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The Winter Bike Rides & More

The weather in Bombay at most times is at an average of 28 to 32 degrees celcius, Come December into January & February is the only time the weather cools down a bit going to an average of about 24 to as low as 18 to 16 degrees Celsius. All times are good for a bike ride but these 3 months are the best 🙂

Early Winter View of the Moon

Early Winter View of the Moon

This is my first winter (if you can call Bombay climate & temperature winter) with my Bike, so the last few days of November where the temperature dipped have been absolutely brilliant for Bike rides. More often than not, I leave for a bike ride early in the morning between 5:30 am & 6:00 am – yup! a lot of you may think this is crazy but trust me, this is the best time to ride on the streets of Bombay which go crazy with traffic post 8:00 am. The weather around daybreak is absolutely amazing, add to that the roads have absolutely no traffic & its just you & your bike cruising, the wind has a brilliant chill & you can hear some awesome birds & sounds other than cars honking away & people abusing. Also, it’s not yet sunny considering Sunrise is at its peak post 6:45 am.

Daybreak to Happen soon!

Daybreak to Happen soon!

Interesting View to Start the Day!

Interesting View to Start the Day!

Awesomeness!!!

Awesomeness!!!

Most of the time, the route I take is from my house towards Nariman Point past Marine Drive. This, according to me, is one of the most scenic & open view places left in Bombay; cruising past Chowpatty & the different Gymkhana’s (Club Houses) towards Pizza by the Bay is absolutely brilliant. Nariman Point itself offers a great view with people jogging, walking, exercising right next to the sea. Also from NP you can see the complete Queen’s Necklace which is what the stretch from Nariman Point to end of Chowpatty looks like when seen from a vantage point :-). Heading back from Nariman Point, you are riding next to the sea & the breeze literally moves the bike…. this is a super feeling! From there, I take the route towards Walkeshwar & past Hanging gardens down Malabar Hill, this is by far & I kid you not, the best part of my bike ride in the morning. The descent from Hanging Gardens & Malabar Hill towards Peddar Road is like you get transported into another zone, there is a clear drop in temperature by about 5 degrees, lush greenery around & the peace & quiet. You have to ride this stretch, it is an absolute must for all whether you are on a bike, car or taking walk do visit this area in the morning it is an experience you will love…

The Queen's Necklace

The Queen’s Necklace

The Best Place for a Bike Ride...

The Best Place for a Bike Ride…

Worli Seaface

Worli Seaface

From the Malabar Hill descent I move past Peddar Road, stop below my in-laws building (in my mind at that point I am stalking them 😉 ). Moving on from how my devious mind works, to the bike ride past Mahalakshmi temple towards Haji Ali & Worli Seaface, the Haji Ali Stretch past the racecource towards Worli is again highly recommended, not for any other reason except the wind which literally smacks you in the face & the trafficless 5 lane road. Worli seaface, again like Marine Drive, is an experiance as you ride next to to the sea. Also, the view overlooks the Sea Link Bridge which is totally spectacular. This is where my ride ends & I head home passing the Atria Mall where the BMW & Ducati bikes’ showroom forces me to stop & stare aimlessly at some stupendous bikes. From there, riding past the race cource always is special considering I learnt how to ride at this place i.e. in the parking lot of the race course which is massive & totally empty in the early hours of the morning. For people who want to learn how to ride a bike in Bombay, I strongly suggest you come here to learn & practice.

The Sea Link

The Sea Link

All in all, I ride for about an hour in the morning which is also kind of therapeutic. Over a period of time, I have realized I have 3 really good shrinks 1) My wife 2) My bike 3) Alcohol  ha ha ha ha ha seriously twisted I am :-). Having said that & before I end this article, let me just reiterate to all reading this blog & are planning to visit Bombay or are living in Bombay, you have to take your ride out past the mentioned route whether the same be a car, bike, shoes or flip flops in the early winter morning, Trust me, you wont be disappointed with the awesomeness you experience!!!

That be my Awesome Bike!!!

That be my Awesome Bike!!!

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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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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