The ride that started off from relatively clean smelling areas of Mumbai, Khar, Andheri, etc.. It started stinking (fish, drying prawns, etc) till we reached Goregaon. And by the time we reached Marve, we thought we were already used to the bad stench. The pass-through from Marve to Madh was the worst of all. Me and Surya thought we were gonna throw up.
Even though as it might suggest, the ride itself was not bad. Literally enjoying the sights, smell and sounds of the local life. Most of the route was well paved (tar – luckily) and was an absolute joy to pedal along the hills.
The long weekend of 27 March 2013 – 24 March 2013 had to get some increments on the odo.
Me and JK left for Mahabaleshwar planning to see every stupid honeymoon spot as a biker couple ! Plan was to go along the Wai, Satara route to Mahabaleshwar enjoying the soothing Wai temple. We did eventually but it wasn’t as calm and serene as in the movies – thanks to the scorching sun.
Pachgani being our first stop to do “sight seeing”. The table top’s only attraction – more than the caves the steps.. – err.. – JK would know better.
En-route to Mahabaleshwar was the fun-fair pit-stop at Mapro Garden. Full of people, kids, crowd and everything that Manas could dream of.
Mahabaleshwar as it promised was good on the outskirts and worst inside. Evening’s ride to the famous points were just as expected. The exception being the Elphinstone point for which we had to tread 10km extra in the cooling evening air.
The return journey was from NH-17 with Pratapgad Fort as our last scenic stops. The downhill ghat from Mahabaleshwar was awesome, something that we missed since our Ooty – Munnar trip. Had some awesome breakfast with the kitchen smoking our eyes as well.
NH-17 as expected was more interesting to ride than the NH-4 / AH-47. However the ride from Vadkhal to Panvel was horrific. Pen’s bad and narrow road (also read as National Highway) were the pain in the a*#.
The alarm rings at 7am. Its the last day where we can afford to laze post the alarm bell. Today we’ll start our journey back to the Financial Capital of India, Mumbai. However a little of Kerala is still left on the plate. Its JK’s cousin’s engagement, the very engagement that JK wanted to attend, miss, I’m confused just as he was all the way. Eventually he will have to make it. We ready with our bags, luggage, bikes keep them semi-ready. We’d make a quick trip at the engagement and then off to Hosur, Tamilnadu, our first night halt on the way back.
At the engagement, women are draped in lovely sarees, from colorful to golden striped off-whites. The men, however is a different story. Everybody, almost everybody has put a shirt, un-tucked – On a मुंड ! Ya – the मुंड. That’s the tradition, it looks weird, but thats what it is. JK is bending every muscle of his neck to take a look at available beauties.
Today is our last day when we won’t be burning the rubber. Its rest day today. Nothing much on schedule today except for one thing – Relax and rest. After waking up after 7.30, we get a royal treatment of breakfast, tea, etc. without any walk to a tapri, or a dirty food-stall. JK’s aunt has prepared idlis, chutney and sambaar. Throwing away our awkwardness, I and Manas get into the kitchen. I see a big bowl, full of idlis. JK follows later with Vinu and Sri. The idlis are glowing white, I’m sure Rin, Tide, etc could use these idlis in their commercials. Not just with their appearance, but its taste too was supreme. I’d never had such soft and yummy idlis ever. In Mumbai idlis look and taste murky as its waters. While I enjoyed the countless idlis placed in my plate, Vinu and Sri tussled over the last dollops of the white coconut chutney. Tea followed and the feeling took me back to the bliss experienced few days back at Idli anna’s shack.
Its my parents wedding anniversary and the phone call had more conversation about the white idlis, its taste and the place around than the cliched, ‘happy wedding anniversary’, ‘whats going on?’, etc…
Thiruvilwamala, just as its long name, it has a long list of goodies associated to itself. It has its own rivulet flowing through a tributary of Barthapuzzha river, a lovely terrain of hills and plains, a picturesque temple on the top of the hill and the greenery of God’s own country.