Saturday, March 24, 2012

Manali - Journey,Lahauli Wedding ,Et cetera .

The Journey:

It was an almost sleepless night with dogs barking outside the inhabitable room. Dot 5 O’clock I was at the bus stop with few strays staring at me. I wanted to run from there, it reminded me of the scene from “Waltz with Bashir”, only here the canines were not in a mood to move. Soon a taxi guy offered me a seat for Rs. 900, little bargaining and he was ready for 500:D. But then the bus arrived and it was cheaper by Rs. 200. Taang to the taxi guy and I boarded the bus and window seat again. I was into sleep mode soon and woke up after a dream of full-length football match. It was PWD Shour, which marked the end of Pangi Valley.

That place was awesome, but unfortunately the camera was still sleeping inside the back till then. If there was one thing that I missed in this trip then it was the beauty of Pangi, thanks to the excitement of Sach Pass. Of what little I saw of Pangi, it was much beautiful than Raavi or Baes Valley and more forests than the Lahaul valley.

At Udaipur, the bus had two flat tires. Both the rear inner tires were the victim of the Pangi roads. There was an option of shifting to another bus to keylong which was already full. I took one hour for the tire to be fixed and ready to roll. In the mean time the taxi guy passed me with a troll-face. Lahaul valley ride till Keylong was smooth and a visual treat for this first time visitor to Himachal. There were these nullahs hidden behind the mountains which would be visible only for a moment which were delightful to watch.

The ride to Keylong was amazing. There is a problem now; my bus wouldn’t go to Manali as there were hardly 4-5 people on board and we were asked to move to another bus which was packed. With no other choice, I had to travel standing. By now I had mastered the art of occupying the window seat and I was just waiting for someone to get up. Three men, two rows behind where I was standing stood up to get down at Sissu. I threw my small bag and yay! Window seat was mine. Luckily no one was hurt. Then came the Rohtang moment, which can be aptly described as a dud compared to Sach. It was nothing but a bad climb with a worse descend. Had the sickest coffee in Marhi, the only coffee I had in the entire trip. Being a Tambrahm and heavily addicted to strong filter coffee, I don’t have coffee outside. The Keylong Manali bus was half filled with Tibetans’/Napalms. They were very much annoying and it was a ride to forget. It was not only me but many passengers had a poker face due to their behavior. Two guys almost got into a physical tussle with a bunch of Tibs, as they were passing some unnecessary comments. There was a point when a kid sitting ahead of me yelled “Oye salon, chup karo”; only to be slapped by his mother, but the entire bus broke into laughter.

Now, there was some problem with the front suspension. Here I met Doc Vikram, from Mandi, who was going home from a week long assignment in Leh. Soon the suspension problem was sorted out and we set sailing to Manali. We met again at the bus stand. Doc’s friend, who stays at Manali, was out of town and if asked him if he would like to share room to cut costs, he agreed and we settled for Mahadev GH bang opposite to the bus stand for Rs. 200.

The Lahauli Wedding:

After dumping our bags we went for a stroll and banged into a lahauli wedding baraat. Surprise Surprise, It was doc’s senior’s weeding. Lahauli’s have a dress code and a badge to distinguish the guests from the uninvited ones. The invited guests sport a cap with three badges and a badge in the heart. We soon got the badge, and man I felt proud. Unlike other baraats I have seen, the lahauli baarat had only dhols and flutes. The Baraat entered the wedding hall and we made a quick exit to the hotel room were party was full-on with beer bottles rolling. I was invited for a stay with them, but had to decline because I was hungry and the beer taps were still flowing. Doc and I walked to our room, he picked up his bags and joined the gang and I left for dinner and then bed.

Et cetera:

Woke up late and vacated the room by 1 PM. It was time for some shopping for my sisters back home to be accepted into the family again. Then the usual touristy places like the Gompa, Hidimba temple were done by foot. After lunch, met up with the Maruti factory team for Raid on their SX-4. A quick chat and wished them luck as they filled fuel. Picked my bags from the GH and left for the world famous Kullu ki Dusshera.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sach Passed

Crossing Sach Pass cant be that easy. There has to be much more to it. Its for something that Sach Pass is considered tough.

