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The Weekend , Bike Ride & Food Update

Sausage & Meat Yummmyness!!!

Goo!

This weekend was pretty crazy, with a lot of things happening beyond the normal R & C (resting & chilling). Beyond thee pictures attached, do also check out the slide show below for all the brilliant & yummy pictures. Started off the same early Friday afternoon, wherein post work from our fort office, Vishal & I decided to head to Mocambo’s which is a restaurant opposite our office and have a few pints. Reached there, zeroed in on Miller, which we had drunk in Goa, though now the same was in Bombay so happiness happened! We had a few pints; from there, we decided to head to Kobe’s for lunch. Mihir & Rachita also joined us for lunch. Sizzlers were had which were pretty awesome – Sausage Sizzler, Hamburger Steak Sizzler & Nasi goreng which is a rice based Sizzler were devoured. Post this, we finished some work and then were going to crash at our relevant homes. Please note, Ekta wasn’t there as she was in Sanpada and post that was heading to Baroda. In the evening, I got a call from Ekta saying she is not going to Baroda and that she will be going the next day on her bike… Full on drinking session happened post that with Rum & beer, post which we passed out. Ekta got up the next day by 4:00 a.m. and left for Baroda.

Basilico

Miller!!!

Saturday morning started off with deciding a brunch date with the Mrs. We decided to go to Colaba & then figure a place to go and eat. Post loitering across Colaba Causeway we decided to go to Basilico. Reached Basilico by 11:30 a.m., the place was pretty empty. Rachita ordered a Ginger Cooler & I had some Orange Pekoe Tea (Yup! I had tea, as Basilico doesn’t serve Alcoholic Beverages); also by then we had called Anushka & asked her to join us. While waiting for her, we ordered a Cajun Chicken Salad which was superb! Once Anushka aka Anus arrived, we bitched about a lot of general things and then ordered some Chicken & Steak for our mains. Also ordered some insanely yummy Pizza & finally ended the leisurely brunch with a New York Syle Cheese Cake. For those who don’t know the difference between Philedelphia & New York Cheesecake, Philly is Baked while NY is steamed :-). The afternoon was spent sleeping, woke up and then went for an awesome bike ride past Marine Drive & Nariman Point, got home & figured Rachita had made some awesome burritos for dinner. The dinner spread was awesome – there was sour cream, guacamole, salsa, refried beans & tortilla’s for dinner. Also to top all of that, Rachita made some super duper cheesecake (eggless, that too!). Post the crazily awesome dinner, we watched a few episode of Game of Thrones Season 2 & passed out.

Worlds Best Burrito!!!

Baked Cheese Cake!!!

Awesomeness!!!

Sunday morning started off with Astro’s walk, then bath as always. Then there was a session of personal grooming in the bathroom, accompanied by some dhinchak regional music. Played a session of Sleeping Dogs on the Xbox360 with Mihir before heading to the inlaws for brunch. Please to note, Rachita had baked cheesecake for the brunch as well :-). There were some awesome dosas made for brunch which were eaten; again, overate so went home and passed out. Woke up, went for bike ride, which was superb considering Sunday evenings Marine Drive & Nariman Point is always packed with people so sights & sounds were ever so intresting. Came home, played NBA2k12 & UFC Undisputed on the Xbox360 while listening to some Blues & Jazz by Muddy Waters, BB King & Eric Clapton. Dinner was some chinese ordered from China Gate at Atria Mall. On the ordered list was some Hunan Wanton Soup, Crispy Fried Potatoes, Burnt Garlic Pot Rice, Shezwan Mein foon (Rice noodles), Sui Mai & Stir Fried Chinese Greens. Post dinner, watched some UFC on Sony Six & finally ended the day with a few episodes of Game of Thrones season 2. Woke up Monday morning, realized the weather was good and went for a bike ride & some photagraphy which is featured in the slide show below. All in all, a great weekend which has set a precedence for the others to come 😉

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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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HDR for Beginners

High Dynamic Range Photography – this has been the debate basis the ever growing photographer community for the past few years now. HDR, as it is popularly known, is definitely gaining momentum; pictures taken using this method are regularly displayed in museums (Trey Ratcliff’s famous fireworks picture at the Smithsonian) and considered works of art. Then there are the DSLR snobs, people who believe that manual mode is the only way to go; if you use a photo editing software you are a scar on their perfect portrait, they noise police pictures and so on. My take on this is fairly straightforward I love HDR, I also use a lot of editing tools and 99% of the time I don’t shoot in manual mode. I am what you may term as the rogue community; please note this community is much larger than the DSLR snob community. I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience with HDR on this post; also have added a few tips in there so you can get started with HDR if you are already not an addict.

