This weekend (12th and 13th of September '09)...we visited Satara, Mahabaleshwar. Plans were in place atleast 4 days before the weekend. Work delegated appropriately and everyone was looking forward to the weekend.
Our carrier reached my place at 5:30am. I was ready in time (even though excitement didn't let me sleep the previous night). Next stop was Charuta's place and my road skills came into play when I couldn't reach the place even though I have been there a couple of times now. Anyhow, Lalit also reached there early (earlier than the last trip :P). We then proceeded towards office to pick up the remaining gang. As Amit was accompanied by his fianceé, our agenda for the day was troubling the couple ;). Journey started at around 6:30am.
Our firsts top was at Shirwal, Sriram vada pav center. Nice food and decent surroundings.
We moved towards Satara now. The road that leads to Thoseghar is surrounded by greenery and valleys. Its so beautiful that few people took turns to occupy the car top...it was nice fun...for them..and comfort for us :P. It was fun getting clicked (from top) by peeping outside the window..:)
I had never seen windmills from this close. We could actually here the rambling sound when the blades moved due to the wind. The ground was covered with a lot of flowers..just like we see in the movies..flower beds...it was lovely!
Next we moved to the thoseghar waterfall. It felt scary..imagine being at the receiving end of the waterfall! It was huge...n we also defined it as 'the' niagara falls ;)
The whole journey through satara gave the feel of a village...and felt so peaceful. The kids returning from school, racing on their cycles, playing with wheels...innocence at its best!
We then moved on to sajjangadh. Boy, was it a climb. Around 200 odd steps made me realise how my stamina has reduced. Anyway, we had nice, simple, tasty maha prasad and then explored some areas around the temple too. We then found a spot which opened the view to the entire valley below. Felt on top of the world ;) Then we moved towards Kaas valley and the lake.
At kaas valley we missed the flowers by around two weeks or so. There were a few flowers but I guess we missed the major lot. While moving towards the lake, we encountered a once in a lifetime view. That of rain clouds emptying their bounty over a small portion of a lake we could see from a distance. We could actually see the shadow moving on the water below and the rain looked like some heavenly spotlight! It was unbelievably beautiful!
We reached the lake in another fifteen minutes. The water was clean and cold. Some people swam through, while some others roamed around and slipped ;)
The so called (open) changing room was a disaster and people really need to understand that 'cleanliness is next to Godliness'.
Anyway, then we moved towards Mahabaleshwar, our palace resthouse, thanks to Charuta. And did we enjoy the undue attention ;) We had nice dinner at some restaurant which had two names. One of the names was swad. Had icecream at 10:30 in the misty cold weather and then gathered together to try and while away night time. But people slept in less than 20 minutes. Some of us had a small walk outside..and it wasn't as cold as Mahabaleshwar is expected to be. However, it was cooler than Pune.
Next day, after a heavy breakfast we moved towards Pratapgadh. The road is good, steep and winding curves, well known to upset stomachs very easily. It was accompanied by mist and umpteen waterfalls. After climbing pratapgadh halfway we reached a 'hastkala' exhibition which hogged around an hour of our time and we discovered that all of us are shop'a'holics ;) All plans of climbing the remaining half of the fort were cancelled as it started pouring heavily. I was smart enough to carry my jacket but leave it in the car below :P
To avoid getting ourselves drenched we took shelter in a small hut like structure and whiled away our time, fighting with swords and acting like the dead, and some people talking to the dead ;) After the rain became a meagre little we moved downwards. From there we were to go to Arthur's seat, famous for its scenic view. But unfortunately due to mist and rain the point was closed. So we decided to move on to Venna lake and try our luck at boating. Luckily boats were functional. So armed with nice juicy 'butta' we made our way to the boat. It was raining heavily and though we had a roof over the boat, all of us were drenched. The one time experience of boating in heavy rain and mist was more than enjoyable!
We then proceeded towards our resthouse, got into fresh clothes and started our return journey towards Pune. No, wait how can we leave out Bagicha 'strawberry cream' and Mapro 'sandwiches'. Of course we hogged on to all of these and then made a peaceful journey to Pune. This time some people slept, while some others did nothing more but comment on the dumb songs that were being played and the even dumber RJ who tried to act cool ;)
Reached home by 10pm and then felt a sense of satisfaction. And I thought to myself, so this is what it feels like to be surrounded with greenery...mist...jokes...laughter..and awesome company.
Guys..lets keep planning such fun trips. (Are MD and Charuta listening? ;) )
P.S. For a recital of the trip by another buddy who was part of the trip, go here.