If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads...... Anatole France
Stopped over on JNPT- love clicking this stretch. I wish roads in the city were like this....smooth- both in surface and traffic.
Had nothing for breakfast, hence thought to stopover at Rishabh's for some snacks but gave up coz of time and stopped on the ghats straightaway for some clicks.
Touched Lonavla and could sense Jayaram's (from BN) advice going true (he'd suggested to avoid Lonavla completely on weekends), though still hopeful of reaching Koraigad and starting my trek. Could only cross a few 100 metres in an hours time at start of the Amby stretch – am still hopeful that traffic will clear. A struggle-wriggle for another half an hour bringing a full stop to the plans- it was a complete standstill, actually there was no place for people to even walk.
Disappointed took a U-turn resolving never to return to Lonavla (at least in the rains). The patience test still wasn't through- it took another hour to come back to the main road via the railway crossing. What now? Varandha came to mind, but would have been very late to return (gave up). Then thought Sudhagad at Pali ..fine will go there I said. Suddenly Rajmachi struck my mind- I remembered Ishtibhai talking about it some years back (funny isnt it)- asked for directions and was able to locate the small downhill road near the "Summer Hill" signboard.
Another left from the fork took me to the start of the adventurous road to Rajmachi. Pushed the bike into the muddy field for some fun with crazy wheelspins.
A few kilometres of roll passing some drunkards dancing with their vehicles by the side, a small right curve takes me right into heaven. Streams rolling down the hills, clouds covering the peaks like a newly wed shy bride hiding her face.
The start of paradise marked the end of tarmac.
This was such a beautiful sight- I couldnt resist taking the bike on the green carpet and clicking the mighty hills in the background (my mobilephone cam doesnt do justice to the beauty).
The twin ends of the hilly range covered with clouds.
This section was lovely- a narrow slippery road with a gorge on the left.
A chill pill to my steed.
Few snapshots of waterfall on the way.
Preparing the little girl for rappling down the fall....even with the safety gear on, I feel the little one has guts- I'll get a cardiac arrest midway. BTW this camp was organised by The Explorers Group (click to go to their website).
The forest roads look exciting- dont they?
This stretch came as a shock...but quite encouraging to just go on and on.
This board is a landmark, remember to take left from this fork- the right one would land you nowhere.
Well, realised how nuts feel in a bowl of chocolate sauce.
Muck to dirty you- streams to wash it off.
Out of the stream, and no way could the bike get over the mossy rocks. Pushed the bike up this section in first gear playing with the clutch and front brakes.
Unfortuantely this marked the end of the ride- saw the LandCruiser too return mid-way. With 4 kms more to go and already 6.30 in the evening- he suggested I head back. Getting stuck in a place like this in dark is plain suicide- and in case a puncture- only god can save you!
Came across lovely fog on the way- the blur image spoiled the beauty.
Gave lift to a local who was pillion on another bike which got a puncture. Maybe he was a bad luck sign- no sooner did he get off my bike and I hit the expressway- my rear tyre gave up :(
Pushed the bike 8 kms till Khopoli- kept it running in first gear which eased off the efforts. There wasn't a grain of food in my stomach except a few sips of sweet water from the streams- was dead hungry by now. Till the tyre was fixed- I dragged myself to a snack outlet and had a plate of potato wada and masala tea. Was all recharged for ride back home- stopped over at Revel's place, showed him the pics on the larger screen. Reached home- had a hot bath and swallowed dinner like a demon.
On the bed with a small regret of not having made it till Rajmachi- but an adventurous experience it was. I should thank for the traffic jam at Lonavla, else I dont know if I ever would have rode to Rajmachi. And as far as the regret goes- its just a week's time before I'll be heading again, this time it'll be all the way to the top.