I happened to stumble on HDR by chance, a couple of years back when I bought my first camera. I was looking at tutorial videos online and just happened to catch a video showcasing HDR images, I was hooked from that point on. Unfortunately, I used a bridge camera then and hence could not really work on the technique. About a year ago, I bought my first DSLR – and that’s Tip 1 also, when buying a new camera, get one with a bracketing option it’s a must for HDR. Moving on, it’s been a year now and I do believe I have the basics down and am moving in the right direction basis the technique. Below are a few standard questions and answers which will get you started on this awesome technique:

1) What is HDR photography?

Putting it simply, HDR is a photography technique where images can represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, from direct sunlight to faint starlight. In normal English, it shows you what the eye see but with enhanced colours and lights.

2) Do I need a special camera for shooting HDR?

Not really, any camera will do, but it helps if your camera has a bracketing option.

3) What is Bracketing?

Bracketing is basically when you take pictures at multiple exposures. Most entry level cameras allow you to take 3 such pictures – normal, over and under exposed.

4) Do I need a special software for this?

Unfortunately yes, there are tons of them available in the market; I would recommend Photoshop and Photomatix for the same.

5) How do I get started with HDR?

The following is a simple guide to start using HDR in your regular photography. I have tried to keep it simple and easy to understand, but if you do have questions, please add them to the comments below. Start with setting your camera to multiple shots, then go to the bracketing option it will be listed as exposure bracketing in most cameras. Set the value to 2. This will take 3 shots at different exposures once you press the shutter down. If you are like me and your hand is not very steady, use a tripod. Another tip here: shoot in Raw mode, the flexibility raw images give you while editing is amazing. So now that you have your first images, what do you do next? Download the images on your PC and import them into Photoshop or Photomatix, you will have to use the bridge option in Photoshop and then select merge to HDR; in Photomatix, load Bracketed pictures will do the same for you. Now this will open Pandora ’s Box for you, I will briefly touch on Photomatix options here to give you an idea of what each does and how it will shape your pictures; in Photoshop the same happens but for some reason it is not subtle and images tend to look un-natural. This holds true for CS5… I have not yet used CS6. Note: this part of the tutorial only covers the first few options, I will be covering others in a more detailed post. The first options you will see once Photomatix merge options, you can align pictures here, remove ghosts and reduce noise. Once done the following options will show up:

Strength

Controls the strength of the contrast enhancements; a value of 100 gives the maximum increase in both local and global contrast enhancements.  I prefer this to be at around 80 as 100 makes certain colours bleed.

Color Saturation

Controls black and white to colour settings; the greater the saturation, the more intense the colour. A value of 0 produces a gray scale image and 100 pushes colour all the way up.

Luminosity

This controls how light or dark your highlights are in the image. Moving the slider to the right boosts shadow details and brightens the image. Moving it to the left has the opposite effect, and gives a more “natural” look to the resulting image.

Detail and Contrast

This is self explanatory; this will increase detailing and contrast giving your picture a smooth or a hard feel.

Lighting Adjustment

When you’re just starting, I would suggest you click the check box in this option and use the preset tools – natural for a natural look, surreal for a look which is more HDR like with Halos and medium for a combination of both.

