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Monthly Archives: August 2012

My First Road Trip

Awesome View!!!

My first Road-trip! This was an idea me and Yooti (my wife) had been playing with for a while. This year we finally decided to put it to the test, our poison a short trip through Lonavala and Pune in Maharastra – the Mrs being an expert on off-beat vacations figured destination 1; a PondProperty called The Machan. This is a secluded property about 20kms away from Lonavala. I, to begin With, was very skeptical about going there (the place does not have TV or connectivity!!!); anyways, after much debate and discussion, finally decided to go there and the rest, as they say, is History.

Sensational!!!

The trip began with a few disasters. I was unwell to begin with; next, we drove to an ATM, tried withdrawing money but the transaction failed, Of course the bank conveniently sent us a text saying money deducted – this took an hour to sort. Then mad rains in Mumbai! We got stuck in a jam at Parel which would just not move; anyways, we weaved through that using the back roads of Wadala and got out of the city – took us an hour but better than what most people managed. By now, memories of a certain Goa trip were coming back in my head, but the awesome drive across the Expressway made me forget them.

Yayyyyyyyyyyy Open Roads

Tree House!!!

We finally reached Lonavala, managed to withdraw money and then go searching for booze, don’t get it…. any shit is expensive in Lonavala. Moving on, Yooti, my expert Navigator, guides me towards The Machan. Note here, the drive is awesome, the roads are not, it’s a single lane road and covered in fog during the monsoons, make sure all the lights in your vehicle are working. After passing Bushy Dam and a lot of naked people, we finally turned onto a dirt road and find destination 1 – The Machan.

Like I mentioned, I was skeptical about this, but as soon as I entered the property, I was absolutely blown away…….. the reception is built on a pond which overlooks the 25 acre area. We checked in and walked towards our tree house with some assistance from the very helpful staff, surprisingly we had to walk into the forest to get to our room.

Brilliant Property

Randomness!!!

Finally we climbed a spiral staircase and reached our Machan; the room was like something out of a Jim Corbett Novel – very rustic and absolutely in sync with the surroundings. We settled in and ordered some food. At this point I must mention if you ever visit this place, do order the spicy chicken chilli, it is the craziest dish ever…. full of masala and crazy hot. Anyways, most of my time at the Machan was spent photographing the brilliant landscape and property, and going on nature trails; a suggestion: travel with an extra pair of shoes, I got mine wet in the waterfall and they just don’t dry here!

Dinners are simple but the setting just takes it to another level…… a man made tent, fireplace and candle lights just hits all the right notes. About the TV bit, I thought I would not survive but I did not miss it much! I would highly recommend this place, it amazing, non commercialized and blissful. Do check some pictures we have put up of our stay around this post. If you have any other questions about the place, do write to us via comments below….from here we now move to our next destination Jadhavgard which we will cover in our next post.

Greenary!!!

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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Super Bike & Food Weekend

It’s been a while since I wrote about the weekend that was; the weekend that just went by was pretty damn awesome & so I decided to write about the same. Friday evening started off with some general chilling at home didn’t do much just marathoned Supernatural season 7 with Rachita. Also the plan for next days lunch was being figured with Ritika. Before I forget, Friday evening we also started playing Sleeping Dogs on the Xbox360 which was awesome. The game has a brilliant feel and has hints of Yakuza & Shenmue, 2 of our all time favorite games!

Goo & Avenjer ignore the cycle 🙂 Lol!!!

Sleeping Dogs on the Xbox360

Astro!!!

