Just another one day outing

Posted: by Pulsurge in Labels: , , ,

I think that travel comes from some deep urge to see the world, like the urge that brings up a worm in an Irish bog to see the moon when it is full.... Lord Dunsany

Since the day we've been given off's on 2nd and 4th Saturday's, I've tried to use it in the best way I could. Doesn't turn out be great everytime though, but then sometimes it does. Like the last Malshej ride, it was Alkesh again as my tour operator for the weekend. He hardly negates or disagrees to any riding plans- even with a 72 kg pillion. Initially this ride was planned to Lavasa with colleagues who mostly belonging to the intra-city sprinting species had tasted their own dose of biking nirvana on their one-off ride to Indapur. Their sky-high level excitement and the eagerness to ride out again bought pleasant feelings and anticipation of new biker buddies. Unfortunately my expectations got a back-kick and they all dropped out of the ride.
I've never cancelled any planned rides till date, except for the Amboli trip where it was a compulsion as my P150 landed with a ceased engine- but then I did ride to Amboli with Alkesh once I was through with the running in. So coming back to this ride I asked Alkesh if we could carry on ahead with the plans with some slight changes to the destination. Being in no mood to back out- we decided to make it a circular ride starting Mumbai passing through Pune-Mulshi-Tamhini-Mangaon-Diveagar and back to Mumbai via NH17. Well, I had my own selfish element in the route. Varandha, Bhuibavda, Amboli, Kumbharli, Karul, Phonda, Amba, Parsani, Ambenali....had ridden through all these Deccan-Konkan connecting ghats and with only Tamhini unexplored- the ride plan was up.

Sun's up on Saturday and we meet up at Vashi at 7.30 as I had to drop my bike at Revel's place. Soon we're on Palm Beach road, soaking up the rays of the morning sun through our eyes, feeling and inhaling the fresh breeze with visors flipped up, trees on the divider passing your eye in a hurry-flurry....aaaaah! being pillion is not that bad anyways...never saw Salil cribbing about being pillion- now I know why. Bumping over those 16-strip speed breakers of JNPT, its our first halt for cost-saving refuel at Palaspe Naka.
Into cruise-control again on NH4 and though the P220 pillion seat being not the most comfortable, was enjoying my ride as pillion till we landed up at Hotel Rishabh, Khopoli.
Unlike the lovely dinner you get here, the breakfast was contrastingly terrible. I would suggest never to have breakfast here…..yeah, tea is really good- but then only tea, nothing else. Called up Sanket to confirm the exact diversion from NH4 towards Tamhini.

Alkesh offered me to ride for a short distance and with a few twisties still left I couldn’t refuse. At blast right from the word go- touched 115 kph, not bad considering a heavy pillion. Khopoli was long gone and ascending the ghat section scrapping the centre stand at every curve (its so irritating) we take a halt for a click at the last hairpin before touching the expressway.
Later dropped into Lonavla Petroleum Depot, not for refuel but just to say hello to Mr. Laalsaab- my witness for the SaddleSore. He was overjoyed to see me and enquired if everything went smooth with the documentation of the SS. With still long way to go, we had to unfortunately turn down his tea offer.

I carried on riding in the same fashion with places passing in a flurry- till I hear Alkesh screaming from behind. I slow down and ask him the matter….”abey kitna chalaayega tu” he asks. I burst into a loud laughter and told him to wait till Dehu Road. It wasn’t me for riding, but he had gone stiff sitting for this long. Dehu road is here and time for a butt break and cool refreshing neera… 4 gulps of it.

It was the end of the zipping love affair with the 220 and I was back to where I belonged. Alkesh was all charged up, could make out by his restraint to come down below 100. At this pace reaching Chandni Chowk was quick. Soon we were swaying from one side to the other on the twisties of Mutha Ghat. Alkesh ensured that I was constantly thrilled by running wide of the curve on the outside or venture too close to the inside and occasionally some real hard braking. But this was only on visible corners…on blinders he was well in control.

At the dam for a few clicks…below and over.