Once you are done playing with these settings and happy with the image you have, select process and you will have your first HDR image. I hope to put up a more detailed article on HDR in the future, but the post above will get you started in a short period of time. I have put some HDR images on this post. These were shot during our recent Monsoon Roadtrip. One point of advice: first try HDR in the day time, night has its sets of challenges and you will need a lot more equipment to get it right. Like with everything, the more you practise HDR, the better you get at it. Do share your pictures with us via comments or on twitter. Enjoy shooting! Incase you’re wondering which camera I use?  Nikon D5100.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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Food & More Food

Gujrati Thali Rocks!!!

So by now, most of you who have been reading our blog know that we are obsessed with Bikes, Movies, Gaming & Good Food!!! This post is more or less a tribute to the good food part and is basis the awesomeness which has been eaten in the past 2 weeks 🙂

David & Goliath Papad Style 🙂

CupCakes

So a couple of weeks ago, Ekta & me from work went to Bhagat Tarachand  where we ate some awesome Gujju style Thali. As you can see in the picture above, it was pretty damn crazy! We also ordered some masala papad and khichiya’s :-). The overall experiance was decently phenomenal!!! Another day, over the weekend we decided to go to Soul Fry Casa and ate some awesome prawns, crab, chicken & naans; this meal was the breakthrough variety as Mihir & I have been allergic to Shellfish & some other seafood, but after eating the meal here nothing happened in terms of allergies.

One fine day at home & this is post Rachita & Ritika’s shopping escapades at Crawford Market, my wife decided to make cupcakes and ice them using fondant which was like super cool! Not only did she make some awesome cupcakes but covered them with all these cool & cute designs using fondant the same was absolutely and totally exceptional :-). Another day, we decided to eat Ceaser Salad and Mushrooms on Toast; the same was accompanied by Carrot Soup with Cheese Balls! The Mushrooms on toast were made like the ones you get in Goa, sauted in butter and garlic which is totally super duper yummy. Going with the fillings on toast bit, we also made some awesome american corn in white sauce with barbecued onions and chilli sauce…

Mushrooms on Toast!!!

Crazy Tiffin!!!

Giant Puri’s

Now the part in office, where Mother in Law sent across a tiffin for lunch with a meal fit for kings. Just to give you a perspective, there was Roti, Panner veggie, Black Daal, Sliced Onion & Chilli, Papad (3 kinds, no less!) pickle! Yup! Unbelivable but true, after eating so much you just cant work! One fine day from work we (Rachita & me) went to the mall where we ate some Chole Bhatura which is basically chick peas made in a gravy and add to that 2 giant puri’s (deep fried) as you can see in the picture below. Further to the same, we revisited Soul Fry Casa with Ekta got drunk on Boondi (Self invented, our Rum Based Cocktail) & Watermelon Martini. Watched a few movies like Avengers which is hands down the bestest movie ever! Also saw The Cabin in the Woods which is one crazy-ass twisted movie. In Hindi movies, saw Jism 2 which is so seriously bad it ain’t funny; also saw Ek Tha Tiger wherein Salman Khan rocked, though the movie was only decent. Watched the entire season 4 of Fringe & started Game of Thrones which is totally unbeleivable!!! Finally, played Sleeping Dogs on the Xbox360 & did some general chilling with Vishal, Beers & Rum!!! Interesting 2 weeks if i say so myself 😉

Yummmmmmmyyyyy!!!

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Avengers Crew Part 2

Here is part 2 of the Avengers Crew, please note these are my least favorite heroes in the crew, I do believe it is related to them not having any super powers –

The Hero we all know as Captain America –

Really not interested in sharing details here, I would suggest you watch the movie(they have done a good job ), anyways here goes – Steve Rogers was born July 4, 1920, to poor Irish immigrant parents, Sarah and Joseph Rogers, and grew up a frail youth during the Great Depression in America. Rogers’ father died when he was a child and his mother died from pneumonia later, when he was in his late teens. Horrified by newsreel footage of Nazis ransacking Europe and atrocities in Asia that the Empire of Japan committed in China and Korea, Rogers tried to enlist in the Army, that rejected him as 4-F because of his frailty and sickness. Overhearing the boy’s earnest plea to fight for his country, General Chester Phillips, of the US Army, offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a top-secret performance-enhancing experiment called Operation Rebirth. This give him extraordinary physical abilities, of course, what people missed was that the good Captain went on to receive extensive training before he was given his first assignment (Three months): to stop the Nazi agent called the Red Skull. To help him become a symbolic counterpart to the Red Skull, Rogers was given the red, white, and blue costume of Captain America