Saturday, though, began with a bang as I had 2 bikes at my disposal – Ekta’s Royal Enfield & my Bajaj Avenger – Ekta was in Baroda for the weekend & had left her bike at my place. Gaurav & I took the bikes out for a ride which was totally awesome! We rode past Haji Ali & Worli Seaface braving the rains; when we started there wasn’t an iota of rain, but when we reached Peddar Road it started drizzling; Gaurav & I decided to continue as the drizzle wasn’t fazing us. On the way back from Haji Ali, though, there was a decent downpour which we managed & reached home safe. Post some general chilling, shower, etc. we played some more Sleeping Dogs on the Xbox360, exploring the open world finishing mini missions, etc. Come 9:30am we needed to take Astro to the vet for a general check up & then meet Ritika, Mihir & Yooti for lunch. We were done at the vet by about 11:00am & proceeded for lunch after dropping Ash home :-). So lunch was going to happen at Soul Fry Casa, a restaurant serving Goan food at Fountain / Kala Ghoda. Ritika, though, was not informed about the same, as whenever we have decided to go to this restaurant or discussed going there, something or the other has gone wrong. This time we decided to keep the POA a suprise. Ritzzzz met Mihir at Churchgate station on the pretext of going to some place around that area and once Mihir got her around the restaurant he whisked her in. She was pleaseantly surprised, if I may say so myself.

Love the Ambiance at Casa Soul Fry

Beer!!!

Pickle!!!

Moving onto the restaurant which has a brilliant old world charm with memoriabilia across the walls; also the furniture is from an era which you just dont see nowadays. The plates & glasses you get are of copper, menu has a good balance of Veg, Non Veg & Sea Food. We decided to start off with a few drinks – I was having beer, Mihir had ordered a brilliant sugarcane based cocktail, Ritika was having a watermelon Martini, Yooti ordered a Vodka based cocktail the name of which i cannot remember & Rachita who doesn’t drink alco was having a mocktail. Ritika & Mihir had already ordered some Prawns & Rawas, Rachita added to the same by ordering some chicken moelho. Please note here, Mihir & I haven’t had prawns in about 20 years as I have an allergy to the same. Though once the food was on the table, we decided to try the prawns which were exceptional and also eat the Rawas which was divine. Lunch ordered was some chicken in red gravy & because we ate shell fish everyone got super excited that there was no allergic reaction and ordered a crab sukha with some nans. The food was simply awesome! We went through everything & loved every moment of it. Special mention to the Naans which are the best I have ever had. If you are in the fountain area, then you must try Soul Fry Casa it is CUMPOLSORY!!!

Awesome Spread!!!

Then headed home, slept for a bit, while Ritika & Rachita went shopping. Evening dinner was Falafal which Rachita had made. The brilliance of the same cannot be explained. After dinner, watched some UFC on Sony Six, then moved to Supernatural and then passed out.

Sunday Bike Ride!!!

Yummy!!!!

Sunday morning started off with an early morning bike ride on Ekta’s Royal Enfield aka Goo, which was followed by another bike ride on my Bajaj Avenger, aka Avenjer. The weather was perfect, cloudy skies accompanied by some sensational winds…. Marine Drive, Nariman Point, Haji Ali & Worli Seaface were passed on both bikes one after the other…. rode for a good hour & half :-). Once home, finished Astro’s bath, then played Sleeping Dogs again for a bit, Also helped Mihir pack as he was heading for a week’s vacation. Lunch in true gujju style was sev tameta nu shak (fried gram dough noodles in tomato gravy); then it was nap time. Woke in the afternoon, watched some Supernatural again, had a few beers. For dinner, Rachita decided to make some super duper awesome boiled egg sandwiches with tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, onions, her blend of secret herbs & eggs marinated in mayo & mustard. Matlab mouth watering awesomeness it was! Again watched some more episodes of Supernatural and then passed out. All in all, a brilliant food & bike weekend 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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Goa Getaway Part 3

We Love Her…

This post is a continuation of the first 2 as the header suggests. Intitially, I was not going to be adding this one & the Goa Getaway Part 2 was going to be the last basis our trip; however, basis the last 3 days spent in Goa this post just had to happen.

Awesomeness!!!

Best Place to Eat in Goa!!!