Hurdle 1: Satrundi Post

The Police men was adamant on not letting us go beyond. The had only one reason, fresh heavy snowfall since afternoon. Somehow none of us were convinced about that. The whether looked perfectly OK. Rajinikant and his friends got into light arguments with the constables. Mr.Om Pal appeared out of nowhere. He introduced me to the Sub Inspector, the seniormost guy currently posted there. Mr. Om knew how desperate I was to see the Sach Pass, he conveyed the same to his senior. After sometime me and Om bhaisahab somehow convinced the Sub inspector to let us through. He would let us through on one condition,only if any vehicles showup from the Pangi side. Another jeep, the one with 14 passengers was waiting to go . The driver of that didn't even bother to speak after a NO from the policemen and was prepared to turnback.

A vehicle appeared at the top, which was a Mahindra Maxx. The SI quickly added "Dekho, gaadiyan wapas aa rahi hai"
Me,"Yeh Pangi ki gaadi hai , subah se koi Maxx gayi nahi hai yahan se"

The SI too knew that and he was just pulling my leg there. The driver of Maxx informed that small Vehicles and pick ups can easily crossover to the other side and there was no snowfall in the afternoon. Just as we were video taped another vehicle appeared at the top. It was after two days, vehicles were arriving from Pangi. By 4pm we started from Satrundi. The kid in me had taken control of the body. An hour and half later we reached the top and that was the moment of the trip. Also , it was my first encounter with snow. We did not spend more tha 5 minutes at the top and continued with the journey. A pick up was stuck in snow and its driver was struggling alone. Rajinikant and his male friends got down to help him while I walked towards the Bhoot Ground.

Bhoot Ground: As one descends from the top towards Pangi, one comes across a flat ground where there is a huge cube- rock with a deep cut in the center from the top. The locals believe that the rock comes to life when the the pass is inaccessible. The goddess at Pass transforms the demon back into rock when the pass opens in summer. To support their claim, they say that the rock changes its position every year.

Within few minutes the jeep arrived and at bhoot ground we faces a big, very big hurdle.

Hurdle 2: Bhoot Ground

Since the day before, I've been hearing the news of a tipper being stuck at the bhoot ground and the driver had abandoned it. Another trucker trying to pass the tipper, was also stuck midway. The poor driver and his helper tried everything from their books but the truck just wouldn't start. This incident happened when our guys were helping the pick up driver, had they not stopped there we would have been on our way to Pangi.

"Chalo chalte hai Bogatu"
"Gaadi kaise nikalegi "
"Paidal chalenge"
"Mei nahi aa raha. Mere pass toh Joothe bhi nahi hai."
"Woh toh hai lekin raat toh Jot mei nahi kaat sakte"

The other bolero arrived . Four guys from that jeep picked up their bags started their descend. There was a path just wide enough for a bolero to pass,but even that was snowed . But there was a very narrow section 2 ft in length. Soon few more guys from the other jeep got out with their bags and were about to begin their descend. The trucker came with a idea. What a simple and brilliant one it was !

There were few big stones (1/2 ft.diameter approx). The idea was to place the spare wheel on the ground and place the stones on it and hold using manpower til the vehicles pass.  Not many were convinced including me. An old gentleman in the other jeep convinced all of us with one point. There is not other way, so this is the best way.

Step 1: Clear the snow accumulated at the corners.
Reason : Jeep has to run over the snow. If there is wheel-spin , then there are chances of vehicle getting stuck,closing the pass for rest of season. That done proceed to next step.

Step 2: Build a 2x2x2 road. All 8 men from both the jeeps were out. Spare wheel on the ground , few big stones on it and a wooden plank later the road was ready.

 Step 3: Drive over the road built by us. four people held the road as if their life depended on it. Rajinikant went first and crossed in a hurry . The other driver wasn't willing to take a chance, Rajinikant true to his name, crossed in a hurry again.

Step 4: Dismantle the road we built and put the spare wheel back in the truck.

This process almost lasted an hour.But all was not over,there was another hurdle.

Hurdle 3: One steep climb.

There is a steep ascend after the bhoot ground, now add 3-4 inches of snow to it.
First Attempt: little climb, wheel spinning and skidding.
Reversed and Second Attempt : Same story.
Third Attempt: The ladies in our jeep occupied the last row seats,4 of us hung on to the back of the jeep and with little fishtailing completed that small but steep climb.