Decades later, his wartime comrade, the Sub-Mariner, stumbled across his still-frozen form, which was being worshiped by a far-flung Inuit tribe. Enraged, the Sub-Mariner threw the ice block into the ocean. While opposing Namor, the newly formed Avengers happened upon Rogers’ thawing body and soon revived the legendary hero. Do note I have cut pasted most of Captain’s data, I just did not have the inclination to write it.

The not so “Black Widow” –

Rumour has it Natasha Romanoff (Romanova) was somehow related to the last ruling Czars of Russia, but was never proven. Nazis set the building Natasha was in on fire in Stalingrad(Nazis liked doing such things), and her mother threw her out the window to a Russian soldier before dying. The soldier’s name was Ivan Petrovitch, and he watched over Natasha for her entire life, to this day remaining by her side as her chauffeur.

As Natasha grew and matured, she proved to be an amazing athlete and scholar, while gaining distinction in the USSR as a ballerina. Eventually, she married Alexi Shostakov, a distinguished Soviet test pilot.

Soviet government intelligence (KGB), poached them both and trained them, Alexi would go on to become Captain America’s counterpart in Russia, he was not called Captain Russia but went by the name the Red guardian. Eventually Natasha was told that her husband died in an experimental rocket crash, and was drafted into the KGB. She became their best operative from being trained in the infamous Red Room Academy, becoming excellent at fighting and information gathering. During this time she had some training under the Winter Soldier. It was there she was first dubbed the “Black Widow.” After a few encounters of getting shot and brainwashing she joined the Avengers, she has always had a soft spot for the next character (Hawkeye)

The strictly Bow and Arrow type Hawkeye –

Clint Barton and his brother were orphaned at a young age they made ends meet by working in a circus; Clint was trained by the original Swordsman and by Trick Shot. Like most wannabe Super Heroes Clint saw Ironman in action and wanted to emulate him, he draped a fancy outfit and decided to fight evil in the world using his bow and arrow skills.

Due to his outfit Hawkeye found himself running from cops, during this time he came in contact with the Widow, she recruited him and also became romantically involved with him. Although Hawkeye became romantically involved, he was unhappy being a criminal. When he approached the Avengers and told them of his desire to reform, Iron Man sponsored his membership on the team. There’s not much beyond this about him to write, moving on…

Nick No D&%# Fury –

The eldest of three children, Nicholas Joseph Fury grew up in Depression-era New York City with his brother Jacob and Sister Dawn. Fury’s mother died while he was very young.  It wouldn’t be until Nick Fury became a solider himself overseas that he would learn of his father’s military service. Living in the tough streets of Hell’s Kitchen, Fury himself was no stranger to trouble, but more than often confined it to the boxing ring where he would bout, or in the Police Athletic League where he became one of the finest marksman.

Fury jumped from mission to mission, post the attack on Pearl Harbour he was elevated to command the “Howling Commandos,” a specially-trained band of soldiers who undertook some of the most dangerous missions of the war. As leader of the Howling Commandos, Fury struck blow after blow against the Nazis and their allies through missions that ranged from deep infiltration missions behind enemy lines to undercover work and even some home front action. It was during this time that he met Captain America, Reid Richards and confronted enemies like the Red Skull and Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker. This was also the period where Fury suffered to major injuries – both would impact him later in life: a grenade blast that began the slow deterioration of his sight in his left eye, and a landmine accident that led to Fury being inoculated with the Infinity Formula by Professor Berthold Sternberg in France.