Rs 5/- Fenny

So post the 4th day in Goa where we decide to extend our vacation super excitment time had happened! Immediately, we went and bought booze food, etc. etc. Also jumped into the pool & vegged there for a good few hours post which, basis a recommendation from our Villa manager, we decide to go to Florentine, a local joint, which according Henry serves the best Chicken Cafreal in Goa! Also, by now, we had a new bike added to our list of Activa & Avenger which was the Yamaha Frazer. So come dinner time, I decided to try my hand at riding the Yamaha. The same had a very differnt feel compared to the Avenger which I am so used to, also the gear system which is totally different – 1 down the rest up. Felt kinda like Valentino Rossi on the same, though was riding at a snail speed trying to get used to the system. Post reaching Florentine, realized this was a classic local joint with cheap food & alcohol, considering their cheapest drink on the menu was at Rs 5/- for the local fenny. Ordered loads of food – Chicken Cafreal, Vindaloo, Egg Curry & Loads of Papads – devoured all of the same, had a few drinks & for about 8 people and loads of food paid only Rs.1400/- which is simply spectacular. Everyone visiting Goa has to try this place – it’s got the best Goan food ever!!!

Next morning, Ekta, Aashay & me who were up early decided to go for a bike ride 🙂 Ekta was riding the Yamaha, I was on the Avenger & Aashay was riding the Activa. We decided to head towards Aguada Jail road and take a detour towards the Helipad, further to that road there is a dead end which has a small lane which allows you to ride your bike towards the edge of a cliff which overlooks the sea and is simply brilliant!!! (Check the Gallery Below for some awesome Pics of the Bike Ride)

Our Awesome Rides!!!

The view from the edge compares to nothing you have ever seen… also the feeling of peace, tranquility & all that jazz is absolutely & totally sensational. Rest of the day was spent sleeping. In the evening we decided to go to a pub on the road to Taj Vivanta called Charcoal & Cheese – had loads of our Goa drink which was invented there (Goa Drink is Rum, Thumbs Up, Loads of Ice & Chat Masala…. totally Ulti Bakka). Post that, we decided to head to the Park hotel which had a ladies night where drinks for ladies were free! Went there, chilled for a bit & decided to come back the next day as the ambiance was super and also we reached at 9:30 pm and the place shuts at 10:00pm for music; some new crap policy by Goa police to shut blaring music by 10:00pm everynight, preposterous I tell you…

The Park Goa!

Charcoal & Cheese!

Next day, which was our last day in Goa, finally, was spent lying in the pool to start the day, heading for a bike ride; further to the same mandatory nap happend after which Rachita, Aashay & I decided to head out and finish some shopping. Enroute we realized suddenly Goa had become extremely packed with tourists and was quite a buzz, post quickly picking up some hairbands & crocs we decided to grab a bite at Britto’s… by then Ekta had also joined us. We entered Britto’s & in the same breathe exited after seeing the crowd which comprised of grannies & little kids (horrifying i tell you absolutely horrifying). Though by now we were hungry, so went to this place called “La Pub” which is on the way to Britto’s, ordered our Goa drink fix, also ordered some superb Sausages Wraped in Bacon &  Non Veg Platter which was brilliant. Post this, it was early evening so we decided to head to the Park for some general chilling. Reached there, saw the brilliant view on the beach, the breeze was spectacular, add to that some fun music & crazy ass drinks :-). Most of the evening was spent dancing with Aashay, Ekta & Vishal. Rachita was also there though she was sitting and enjoying her sheesha. Post a crazy evening & night, went back to the villa & passed out. Next day woke up early and then proceeded to drive back to Bombay. Left at 6am from Goa and was home by 6pm in Bombay… Also a special mention to Moti (our adopted dog in Goa) who was totally suffering from ADHD, though was very lovable and super cute. She spent a good deal of about a week living in the villa with us and following us evreywhere including inside the Park Hotel. Shout to Moti to end this article “we miss you :-)”

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Expendables 2 Review

The Expendables is one of our most favourite movies. It stars all the great actors from the 80’s and has some serious action in it. We have been following The Expendables 2 ever since it  was announced 2 years back – to see all these great stars back in action supported by cameo’s from veterans from the 80’s is a high few other movies can match. Last Saturday, we watched the Expendables 2. Suffice to say I had a smile on my face throughout the movie and bothered the hell out of my neighbouring seats by clapping and passing cheesy comments throughout. Please to note, while the movie is fresh in my mind, my brother and I have decided to quit are jobs and create a crack team of marines in the near future.

