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My Pune Trip !! July 19, 2006

Posted by gantech in Travel Experiences.
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Well.. let me tell you what I was expecting from the trip !! A ride on the Pune Express highway was what I was expecting !! I had heard too much about the highway to take it lightly. But junta here told me too high a price for a trip on that highway.. and deciding that it wasn’t worth 300-400 bucks.. I decided to go by train itself. I started at 16.30  (on 14th July 2006) from IIT Powai and took the train at 18.00 from Dadar. The train slowly chugged along and reached Kalyan at 19.00.. and I am like .. “What the hell ? !!” I had reached Karjat in an hour from Dadar the previous Sunday. But the good news was that I got a seat at Kalyan (where some n junta boarded the train and it became really crowded)

    Got down at Pune at 22.00 and the worst part was that I had spent 65 bucks to come to Pune from Mumbai and was going to spend a 100 to just go to my Perima’s place in Pune from the station !! Sadly I saw a 100 bucks fly out of my pocket. I would have waited for buses had it been my house.. but it was Perima’s house.. and I didn’t want to keep her awake too long. Actually I prefer buses in a new place bcos of 2 reasons.. One it keeps stopping at many places.. whie the conductor keeps shouting the bus stops and thus I get to know more about the place.. and the more important and obvious reason being.. the economy of bus fares.

  Finally I saw my Perima after 12 years… and my cousin and his wife popped in after an hour. I had a good meal and slept. The description of events on Saturday (which included a visit to a bowling arena and a Pub !!) would require another blog.

  Finally I started my journey back to Mumbai on Sunday at 11.30 am. The best way to come to Mumbai from Pune is to go to the Asiad bus stand and buy tickets there. There’s a bus every 15 mins and if you take the deluxe buses (which cost 155 bucks btw), they are only half full most of the times.

   Now for the ride.. It was pleasant.. My only crib was that I didn’t see any highway for atleast an hour from Pune. I started to think about VP’s brother’s marriage that I was supposed to be at in Chennai. I had missed it only bcos of my project which didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Soon my thoughts were taken over by the toll gate that I saw after Dehu road.. Whoah..!! They charge a cool 120 bucks for a car and around 300 bucks for a bus !! Pple say it saves you 2 hours on the highway and the savings you make on the Petrol and more than enough to justify that charge.  !! Whatever.. it didn’t matter much to me .. atleast not at the present.
 It stopped for a while near the place where people going to Lonavla were supposed to break off from the highway. Had my lunch of 2 Vada Pav there.

    Now sit back and enjoy the photos I took on the highway..!!



I would have loved to be on that highway for some more time.. but alas.. Mumbai beckons..and by 15.30 I was at Dadar. And I had almost forgot that I had to visit Kmap on Sunday. I called him and went to his house. Lotsa photos there too.. but.. that would require another blog !!


Lonavla Trip !! July 17, 2006

Posted by gantech in Travel Experiences.
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As soon as I came back from this trip.. my Gmail status message was..

“From Feet itching to Feet aching.. and trust me ..feet aching is much better than feet itching..Finally a Lonavla trip”

That was the kind of desperation for going out under which I made this trip !! Ok.. now let me get to the details

We (Santhosh, Vadivelan and myself) started off from IITB at around 6 am.. It’s not everyday that you get to wake up at 4 am rite !! The weather was pretty cold.. !! btw the trip was on 9th July 2006.

After having a Chai !! at Kanjurmarg.. we got to Dadar and met up with Chetan, MRP and Sumith. The train started off at 7 am. Getting into the train I broke my Chappal.. which I had feared all along. Anyways I didn’t care much !! Chetan had brought some Puran Poli from his house and we also ate some biscuits and Omlette. The train journey was quite lovely after Karjat.

Got down at Lonavla at 9.00 am.

Go out and no prizes for guessing whom you meet first..The auto drivers.. ever ready to take you for a sight seeing trip for 400 bucks.. I remembered seeing Charukesi Ramadurai’s blog and insisted on walking.. or finding a bus.. But sadly the next bus was only at 10.30 and we ended up taking 2 autos to the Bushy dam !!

Man !! Bushy dam was quite an experience !! The crowd was ecstatic.. the only problem was that you would run into a totally drunk person at nearly every step :(.. otherwise.. it was too good !! Next time you go there .. remember to go early. atleast not after 9.30.. Otherwise .. you ain’t enjoying anything !! You’ll lose your temper and joy in the crowd !!

We decided to drench ourselves fully.. (Tip: Next time you go there.. do not take anything along except your room Key chain or something..if you have an optic sensor at home.. even the better) The only problem was that atleast one guy had to stay back to guard our items !!

After getting fully drenched ..we dried ourselves up.. while looking at the dam in awe !!

Then we treated ourselves to the best drink available.. the great “Garam Chaaya”.. and believe me.. we extracted every bit of it’s first word from it..even from it’s glass !!

Then we made our way up the waterfall.. MRP found it a little too much.. and stayed put down !! He really missed the fun part !!

The look of the waterfall was just amazing !!

Standing in the waterfall.. you felt as if a thousand pple are pelting heavy stones at you !!.. you really can’t stand in that waterfall for more than 5 secs.. I spent most of the time inside the waterfall !!

Man.. I will not get such an experience anywhere in the near future !! Then we got down..It’s only after you get down that you realise how high you’ve been !!

Then what..?? Grub..?? what else ?? So we went to the nearby hotel and hogged… I literally mean it.. after such a nice trekking session.. it was the perfect remedy..Though I would have preferred one more Chaaya.. it wasn’t available in that hotel.. and we were preoccupied with our immediate plans after coming out !!

 Finally we decided to catch an auto back to the station and decide our next course of action from there !! But the crowd had picked up by then (it was around 2.00 when we came out of the hotel !!) The traffic was moving slow.. and we could pick up some shots in between.. esp the lake !!

Then.. came the news of Shiv Sena riots breaking out in Dadar.. all buses to the city were cancelled.. and the last train was at 19.00..Not deciding to take risks we booked the 16.40 Deccan Express to Bombay !! Then we had some Chikki and some Chai..again !!

There was about a hour and a half left for the train.. we spent a considerable time at the Chikki shop and then moved to the station to find that there was a long queue standing for the 1 general compartment bogey to be attached at Lonavla !! Hats off to Santhosh and Vadivelan for getting us all proper seats in that train.. !! and ya.. to the train driver for making that mistake of stopping the train 2 m just too ahead of the usual place !! That was enough for us to get seats..!!

As usual.. the view from the train was just too good !!

Now.. Vadivelan found out that our tickets had crumbled in his wet pocket.. We had a tough time reassembling them !!

We three of us got down at Thane and came back quietly to IITB.. without tickets !! So our Lonavla trip was finally over.. I was too tired to watch the Fifa World Cup final !! So I went and watched the last 2 sets of Federer-Nadal and went to sleep.. to realise the full meaning of my status message to be the next morning !!