The Curves And Kayaking Chillout RideCBR250R Taopla Mahabaleshwar kayaking chicken strips Koyna Mahabaleshwar Agro
Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:08 PM
There was no traffic, I was at Panvel in 45 minutes. Unfortunately, the rest of that ride was not so nice. It was cold. I was not wearing the usual insulated jacket but the denim one with armour, knowing that the day would be searingly hot. I mean, cold in APRIL? I wasn’t even carrying any long sleeved T shirts. NH 17 is also a pretty crappy road at night, what with the construction work that has started and the fact that you face an endless stream of high beams. All the same, it was just about daybreak when I turned from Poladpur towards M’war and started to climb. As I reached the Pratapgarh junction the weather changed. Til then it was cool, which, combined with wind chill, made it cold. Now, it felt like a direct blast from the freezer. Time to thaw out and take a few pictures.
The only real plus point of reaching at the crack of dawn was the fact that the extortion cell which penalizes tourists for visiting M’war was not manned yet, so - no entry tax. I think they should give discount vouchers redeemable in M’war as a gesture of appreciation instead – without them the economy of this place would collapse. Anyways he bitter cold made me stop at the first food joint that was open for some chai and Omlette pav. Feeling much better, I moved on towards Tapola.
First view of the lake.
Boat on the river.
Village far below
The Dutt Mandir (tourist attraction), trek required to reach it, on the opposite bank
You’ll be able to see both as specks on the first photo
Finally I reached Tapola and made sme enquiries about the boating, accommodation, etc, and finally decided that I’d rather stay in tented accommodation some distance away, where they had watersports activities in the package itself. Mahabaleshwar agro tourism, boat ride, water scooter, swimming in the lake , all the kayaking you want, bullock cart rides, all meals + acco @ 1.5K for 24 hours. Considering the fact that the boat ride itself costs 600 bucks at Tapola, this was not an unreasonable package. More important – tent, no hotel like atmosphere and I practically ad the whole place to myself.
Parked outside the tent. 10am, and the day’s riding is over.
View from the tent towards the reservoir
Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:05 PM
Can someone check if its really Arnob or someone having stolen his bike, gone on the ride & posting from his id.
Btw, tent near Tapola & the deal, sounds too tempting to me too.
Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:25 PM
Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:00 PM
But we have you for that I only come up with a few pics from time to time like:
Ah now, if wishes were horses.....
Yes, the water level has receded to the tune of almost 20 feet since the monsoon levels. The brown borders to the lake - all that is below water when the levels are up, and the treeline is next to the reservoir
Tent booked, it was time for a nap to set the mood of the day. I got up after some time to look around.
The swimming area:
View of the river as one approaches the Mahabaleshwar agro battle fleet.
The invincible Mahabaleshwar agro navy. My clear favorite was the low profile froggy green destroyer in the, er, drydock.
I settled into one of the boats (shade!) and looked around for something interesting. There were bubbles coming up to the surface all over the lake . At first I thought it was fish, but no, the stuff was coming up from the lake floor. For a moment I wondered if I was to be in the epicenter of something big, but fortunately I was not destined for that sort of fame. Pretty interesting to see the manifestation of that seismic activity, though.
The only other shutterworthy object was this cool looking insect (dragonfly?)
The local bus service. Apparently Tapola is where main market is for the surrounding villages, almost 80 of them. Nobody's gonna climb all the way to Mahabaleshwar.
killing some time before lunch
Interesting looking trees, wonder what they were
LUNCH. UNLIMITED. BURPWORTHY.
After grub, there is only one thing to do on a holiday. Sleep. But... there was a problem. Somehow the tent was a cool 20 degrees hotter than the ambient. Very uncool, actually. There was no way I was going to get sleep in that heat. Jugaad solution:
STEP I: Add a duct to the pedestal fan. Unused blanket will do.
STEP II: Use jug of by now warm drinking water to wet blanket, mattress and pillows creating tunnel.
STEP III Switch fan on and let the cool air chill you. Nap till watersport time in the early evening
Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:30 PM
Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:05 AM
BTW, none of the himalaya shots shown here are from an aircraft. Blame the 35x optical zoom at 3MP for that
Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:21 AM
First was a boat ride around the lake. Here we see the Mahabaleshwar Agro Sarkhel doing his thing.