No more hurdles. From here onwards reaching Killar was more of a formality. By 7 we were at Bogatu , sipping hot tea made by. Bogatu is a police camp , just 2 tents big . The drive to Killar was bumpy, but that didn't matter. Sach Pass ho gaya. Reached Pangi by 9. I was dropped at this Rs. 20 dorm bang opposite to the bus stand, for which inhabitable is an understatement. Rajinikant and one of his friend came back after half an hour to say that there was no hotel available as the speaker of HP assembly and his guests had occupied all the lodges. With no other option I had to settle for the dorm. The owner was kind enough to give me a new quilt, at least it looked new. Luckily I was carrying blankets (couple of them). Spread them on the ground for a good night and great sleep.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sach Pass (ed?)

Day 7, October 9 .

Call it excitement or early to bed, I was awake by 4 Am and was standing at the veranda , staring at the road. Almost a hour later a trucker woke up and instead of a 'Good Morning' I greeted him with 'Bhai Chalein'.

Trucker:"Kidhar bhaisahab, kal raat hi ek tipper wapas aayi hai, raat ko kaafi baraf padi hai jot mei. Ab toh kal hi jayenge"
(Where brother, a dumper returned yesterday night, there was heavy snowfall yesterday night. Now we'll leave only tomorrow)

B*****d was the only thing that I uttered with both hands on my head.

A guy who returned yesterday night with the dumper woke up.

"Bhai upar halat kya hai?"
(How are the conditions up in the pass)
"Bahut kharab,pick-up wahin chod mei truck mei aa gaya"
(Very Bad I left my Pick-up there and returned in the truck.)

I kept asking the same question to every other trucker and pick-up guys expecting some positive reply.

By 10:30 the pic-up guy got news from his driver that they had reached Killar last night itself. Before the joy could spread , he dropped a bomb informing that there was heavy snowfall in at the top yesterday late night.Soon four jeeps arrived from Chamba for Pangi. All the vehicles were full,but one was offering me a seat and already had 10 passengers in the car . This was clearly not happening for me.

I was in a state of mental agony. All the truckers ,seeing my condition offered to drop me the next day, they were sure that the pass would open up for the truck by night , but I wasn't. Even though I was touched by this guesture of theirs,I wasn't ready to take a chance with uncertainty. Another jeep for Pangi with 14 passengers arrived and the driver was still offering me a seat. I was really put off by all this and was ready to take the bus to Chamba and then head to Mcleodganj.

Then magic happenend , Rajinikant arrived with his 5 friends on a bolero. I didn't ask for his name , I simply called named him Rajinikant for his driving skills , goggles and cigarette smoking style . He offered the entire back row for myself and assured me that he wont be taking any other passengers. He also offered me a seat only because Rakesh requested. I couldm't thank Rakesh enough for this gesture. bid goodbyes to all the truckers and Rakesh and moved.

And Hell Yes , I was going to cross the Sach Pass ... Really??????

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bairagad with Hawaldars

Day 6: October 8,2011

Today was the most awaited day of the travel, but destiny thought otherwise. Sach Pass(ed) not yet. A half-bath and a sprint later, Chamba bus stand arrived. Met a HP Police Hawaldar(Constable) who asked me to rush to ticket counter , as the seats get filled fast.Window seat again Yay! The hawaldar was on his way to Trella, his posting. He was narrating his first day of duty in the region on the New years morning of 2011, when he woke up to waist height of snow. Also he that was the first time he saw snow. Soon the dreaded announcement was made . The bus to Killar(Pangi, local name) was canceled due to a technical snag.
The local taximen took this opportunity to make some money and hiked their tariff from Rs. 500 to Rs. 700. As I didn't want to be the the 15th chicken in a 8 people jeep. I opted for the next best option ,a bus ride to Bairagad which is 30 kms short of Sach Pass. Soon the sun came out bringing the vistas into prominence. Trella came and it was time to bid goodbye to the hawaldar .  Throughout our conversation I called him 'Hawaldar-Sahab' and he called me 'Bhaisahab' . I have this bad habit of ending the conversation even without asking their name. Another guy came to me and struck up a conversation, he too was a hawaldar who was joining office after a leave. He was on his way to Satrundi.he introduced himself as Om Pal, else I would have missed his name too. He too kept calling me Bhaisahab and i responded the same way.
Bhaisahab spoke to few pick up van driver at Bairagad on their way to Pangi to drop me there but they were fully loaded. The truckers were not willing to take a risk because of the snowfall beyond Satrundi post.Also I was turned back from PWD Guest House as some students from chamba have booked all rooms. Without much option I came back to the bus-stop , which also doubles up as the village boundary the other end being the PWD guesthouse. Rakesh Thakur , the man who runs the only Tea-stall cum - Dhaba- Hotel offer me a room for peanuts ,literally . A bakar session with truckers  and Mr. Thakur lasting hours followed.