Enough about the experience.. on to the review – The Expendables 2 unites some of the biggest and baddest actors of Hollywood, who come together to form a crack team, whose job is to shoot people and while they are not doing that, they generally chill, drink and pass their time. In a pre-credit sequence, Stallone, Statham, Lundgren, Schwarzenegger and their fellow mercenaries rescue a kidnapped Chinese billionaire; while doing this I do believe they cut Nepal’s population by half. Let me quickly summarize the plot, hopefully without spoilers. In the rest of the movie, they’re blackmailed by top government agent Bruce Willis to drop into a dangerous area of the Balkans and take on a ruthless branch of the Russian mafia creating havoc in the area. The plot thickens when the Russians are about to sell off a recently discovered stash of Soviet plutonium to the highest bidder. Surprisingly, they are led by the Blood Sport legend, Jean-Claude Van Damme. What follows is a plod through familiar action-movie locations (an abandoned mine, an abandoned village, an abandoned army base).

The film moves at a rather fast pace, it almost looks forced. I don’t blame the director, a cinema screen is the one place that can hold all of these oversized personalities and physical specimens. But he should have given a little more time for the plot to develop. That being said, the action sequences more than compensate for the plot. What I really enjoyed is the comedy in the movie – it is unintentional and makes for some exceptionally funny moments; of course, the current gen will probably not get half of the jokes in the movie, but who cares. Bruce Willis driving a smart car, Stallone’s Barry Bonds sized forearms and head, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hair, Van Damme kicking a knife into someone’s chest, Stallone running and how (I haven’t seen him run that hard since he raced Apollo Creed), I don’t think kids today will be able to connect all these dots. The cameos are where the movie shines – Van Dame, Chuck Norris…about Djokovic (the tennis star) watch the movie and find out. The scene where Arnie, Willis and Sly share the frame is crazy, left me clapping for a good few minutes.

So overall experience while watching the movie? This is a tough one, some will absolutely love this movie, others will hate it. If you play FPS video games, even 3rd person shooters, you will very easily be able to relate to the movie – it is non-stop 102 minutes of absolute mayhem! I thought it was very similar to Gears Of War on the 360 minus all the futuristic stuff and action. In my opinion and Stallone put it best, “We’re the ancient Avengers,” he says of his co-stars in The Expendables 2.

Captain America, Thor and Iron Man rule now. But in the 1980s, Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis and Jean-Claude Van Damme were box-office superheroes. This movie just reiterates the same – they still rule. Watch this one for some crazy, over-the-top action and you will not be disappointed.

Here are some awesome clips from the movie

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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From The Expendables to The Expendables 2

My all time favourite drunk movies to watch are Expendables & 300 – the crazy action, brilliant star cast & performances, add to that the mad adrenaline, it just does not get better! With Expendables 2 releasing this weekend, this post is a tribute to the greatness that was Expendables. The movie released in 2010, announced itself with a bang considering the star cast which included Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Terry Crew, Randy Couture, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li & Dolph Lundgren. Never before in recent memory had a star cast like this been assembled. Add to that the greatness of the movie, scenes which remain in your memory forever!!!

The scene where Sly, Bruce & Arnie come together in the church, Mickey Rourke tattooing Sylvester Stallone, the opening sequence wherein the hostages are rescued in style by the team. Eric Roberts, Steve Austin & the Noguira brothers playing the bad guys to the tee. The scene where Stallone & Statham fly the plane over the dock & burn it to crisp are etched in memory. Also the cars & bikes used in the movie are pretty damn spectacular – Jason Statham rides a Ducati Desmosedici, Stallone drives a 1955 Ford F-100 & Mickey Rourke rides a custom chopper courtesy Bourget Bikes. Also for the movie promotion, Stallone was quoted at Bike Week in New Orleans saying “I personally chose all of the bikes “; Stallone spent time talking with Brigitte Bourget and her builders at G.Smith Motorsports-Bourget Bike Works. The lot showcasing dozens of custom bikes priced upward to $90,000 was a featured attraction during the first Bike Week New Orleans, May 6 to 10. Stallone left with a deal to use several Bourget bikes in the movie.