Apparently Tapola and back is an hour’s ride from there, so we did not go in that direction, just around the vicinity. There were children from a summer camp splashing around in the lake on the opposite bank.
A large greenhouse
A huge bungalow. Nobody stays there. It’s used as a film set more than anything else
Track around the lake:
That done, I was offered a water scooter ride which is what apparently is the most exciting thing. I declined, I go a lot faster on he bike and turn a lot sharper than the scoot. I must be the only guy to decline that ride. I wanted more time with my kayak. I just took the GPS with me in case I got lost , need not have bothered as I did not go too far on that first ride. It was fun, but not having paddled for about 3 years, somewhat tiring. I’d made the mistake of keeping my jeans on, so every 2 min of paddling = 1 minute clearing out the water from inside the kayak. Fun, nevertheless.
Then it was time for a swim. Nice warm water, but there was a problem. The fish. Everytime I stopped swimming, they’d come along and take a bite.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:51 AM
uhhh... Hopefully not of something vital
Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:07 PM
What do you wear while swimming in public, Nikhil? Just asking
@pulsurge: no, I knew I'd be swimming, got gear along. Did not hop into the water from the kayak.
Some swimming around and a few bites later, it was time to relax again with a cup of chai. A shot of the evening scene using a long exposure shot.
Unfortunately none of the remaining long exposure night shots were any good. Had something to do with the fact that I did not remember to remove the polarizing filter which is good for 2 stops on a ND filter. It was quite informative talking to Dr Hemant Sakpal, one of the co owners of the Camp. Apparently it has been set up only one year back, they were very keen on increasing the facilities.
Off to bed at 10pm. Don't remember when I've been to bed that early last
Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:27 PM
Omlette pav and masala tea later, it was time to get the wheels turning again. Within a km - there was a colony where some tall dark and leggy guys and gals were kept in captivity, wearing only feathers, for the voyeur public to observe.
You have to scroll down for the pics
What were you expecting to see?
Anyways. it was an uneventful ride to M'war, where I turned towards Satara, where you have roads like this for over 50 km
Unfortunately pretty much every third corner had gravel strewn on it and almost all the right handers was a blind turn. The chicken strips were gonna stay firmly on the tyres here. You have to travel through Satara town to get onto NH4, and the GPS guided me out, as it did towards the road leading to Chiplun via Kumbharli ghat. Till Koynanagar (where the tapping of the reservoir had just been carried out), it was an endless stream of politicians in Foyota Fortuners travelling in the oppoisite direction, having just lent their august presence to the occasion (without which no eplosion could have been carried out).
As you know, no politician feels safe enough to travel unless they have an entourage of 10 police vehicles and an ambulance following these aasman se tapkela hua types. Fortunately, the road was much clearer after that, and it's pretty scenic with the river flowing next to the road till one starts climbing the Kumbharli Ghat. Some pics taken there next to the banyan and "cotton?" trees.
Just behind the bike - the cotton which these trees produce.
Nice shady tree.
Then it was up the ghat...
5yr old photo . Now:
Not much has changed, including the bag Little more hazy now though, that was during the monsoon, great visibility, greenery all around. Same great roads , and NO gravel.
The guys at the hotel actually remembered me. Not just that, but the date as well. Grub at the Leela: Fish
Washed down with my favourite pink drink. Sol Kadi to die for:
The tyres had also had their lunch. Chicken
Now have a look at the front MRF. About 800 hard km, a lot of braking , and cornering, and there is something that has no business to be on this portion of the tread at all after all that time. Not that I'm complaining, it still grips well.
Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:44 AM
Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:27 PM
Those are emus ( the tall dark leggy chicks wearing only feathers ), not to be confused with emos
Did you eat any ?
Much has changed doc - same bag, same place, same rider .....er carried on a new bike
Hope that 5 years hence will it be a CB1000R , parked alongside a similarly high displacement bike (mine! ) - others are welcome to join me (in hoping that is, plan your own finances to make it a reality )
As for the fish biting, given that you're writing this trip log, I asusme nothing serious. I'd be a bit more wary though, been watching "River Monsters" episodes recently ! the kind of fish there are , some in India , makes my think mother nature really wants us to die !
Also tagged with CBR250R, Taopla, Mahabaleshwar, kayaking, chicken strips, Koyna, Mahabaleshwar Agro
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