you keep riding all the hours within a helmet shell, how your mind starts conversing and start singing various songs. Its quiet fun actually - just a way of saying the ride was pretty good. Very soon the highway took the expression of a big city outskirt and soon we were driving through an Army area followed by the crowded city of Aurangabad. The city was big and seemed very advanced (next to Pune I would say). One good thing, people seemed to follow rules. Soon we saw boards for Chikhalthana and as the traffic started to thin down we took our halt near what seemed to be the end of city. (244.3kms, 13:06pm).

Had a quick break and inquired around for a hotel for lunch. We were advised to ride to a "Hotel Abhijeet" a few minutes away. (13:15pm). A few minutes later we reached Hotel Abhijeet along side the highway (249.1kms, 13:30pm). The hotel seemed good, moreover we did not have much options around. Lots of currys-veg kolhapuri, veg bhoona and rotis with daal kichadi made up the menu. Chitter chatter and lots of teases later we finally left at ~14:30pm. The waiter was pretty happy with us and also asked one of his colleagues to give us some information about Lonar. Our next stop was to be past Jalna at a place called SindkhedRaja.

With my meter clocking low on fuel we took a quick break at one of the HP pumps (263.9kms, 14:51pm) and off I zipped at break-a-neck speeds towards Jalna. Dunno what made me take the speed run, Dhanya and Maneesh were trailing me as we entered the crowded city of Jalna. Nackiket, Amit and Mandar were trailing far behind. Here we missed on of the turns that lets us bypass the city traffic, and so took a halt and inquired for directions and also synced with the other 3 compadres over phone and decided on meeting directly at SindhkhedRaja.

The roads led though some thick traffic and narrow streets as we came near the "Jansi ki Rani" statue and took the appropriate turns to ride past the highway to the State highway that led to our destination. Further inquiries asserted our direction and we rode through the single winding road with the open countryside. It sure felt good and a respite to ride on this road after the continuous highway ride. Soon we spotted our 3 lost riders near a tea stall (Mama Bhanje hotel was the name of the hotel) and synched-up. It was SindkhedRaja (325kms, 6:11pm).

We did have ideas of various routes to Lonar from here, but villagers suggested we taked the book route to Lonar since the other routes could easily mislead us. Some quick cups of tea and stretches later off we were on our way to Lonar. Before this we had to reach the town of Sultanpur and take a right to Lonar. We did want to reach before sunset so that we could, if possible, take a look at the crater at sunset. Here we rode in a single file at consistent speeds as we reached the thinly populated Sultanpur, (372kms, 17:17pm). The sun was setting far in the horizon, as we made quick inquires for the right turn and off we were on our last ~10kms ride for the day. The road got thinner as we took a few twists and turns riding on, I did fantasize spotting the crater in a distance but that was not so. Soon we reached Lonar and took a halt near the ST. busstop as we quickly rode down to a "Krishna Lodge"- a decent looking place bang opposite the St.Bus stand (383kms, 17:30pm).

875/- for the room with an extra bed was a good deal. It had a big bed which could accommodate 5 of us, and 2 bath rooms. What more would you want! With the water being cold, we decided to skip the bath and take a walk around the little town (Dhanya preferred to stay back). All of us attired in the "DaRomans" 'T' and shorts took a walk around the streets of Lonar. The place was full of dust and was crowded. A police van stopped besides us and called Amit and asked him a lot of questions before driving off. The police wanted to know who we were and why we walked with the same T-shirts, when they got to know e were from Pune and rode all the way they were surprised and asked what business we had. They left once they knew we were mere travelers and were here just for an overnight halt by the crater. Soon we visited a Tea stall had some nice hot tea and were back at the rooms. Changed over to better clothes(minus the Daromans haha) and took a walk to a near by hotel for dinner.

We were told by the owners of the lodge to park the vehicles in the interiors of the hotel, there was a good go-down garage where we could park all the vehicles. We did have a nice time getting the bikes through the small door and down the ramp. Soon took a walk to the near by hotel and had some sumptuous food, the waiter was happy to hear we were from Pune. The hit item at this place was roasted Chana and boiled Chana, it was a marvelous we had lots of those and just a few plates of daal kichadi later. It was ~12am or so when we returned back to our lodge (singing giggling and dancing all the way back). Back at the room played a lot not letting people sleep , but called it a night amidst the Roman roars and the squeaks of a rodent.

The day was good and we had ~400kms in our bag. Tomorrow we were to see the crater and later leave for Chikhaldara. The helper at the lodge asked us to visit a water spring where we could have a hot bath.. so all was to be decided the following day.

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Blogger Prashant Varma said...

You guys obviously had a great time! Why did you leave your significant others behind? Why were the police so curious? Did you guys look like terrorists? ;) Also, didn't get a good look of your T-shirts. Please post a pic of that.

3:11 AM  
Blogger vindy said...

@Pashi... yeah man.. we did have a good time.. well one of the practical reasons for leaving the significant ones behind was: a ride of ~1500kms with a pillion would be a pain for both the pillion and the rider... it was a bike ride and not a trip. On seeing 5 guyz in same black t-shirts and shorts roaming around a remote village is bound to rise curiosity, so yeah cops were quiet interested. T-shirt ka logo update karta in same post.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Roshan RK said...

man you wrote very good post.You must be what chikhaldara hotels did you stay ?

6:32 PM  

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