Trucker: "Chalo chadate hai" (Lets drink)
Me: "kya?" (What?)
Trucker: "Bottle (sign)"
Me: "Mai peeta nahi" (I don't drink)

The truckers left for a drink disappointed with neither me nor Rakesh joining them. Soon raingods arrived with fury. A cup of maggi later I hit the bed as early as 6:30 PM .

Friday, November 18, 2011

Return of/to Chamba

October 7th,2011

Early morning and I am staring from the balcony at the same landslide view. Hadsar is one such place in the trip, where I wished I had an extended stay. It was time to bid goodbye to Hadsar now. Shared jeeps to Bharmour were in action as early 7 AM the previous day, but there were no signs of the Boleros till 7:30. I shamelessly asked the Sundarnagar family for a lift till Bharmourin their Chevy Spark, but they refused citing their aching legs needed space. Fair Enough. That day no Bolero guy was in a mood to start before 9. The first vehicle refused to take me. I was WTF! It was meant for the school kids, which every Bolero guy does on a rotational basis as a service to the village.

The next Bolero arrived in 10mins and I had to share the front seat with a drunken old man. It was 30 mins of pain till Bharmour. There are two main places of interest in Bharmour, The Bharni Mata temple and Chowrasi. Former required a trek of two hours one-way, on hearing this I immediately looked up in the sky and nearby mountains and a not-so-loud Jai Mata Di !from my heart. Next up was Chowrasi, a complex of 84 temples, 5 mins walk from bus stop. The only temple dedicated to DharmRaaj Ji is in this complex. There are two schools in the complex; students of the school were busy doing their Mass and prayers. The echo of the prayers created a strange but calm effect.

Of the 84 temples only 15-20 are big temples. Rest are small, some as small as 1*1 foot. I was just roaming there for an hour. It felt nice, the ambience was great, and the mountains were a perfect background in the scene. Lakhna Devi temple was the only one where I entered, because it was the only protected monument in the complex. Had a quick brunch and boarded a bus to Chamba. Window seat again. YAY!!!

Reached Chamba and got a dorm bed at Hotel Champak for Rs.165. Chamba had put me off few days back, but now a laid back hill town of my liking. The reason for the crowd was the famous Ram Lila on Dusherra. Around 2 lakh people had gathered for the occasion from all over HP. I finally had a much deserved bath, one after 3 days. Now it was time to take a stroll around Chamba. There is nothing much Chamba has to offer other than few temples, a park and over priced markets. I went back to the dorm after paying a visit SwamiNarayan Temple. Omar Abdullah was on TV defending himself in the Yusuf Murder Case. Then Barkha showed no signs of stopping and I had enough of it.

I went out in search of dinner. After enquiring with around 4 guys, Gupta Vaishno Dhaba was the unanimous choice for good vegetarian food. I ordered aalo mutter and 3 rotis and was eturned with a bill of Rs.29. Food was simple, not-extraordinary, delicious and filling. On the way back I had brought some Jalebis and Samosa, which should have been avoided as most of were awful and went straight to the bin. I had to spend a night alone in this 500sq. ft. dorm. It was noisy initially as the reception was just outside; then followed a peaceful night.

Route to Kugti Pass

The vistas make mornings special.

The Landslide view from my room

Entering Chourasi- Bharmour

Biggest Temple structure in the complex.

Poor Ponies

One of two schools inside Chourasi

The huge Deodar tree . Couldn't manage the entire thing in a single frame

An Enormous Deodar

The vistas surrounding Bharmour


Raavi Valley

Raavi snake


View from the Raavi view cafe - Chamba

Dorm at Hotel Champak(Chamba)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Trek to Danshoo Jharna and back (around 12 kms)

October 6th,2011

“Tourism mei itne paisa hai toh Kheti kyun karte ho”
“Khana toh khet hi khilati hai, tourism toh sirf paisa deti hai”

Day 4 started at 6:30 as Sundarnagar family began their trek. Negraj arrived on time and my laziness meant that we would start only at 8 from Hadsar. Bought some biscuits and begun the trek. It’s an easy trek till Danshoo but on gains altitude quickly. By noon we reached the Danshoo and I was ready to give up and begin the return trek. But Negraj insisted that we visit the Waterfall nearby as it was awesome and not worth missing after coming this far. I still didn’t budge.