Memory refresher time! The plot of the first Expendables movie revolves around an “expendable” team, hired to do jobs that no one else can or will, who are sent to infiltrate a South American country to overthrow the ruthless dictator and liberate the country…the dictator being Eric Roberts. Also the plot has some interesting character interactions and storylines stitched in like Jet Li & Dolph Lundgrens issues, Jason Stathom & his story with his love interest, etc. making this movie a full on entertainer.

For the sequel, more or less the whole team returns with additions – some greatness i.e. Chuck Norrris & Jean Claude Van Damme. Rumor has it that Steven Segal was also going to be a part of this flick though his issues with Van Damme were the reason for his non participation. Also the cast includes Liam Hemsworth, Chris Hemsworth aka Thor’s younger brother. Arnie & Bruce also have a substantial piece to play in the movie and are not just there for cameos like part 1. A quick preview to the plot for the sequel is as below. The Expendables are reunited when Mr. Church enlists them to take on a seemingly simple job. When things go wrong, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them. Catch our review of the movie early next week and also take a minute to view the video of some kick ass action from the movie Expendables 2.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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Goa Getaway Part 2

Pure Awesomeness!!!

Our Private Pool!!!

Today’s post is also a continuation of the Goa Getaway post. For all of you who read part one about the roadtrip this one is the conclusive one which is all about our awesome experience in Goa… So post the amazing car journey we reached Goa Saturday afternoon by about 1pm, went directly to the Villa we had rented – the anticipation & the excitement of how the place would be was unnerving. Though post reaching Calangute & figuring directions to Villa Alina we were finally there! The property looked spectacular with a super old world charm. Immediately, made a run to check our personal infinity pool – the same was totally sensational & very inviting; post figuring rooms and getting the luggage out, we decided to dive into the pool and laze there for a few hours. Meanwhile, Aashay & Rachita had gone out to pick up some alcohol. Once the booze was in, things got into a better perspective and life was all sorted 🙂

Love the old school charm!!!

So for all of you coming to Goa, do check out luxury villas which people rent out. They are cheaper and better than your regular hotels; also, if like us, you prefer an old school getaway place to live then this is the place you need to rent. Ok so the way this works is, you rent the Villa, you have hired help who manage the housekeeping, breakfast & are on call if you need something or the other. There is also a fully furnished kitchen which can be used to make meals, breakfast for us was included in the package. Also basic amenities like towels, etc. are provided by the Villa.

Alcohol & More!!!

Day 1 more or less went into exploring the vastness of Villa Alina & lazing in the pool with oodles of beer & other alco which included Smirnoff vodka, a bottle of JD, some Carona’s, etc…  The feeling of owning  your own Villa with a private pool kind of makes you feel like someone from the “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” absolutely unmatched that feeling is.  Day 2 Ekta & Aashay decided to get bikes on rent which is the norm in Goa, so an Avenger & a FZ was rented. We also tried the breakfast offered at the Villa which was your basic: Fruits, Cereals, Juices & Egg Preps. Rest of the day went in the pool wherein random pitchers of JD, Rum, wine, etc were being made & served. Also dinner was a barbecue party where Rachita had cooked some amazing seekh kebabs, chicken, potatoes, paneer & mushrooms.  Too much fun was becoming 🙂

Heaven!!!

Day 3 started off with Rachita, Keisha & me going for breakfast at the iconic Infantaria Cafe – some bacon, goan sausages, mushrooms on toast, croissants, etc. were had with a pint of Millers beer which was on an introductory scheme.  Post that Ekta, Rachita & me decided to go on a roadtrip to explore south Goa, drove through some awesome scenic views of Goa, went past Ponda towards Colva beach road and then towards Colva beach which clearly wasn’t very happening, it kind of reminded me of Juhu beach in Bombay with no real excitement and just the crowd was a major put off. Came back, crashed for a bit and then was back in the pool with the gang.  For dinner went to the Park and had some crazy spicy Vindaloo & Xacutti which was brain blasting!!!

Beautiful Drive to South Goa

POA General Chilling!!!

