Its been so long since I have been on the week long Pune trip (Sept 26 – Oct 5 , 2014) and somehow I lost track of time to write about the trip in detail here, because 1) it was a very casual trip, no planning, nothing decided except for a couple of places where we had to book hotels and 2) I posted bits and pieces of the trip in my other blog and that by itself became a memoir 🙂 I should be more organized from next time. Can’t be slipping like this can I ?
But still there are still some stuff that need to be updated here with respect to the travel. So instead of going through each day am going to with a summary of sorts. Just as we did for Goa, the previous year (2013), we went to Pune a little ahead of the actual season time. And since B had a flat there we didn’t bother with the stay in Pune and the rest of the places were done on a round about journey.
We started on 26th Sept night around 9 pm from C’s place, just the three of us, B, C and myself (the same ol’ Wayanad group) amidst heavy rains which literally slowed us for around an hour or two. We had to stop by near Tumkur in a Coffee Day shop for the heavy rains to abate a little because we couldn’t literally see the road and it was a little bit scary even though C is a very competent driver in those weather conditions. The drive to Pune via (Belgaum, Kolhapur, Satara i.e. the NH 4 route) was very good, the roads were perfect. The rain let out near Chitradurga. And I got to hog the back seats and slept as much as I could in that cramped place. I still don’t understand the need for these guys to drive at night. I don’t volunteer for night driving unless its before 11 or after 4 am. But I did switch places with the passenger when B started driving to give C some rest. I was allowed to drive from Kolhapur for 2 hours. Earlier the plan was to drive to Pune, rest and then proceed to may be some nearby places, but on the way, B checked out and figured that we could finish off Khas Plateau if the rest agreed. Since it was already beyond 11 am the next day and we were nearing the junction where we might have to deviate from the main road to go to Khas Plateau we figured we might as well finish this off. A beautiful and must see place especially if you are visiting in spring. Not much flowers at this season when we went, and the fees is very nominal: 80 Rs (for three people + 1 DSLR camera).Lovely flowers and even the enroute places were too good to not stop and spend some time. A perfect picnic spot.
After Khas Plateau we left for Pune, where we had to go by B’s brother’s place around 5.30 pm or so get the keys and then had dinner in a restaurant and just crashed. 28th morning myself and B went for a walk, on B’s brother’s recommendation, to Pune Race Course. I have never been inside a race course and watching all those horses so close by and warming up, it was fun. Went to Cafe 1730 for brunch. It was a very nice place and the food was also very tasty and good. After that just relaxed and went to shopping near by and stuff like that. B and C went to plan the next course of the journey, which included places like Kolad, Alibagh and Matheran and returning back to Pune by 2nd Oct.
We left for Kolad the next day (29th Sept) early morning around 5 am or so. B had called ahead and booked for the white river rafting through MHE Adventures via phone. The route to that place if we go from Pune was not that great, because it goes along the Kundalika river and not a frequently used route because most of the people use the route from Mumbai which is so well maintained. Had the breakfast in a small restaurant (cum resort of sorts) on the way. But the route is very scenic. Goes around the hills and the river and is very green , brown and blue. I have never done a river rafting before, except for the one in Rouge River in Oregon, but that was a big raft and we didn’t do anything but cover ourselves in ponchos and see the river going through the rapids. And we had a tough time finding out the MHE office in the first place. After some calls and going back and forth found the location, left the car in their office and went in their jeep to the start of the rafting. Trust me, I was so skeptical to do that. More on this fun experience here. But finally after the rafting was done, it was such a fulfilling experience. Definitely try this. Most people don’t even know that there is a river rafting in Kolad. Choose the right time and go early. You can negotiate the rates with them. Don’t expect too clean life jackets and stuff, but those guides will definitely let you have fun and encourage you to get into the water even if you can’t swim. We paid around 1400 Rs for each person and definitely worth the time and money. One off my adventure list. Yay!!!
Rest will come up shortly.