“Bhaisahab Camera de do, kuch tasveerein keech aata hoon “
“Rehene do yaar wapas chalte hai”
“Tasveerien dekh li toh aap zaroor chaloge “

Next moment I as up and walking towards the Jharna. Neither I nor the pics can describe the magical feel of the place.

While ascending, I met three Bengali families on their descend trail. Each family didn’t know the other two families until they met in Hadsar before the trek to ManiMahesh. Now they were together completing the trek.

On the return Journey we decided to drop in at the Baba’s ashram at Danshoo. For the first time I was interacting with a sadhu. After spending 8 years in Amarnath-ji, he has now made Mani Mahesh his home for pas 3 yrs. met two more trekkers from Kolkata in the ashram. One of them was an experience trekker Mr. Sachidananda . He has been trekking Himalayas for past 25 years. Their plan was to do ManiMahesh and Kugti-Duggu and some other places before returning home. He mentioned a few things praising the local guides and dissuading from hiring Nepalese and Tibetan guides.

1. Local guides value the place and don’t spoil the place.
2. Locals take more interest in shown around the place and making sure you have seen everything beautiful because you have come from far.

The latter I had already experienced. After 2 hours of bakar session, I and Negraj left the ashram with 5km descend remaining.

“Baba, Agli baar aaoon to milte hai”
“Indira Gandhi nei chowrasi mei yehi kaha tha, kal ka koi nahi jaaney”

Most of the things said by this baba were bouncers to me. I dragged myself to Shanti GH by 5:30 pm. The Kolhapuri Chappals never gave away.

“Bhai, yahan STD kahan hai?”
“Ek hai, lekin who bhi ab bandh hai”
“Yaar, ghar fone karna hai, Mumbai mei”
“Koi nahi, meri fone lelo”

On the way I met this stranger, who offered me his fone leaving me humbled for the kindness Himachalis have shown in the entire trip.

During the entire trek, Raavi River was giving me company. The silence of the hills with the music of Raavi was the USP of Hadsar.

The trek begins

My Guide Negraj

Yours Truly

End of Trek

My Stay

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chaotic Chamba- Peace at Hadsar

Day 3 of the trip

HRTC bus for Chamba arrives at the bus stand half filled. Atlast my engineering skills came handy. Whoever said education always comes handy was correct at least in my case. Few pushes and elbows later, I have the window seat. Yay!! All thanks to BEST route 512. Just as my I placed my luggage and stretch my legs, Mr. Conductor ordered everyone to get out of the bus and buy tickets. I was WTF!! Thanks to a lady seated next to me my seat was still reserved, while many others lost theirs.
Cool breeze and a less bumpy ride ensured that I could sleep peacefully for few hours. Woke up at Banikhet. Arriving at Chamba I got a rude shock, it was way too crowded and definitely not my imagination of a hill station. For a moment I felt Lonavla was much less congested. Enquired about the bus to Killar. There is only one HRTC bus from Chamba to Killar starting at 5 am. Then went straight to Tourist office at Bachat Bhavan near Iravati.One Mr. Rajiv there was of great help. He gave some contact details of home stays and advised to do ManiMahesh first and then proceed to Sach. He recommended Tashika travels instead of bus. Later in the conversation, the recommendation was more like an insistence and that’s when I decided no matter what I won’t be taking Tashika travels and HRTC will be my choice.

By noon, I was back at Chamba Bus stand and the bus to Bharmour was as 1PM. There is a Bus every hour from Chamba to Bharmour and vice versa. Bharmour came and Night Mare begun. Every single cabbie was sure that there would be no more shared Bolero to Hadsar that day and were convincing me to take their cab for Rs. 300. Next stop, Raju Guest House near bus stand. Beware of this place, gives only false info and is highly overpriced. He had almost got me convinced that there would be no guides available in Hadsar and I have to book one for here itself for Rs. 750 per day. Then he wanted me to take their cab for Rs. 400. That’s when I realized, what I was being made a Chutiya.  Next stop mountaineering institute in Bharmour. There was just one guy and he had nothing to rent out. While accompanying me to the taxi stand assured me that there will be a Bolero to Hadsar coming soon and guides will be easily available there.