The Infinity Formula substantially slowed his aging process, and Fury was thrust with a double edged sword: although his life was saved, the consequences of the Infinity Formula would haunt him throughout his life as he would see many friends age and die, as well as become the target of various villains seeking his secret. In the early 1960′s Fury was contacted by the Board of Directors of the newly organized international espionage organization S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division) and offered directorship by Tony Stark. (An alternate theory adds that the Deltite LMD manipulated events so that Fury would be chosen). The rest as they say is history, Nick went on to form the Avengers to defeat Loki and Hydra. We can go on about his secret wars and all but the same would not be relevant here…

So that’s my take on the Avengers, big thank you to Marvel Wiki for a ton of information – I hope this post will add to your movie watching experience and give you some details on why the Avengers are the way they are.

Do check out the Blue-Ray Clips below for extras that feature in the movie 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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The Avengers Crew

Today’s post is about the Avengers. The reason for posting Avengers? The DVD is out here in India and it is one of our most favourite, if not the favourite Super Hero movie ever! The post is way too long so am breaking it into 2 parts.

I have been a super hero’s fan all my life… as a child I used to love the colour green and in turn, the Hulk became my favourite character; my brother liked blue and he chose Batman. Over the years, we have pretty much owned, lost, bought most action figures, seen both real and animated movies, put up posters at home and done all the standard things that Super Hero fans do. This morning I was thinking what to put up on our blog and the Avengers hit me. Over the last few years, Marvel has done a great job introducing us to individual movies of the heroes but very little is known about their origins, at least the normal fans don’t know much; below you will find interesting reads about your favourite Avenger characters, apologies if I missed all the generations, but currently they are inconsequential.

Starting off with The “Incredible” Hulk –

Few of us know that Doctor Banner’s full name is Robert Bruce Banner. The doctor was present in the instrumentation bunker at the test site for the first underground test detonation of the Gamma Bomb. Observing that a civilian had breached security and entered the restricted test area, Banner told his colleague Igor Starsky to delay the countdown while he tried to get the civilian to safety. Starsky, secretly a Soviet agent, did nothing, confident that Banner would die in the explosion, bringing the project to a halt. Reaching the civilian, a teenager named Rick Jones, Banner threw him into a protective trench. Before Banner could get himself to safety, the Gamma Bomb detonated, and intense waves of radiation reached the surface. Banner was irradiated with highly charged radioactive particles. Due to an unknown genetic factor in his body, Banner was not killed by the radiation, which instead caused him to frequently transform into the vastly powerful, humanoid monster named “the Hulk”. There are various theories on how and why Banner changes into the Hulk, the most popular being, he gets “MAD”.  Hulk joining the Avengers was more accidental then planned; he became a pawn of Loki who tricked Hulk into battling his half-brother, Thor. This plot was foiled, leading to Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp joining forces to form the Avengers and defeat Loki.

The insanely flamboyant Iron Man is next –

For all the retards who have no idea, Tony Stark’s full name is Anthony Stark; he is the  son of industrialist and inventor, Howard Stark, is an undergraduate electrical engineer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with Double majors in Physics.  Contrary to popular belief, Starks did not become Iron Man after the Vietnam incident; he was injured in Vietnam and worked with Ho Yinsen to design and built an electrically powered suit of armour equipped with heavy offensive weaponry. The armour also contained a pacemaker-like device that enabled Stark’s heart to keep beating after the shrapnel entered it. He used this to escape; this is not how he became Iron Man – these experiences made him realize that the suit was too dangerous to be made available to the public. Eventually once he returned home, he was forced to use the suit to thwart a terrorist bombing attempt. Wishing to retain some degree of anonymity, Stark established the fiction that Iron Man was his paid bodyguard wearing a suit of armour that he had invented. Only his most trusted aides learned that Stark and Iron Man were one and the same.

There is only one God and his name is Thor –

Thor is the blood-son of Odin, All-Father of the Asgardians, and Jord, who was also known as Gaea, the elder goddess of the Earth. Odin sought to father a son whose power would derive from Earth as well as Asgard, and hence he sought to mate with Jord. Odin created a cave in Norway where Jord gave birth to Thor. Months after the infant Thor was weaned, Odin brought him to Asgard to be raised. Odin’s wife, the goddess Frigga, acted as Thor’s mother from that time onward. Thor became Asgard’s greatest warrior before he was twenty.

