Sunday, March 16, 2014

To the hills of Satara and beyond

Day 9 : Odo reading 2850 Kms

As the sun tore through the misty morning in Rajiv Gandhi National park on the outskirts of Mumbai we were ready to take on the road. We could see the traffic getting denser as we approached Thane, it was a reckoning for us to see Mumbai (technically a suburb but then again) this was the first time we all were seeing Mumbai we had only heard stories about the traffic jams and crowded roads those stories were not false either.

As we traversed around the roads of Mumbai we were all hungry and stopped in a hotel near the Panvel railway station. As we saw the menu card our eyes filled with joy, it was rice !! curd rice!! for the first time in 10 days we could taste some south Indian dish. We ordered Dosa, curd rice and special chai to end it. This was heaven.
Our room in Satara

By the time we reached Pune it afternoon and instead of taking the ring road we entered the city only to get lost within a couple of minutes it was hot n humid we had to ask a million people to get to the other end of the city by the time we got out it was late in the evening. As we started to climb the hills surrounding Pune on Pune- Bangalore highway we were all tired and thought we put the bikes aside and relax a bit but this would mean futile cause we learnt later by a bunch of corrupt cops that stopping on this highway was prohibited. The policemen asked us to pay Rs 2000 as a fine for stopping there we had to argue with him for half an hour to get it down to Rs 500 ironically those cops bought few biscuits and made us feed the monkeys.
Khandala Ghats
As we raced down hill from Pune towards the Karnataka border we realised that we had not decided where we will be staying that night, it was well over sunset and the darkness slowly creep ed in so we all decided to go to a place called Satara. We all knew most of the places on this road but none of us had ever heard of Satara we thought we will gamble on this and take the risk as we did not know whether it was a small town or a big city but when we reached there we were awestruck looking at this magnificent city on the foothills of Mahabaleshwar. we found a three star hotel and spent the night in pure luxury. Since we were in the wine making district we treated ourselves with the best white wine available. Aaahh !

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