Soon, a shared Bolero arrived and 3 people filled in with me, that guy had one more seat to fill for. I requested him to leave for Hadsar and agreed to pay Rs.20 extra. He agreed and dropped me at Shanti GH at Hadsar. I all this drama, forgot to get a pair of shoes for the trek. Damn!!
Hadsar is a lovely little village and I liked it very much. Got a landslide view room at 400 for two nights. Next day bargained hard and brought the tariff down to 350 for two nights with 2 dinners. Booked a local guy Mr. Negraj to be my trek guide@ Rs. 300. I wanted to trek as much as I could till 1PM and then begin the return journey. A family had come from SurendraNagar to visit ManiMahesh. Their plan was to trek to top and return the same day. We had our dinner together, where they advised me to continue to Manali from Killar and not to return to Chamba. 

That was it for the day. Good night

Friday, October 21, 2011

Backpacking to Himachal : Rail Romance

My morale is at an all time low. 

I don’t have much money to take my bike.
Should I put my bike in the train?
No, that would almost cost the same.
Tadaa!! Public Transport, Backpacking!!! That should be cheap.

Indian Railways, HRTC, shared jeeps and Punjab Roadways to face the truth.

The Jugaad

I don’t have a backpack and can’t afford one at the moment .I requested a friend of mine and he happily agreed to let me use his, until the day before some Yakshagana’s prohibited him from doing so.
Solution: A laptop bag and another shoulder trolley bag, hoping that it will we will survive the trip.

Another friend was supposed to give me his DSLR, but didn’t respond until the last moment.
Solution: Time to test the old Samsung P&S which hasn’t been used for last few months .New set of batteries and it seemed to work fine. Ok Something is better than nothing.

Oct 3-4: Rail Romance

After Initial setbacks, I began the journey boarding the Vashi local from Koper Khairane . Only after boarding the CST local from Vashi, I realized how big a fool I am. :| I am for the trip as if I was heading for the market to buy some vegetables. Sach Pass and ManiMahesh on Kolhapuris. Imagine!! That was what I was up to. With not enough time to go back and get the woodlands, I proceeded to Bandra Terminus.

It was a typical Indian Rail journey to Pathankot (Chakki bank), munching on delicacies every halt . Giving me company was the owner of Sunny Chicken in Jammu along with his employee and a friend. The other two co-passengers were least bothered to get down from their before Delhi .Has any one tried food at Sunny Chicken in Jammu. The owner and his employee claimed their was the best and most popular chicken joint in entire Jammu. So much so that people from P’kot travel to Jammu especially for their food. His information regarding the Bus timing proved very useful later.

Indian Railways maintained its tradition of running late. Just four hours this time.  Reached Chakki Bank at 3 Am on Oct 5th . Directly went to waiting room, recharged the phone and camera batteries. A power nap and a quick bath later left for Pathankot main bus stand. Everyone here was waiting for the first bus to Chamba and looking at the size of the HRTC buses, I was mentally prepared to travel standing.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thamni Ghats – Once again

Bikes parked outside Centre One, Vashi.

All riders were at Centre One, by 6. Sachin surprised everyone by showing up in his alternate white beast, a White Fortuner instead of his White ZMR.
Hit the roads by quarter past 6 and stopped at Hotel Konkan Palace, Pen for a very early brunch.

Machines Parked outside the Hotel.

Some Hyosung Pics. This bike looks much much better in flesh than in the pics.

Glimpes of what we had.

Viraj left us here and rode back home. While the rest of us proceeded towards Pali.

1st Waterfall Spotting: p

Avinash, Sachin and Ajay went in to take the blessings of Lord Balleleshwar. I was too lazy to remove the shoes hence skipped a temple visit. As they returned we proceeded towards Vile Phata

Didn't bother to stop at Vile Phata. Continued further on the Vile-Thamni Ghats- Amby Valley Route.

The bad roads came to an end as we reached Amby Valley. The roads in this route was absent in my previous trips. The Melroy’s face said it all. He said that this stretch was the toughest of his life. The ride from here to Tiger hill was in fog-rain combo conditions, this is the reason for mumbaikars and punekars creating traffic jams at Tiger hills.

At Tiger Hill the Bhajiyas was what we feasted upon.

From here the ride back home was rather a big pain in the ass. The traffic Jam which begun in Bushi dam continued till Fariyas resort. Sachin and Melroy were stuck in the jam while the rest of us escaped and were waiting for them to show up. Melroy joined us but still no signs of the Fortuner. More than an hour later, big man Sachin showed up with his big machine with frustration evident in his face. He took the expressway route and escaped. Everyone tanked up and started riding towards Datta Snacks for the next stop.

From Datta snacks, Ajay and Vivek missed a trun on the Bypass and landed in Uran, where Ajays bike refused to start. He had to bring his bike next day.