In addition to being the God of Thunder, Thor is also the Norse God of Strength; as such he is physically the strongest of the Norse gods and one of the most powerful beings in the Universe. His strength has been called unlimited. People don’t realise but he always restrains and holds back his vast strength against mortals, he has been capable of stalemating an enraged Hulk in strength (despite the fact that the Hulk was constantly increasing in strength every moment) for hours without tiring at all and while restraining himself as always, and knocking out the Hulk eventually. Loki was the reason Thor joined the Avengers – his manipulations forced several of earth’s mightiest heroes to band together to stop the Hulk, Thor was amongst them and became a founding member of the team of superhuman champions.

Here is the Home video announcement, for the lucky few who dont live in America the DVD and Blue Ray are already available 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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My First Road Trip part 2

The next part of our awesome road trip was about 30 Kms from Pune, a small village known as Saswad, which houses an awesome Fort known as Jadhavgadh. We started our journey early, had breakfast at the Machan and got out buy around 9:30 am. The drive back to Lonavala took about half an hour considering the crazy fog, we also got lost in one of the by lanes, anyways we hit the expressway soon enough and made it to the outskirts of Pune in about an hour and a half. Here it gets tricky passing Pune and onto Saswad took a good 2 hours, crazy traffic and bad road. At a time even google Maps failed and we had to ask a cop for directions (surprisingly he looked and behaved like Manoj Bajpai). After a fairly crazy ride up a fairly broad ghat (Mountain) we reached our destination.

The first thing you notice about the fort is the people, they are all dressed in traditional Maratha outfits. Our welcome was accompanied by a blow of trumpets and a crazy beating of drums by a frenzied security guard, we also got the very firangi “tilak on the forehead” treatment. We quickly finished all the formalities and headed towards our room, please to note had booked a suite which was a surprise for the lovely Mrs. I was surprised by the room – it was big and had a large balcony with a crazy view – do check the image below for the view. We settled in and ordered food, some traditional chicken in coconut gravy with bread, the food was finger licking good. I would strongly recommend that you try the local cuisine in the Hotel; it’s absolutely to die for. After a quick siesta we moved towards the pool, the Mrs quickly jumped in, me on the other hand thought the water was a little too cold for my liking and hence went on to check the Fort.

The Fort is not very large, if you have been to Rajasthan it may almost seem like a Haveli what stands out is how well it has been maintained and how the entire Hotel has been built around it. The lawns surrounding the Fort are massive and make for some great bird and flower photography. I ended up spending quite a lot of my time taking pictures. Late evening we decided to head back to the room – post more chilling time we went for dinner – the dining room is pretty standard looks like something out of a clubhouse, but the waiter suggested that we dine at the balcony. This turned out to be a great suggestion as it was only us and the experience of eating there was amazing. The starter we ordered was something called Jadhavgadh ke Sholay (Fires of Jadhavgadh – loosely translated) a tandoori paneer dish; we ordered it basis the interesting name – not bad it was, for main course we ordered mutton for a change, a dish called Mutton Tambya Cha Rassa – hands down the best mutton dish we have eaten, the mutton was softer than the paneer, we finished the meal with an awesome Kulfi (local hand churned ice-cream).

Day 2 was pretty much filled with photography, swimming, dinning had an absolute blast, before I forget the Breakfast – absolutely amazing and they had a decent spread also; to give you an idea, my breakfast included muffins, breads, juice, cereal, poha, parathas, grilled veggies, juice, eggs to order and milk shake – I could not move for a few hours after that but totally loved it. Moving on, day 3 is when we left for Mumbai, again got out by about 10:00 am the drive this time was surprisingly fast, the roads were empty and we reached the expressway in about 40 minutes. From there on it was a 2 hour drive to Mumbai – we stopped at a Khopoli, did not feel like eating so had ice-cream and then drove on. Took about an hour 15 to get to home once we hit Mumbai, the little Ashoooooo as usual welcomed us (he also makes an appearance on our blog 🙂 All in all, our first roadtrip was kick-ass we had a blast stayed amongst trees and in a Fort, drove across some of the best roads in the country, could not have asked for more during our mini vacation.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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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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