Day 4 started off with Rachita & me swimming in the pool where we decided on extending our vacation for another 3 days, actually day 4 was going to be our last day, so spoke to the Villa owners, got a good discount and also extended our trip by another 3 days. Most of the day then was spent sleeping & lazing in the pool like a buffalo. For dinner, Rachita had made some awesome coconut chicken curry with rice and kheema with bread accompanied with beers! So the POA for the next 3 days is to rest, drink, eat & generally chill!!!! Mota mote (Long & Short of it) Goa is an absolute must visit at least once a year and if, like us, you have the option of extending your vacation whether in Goa or anywhere you have to do that, the feeling is fabulous, sensational and all that jazz for sure.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Goa Getaway Part 1

Post some major planning, discussions & cancellations this weekend and some of next week was agreed upon for our annual Goa trip. Important thing to note here that every year since about 3 to 4 years we have been going to Goa & it is hands down our most favourite destination in India!!!

Packed & Ready

So instead of taking the train or flying down, which was working out a bit expensive, we decided to take the road and make the same into a road trip; weeks in advance preparations – in terms of shopping for clothes, etc. were done. Also Rachita had made her list of things to do/carry so she wouldn’t forget stuff….point to note, my wife loves absolutely loves writing down lists in her little books :). Initially we had decided to go to Pune on Friday, stay the night & then head to Goa. Though last minute, the plan got canned for the better and we decided to leave early Saturday morning & do an end to end trip like the bollywood movie “Bombay to Goa”!

Brilliant View during Road Trip

Woke up at about 1 a.m. on Saturday, showered & left with Rachita, Ekta & Vishal. The car of choice was Skoda which going forward in this write up will be called Motilal. Enough & more food in true gujju style was packed & so we started off at about 3 a.m. from below my house. On the way, Ekta needed a parcel from our Vashi office so had a stop there for 2 minutes and then proceeded, hit the expressway from home in about 45 minutes. Also full-on bollywood hindi music was being blasted, post the first toll nakka we decided to stop & use the washrooms, Rachita & Ekta also decided to shop. Ekta bought out a wafers stand & Ra bought some supari & mukhwas. Then the redbulls were brought out to keep us awake & Rachita decided to make crackers & cheese as Ekta was hungry… Yup we carried things & supplies to make crackers & cheese in a moving vehicle people! Totally insane I tell you we are…

Scorpio aka Bunty

Another interesting thing which happened on the way was the bhaiyya buses & trucks which we started naming basis size and stuff they carried – there were “Fat Bhaiyas, Thin Bhaiyas, Midget Bhaiyas & Trucks which Carried Gas Cylinders were Gas Walla Bhaiyas”. Motlilal (the car) was also having mood swings & stopped playing our music cd’s from time to time…..he needed severe coaxing to play music, though after a point he was being stubborn so we removed my Laptop & started playing music from there. Pune outskirts  we reached in about 2 hours where we met Aashay, Viral & Disha who were also going to be part of our getaway and road trip. They were driving a Scorpio aka Bunty.

Amboli Ghat

Killer Fog Attack

Both the cars now headed towards Satara & from there towards Kohlapur, stopped at a McDonalds in Kohlapur to freshen up. Ekta & me decided to eat ice cream. Also Ekta insisted her photo be taken with Ronald Mcdonald so we did that J. Post this, headed past Nipani towards Amboli Ghat. Top of Amboli Ghat there is a beautiful waterfall and these quaint stalls which sell snacks & refreshments. Stopped there for a bit to grab some munchies. Also this is where we were hit by some insane fog though nothing which would be a dealbreaker. At the Waterfalls, we ate Kanda Bhajiya, Maggi, Omelette & Vada Pav, post that proceeded to Savantwadi & then moved to Goa.  Also one more thing to add in the part 1 of this write up about our Goa GetAway  is that I couldn’t drive as the day before while I was carrying my laptop it slipped and in my effort to stop it from falling I put my leg in the middle and the laptop smashed my toe next to my little toe… L. Good part the toe was a super purple colour which my wife absolutely loves, though the pain was excruciating.  In the next part of this write up I’ll cover the villa we stayed in, the alcohol we drank and just the overall experience of Goa which we enjoyed so make sure you comeback to read the same.

Amboli Waterfalls

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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