A glance on the other side of the dam, and eyes get a fix….a barren land with water left behind in huge depressions and bare trees in the middle of it. We could spot tyre marks of the trucks that went uptil some distance after which it was trail-hunting to get the bike till the place. Alkesh on the bike and me on foot, both in opposite directions.
Well I did find a narrow path in between rocks. Yellings brought Alkesh back, took over the bike and was on the job of maneuvering the machine between some extremely narrow passages. But then finally we were there and it seemed like absolute heaven. My phone was on the job clicking the serene environment.

Spend a lot of time at the place and I was back on the job pulling the bike out of slender channels following the tyre marks left behind while coming.

We were rolling on the tarmac again with the 220 getting taste of the tight hairpins after its last adventure on the Saat Paayri ghats at Toranmal.

You can never get tired of Lavasa….the tight corners make it thrilling and more exciting everytime you come here.
The ascend was complete and we touch the entrance of the Lavasa city. In the meanwhile Alkesh had a breather, I went around to click the wonderful roads.

We left Lavasa for Mulshi and after a mixed bag of good and bouncy roads, we’re down the lake with our bare feet feeling the crystal clear waters of Mulshi Lake.

I felt I was in paradise, with the water so pure at your feet, the hills on the other side full of greenery, the blue sky with its cloud friends and except for the breeze singing in your ears…there was not a decibel around- only if I could spot angels flying around…..Losing oneself in the hurricane life on a city, you realize your very existence when you’re at a place as this.

Didn’t feel like getting my feet out, but with hunger and the schedule to see more places, we had to bid adieu to this beautiful place.

Alkesh in a Dakar Rally mood was ripping away to glory despite the bad roads….my butts like a seismograph could feel the earthquake generated by the rolling wheels of the 220. It got too high on my Richter scale and a restaurant compelled a halt…a halt to bring back the sensation down there and of course for some food.

Didn’t want to have the same old snacky stuff we get here in the city, hence ordered a Pitthala Thaali, while Alkesh made up with two portions of Poha. Steaming hot pitthala, spicy kharda, pickles, bhaakri and rest made up for an awesome lunch. Till the time I was gorging it down my gullet- I completely forgot about my stiff bottom.

Stopover on Tamhini ghats for clicks.

Thankfully it was end of the torture as the roads were good till Mangaon.

Mad traffic at Mangaon and with the sun inching closer to the horizon, I took over the bike and quickened up the pace to reach Diveagar before the sun disappears. Roads were good except for some 3-4 kms of bouncers, I could easily sustain speeds around 80-90 keeping an eye on the sun precisely measuring its day-end journey. All plans flopped as we hit a total jam in the Diveagar market. By the time we reached the beach, the sun was gone after its day’s duty. But nonetheless, the light on the horizon was still delightful.

Alkesh fulfilled his wish of riding on the beach and was all over the place like a kid let loose after a year’s confinement.

Looking at the watch- it was past 7.30 p.m. and time to head back, but not before a visit to the Golden Ganesh Temple- couldnt capture as photography was prohibited.

I took over again and it was an easy paced ride till Mangaon. Had tea to keep fresh for the rest of the journey. With a 89 kg pillion behind, the high beam of the P220 was pointing towards the nests on the trees. Was a bit difficult to ride- the projectors couldn’t stand up to the blinding high beam of the oncoming traffic….aaargh, wish I had HIDs. Small halts for refuel, tea and visor swaps made us touch Vashi at 12.30. Took over my P150 from Revel’s place who was fast asleep by then….. felt bad seeing to have left it behind. Reached home in half an hour and followed by Alkesh’s confirmation sms of having reached- it was curtains and a satisfying sleep after a wonderful days journey.

Our route and distance:
Mumbai-Lonavla-Pune-Mutha-Lavasa-Mutha-Mulshi-Tamhinighat-Mangaon-Diveagar Beach-Mangaon-Pen-Panvel-Mumbai: 595 kms



  1. Dude your travelogues are awesome !!! Apart from the places visited, you give exemplary account of the roads in each of the sectors ... that and the photos make us readers feel like we visited the places with you
    Keep riding ....

    And maybe someday I might even have the good fortune of going on a ride with you :)

  1. Pulsurge says:

    Your words were an honour :) Thanks so much.

    Well surely we'll ride...just hope that I land up at your place or you at mine ;D