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Old 5th May 2008, 17:41   #1
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Default Pune-Malshej-Jawhar-Bordi-Mumbai-Pune

It was a long weekend and Shivali had taken an off for a couple of days to travel to pune. Ashvin and Chaitra had decided that they were going to take the weekend off as well. So there were four of us and three days to play around with. Lots of ideas came to mind. Driving was a given but the destination was a problem. Since pune was hot and most places around pune were in equally bad shape, it was a little difficult to find a suitably enticing destination. After a lot of head banging, we decided on Jawhar as it was sufficiently green and not so crowded and not too far either. We decided to take a scenic route to the place instead of the more direct NH8 through Mumbai. So after more brain storming, we decided to do a circuitous but enjoyable Pune-Alephatta-Malshej-Tansa wildlife sanctuary-Vada-Jawhar route.

This route had the right mix of fun and adventure a holiday so neatly deserved. This was a mixture of hills, forests, wild life, great roads and uncarpeted territory and was what we required for our 3 day sojourn. Little did we know the fun we would have on our 3 day adventure.

We started off at 9pm on Friday evening from pune and headed out to Malshej via alephatta on Nasik road. This is a great drive as roads are great and sparsely populated and with the late night start we didn’t have to worry about the heat factor at all. The car was an old shape Honda city Vtec that has been our mainstay for many a weekend drive.

We stopped for dinner at a roadside food joint and gorged on excellent aloo sabji and rotis and ofcourse lots of pepsis and colas too. Once dinner was done, time was around 11.pm and we had to go some distance to reach malshej. Since we had not booked any place in advance, we thought it wise to reach Malshej at a reasonable time for getting accomodation. The roads leading to Malshej from ALephatta were pristine and the tarmac was so good that it was difficult not to keep high speeds. Still knowing the possibilities existing on Indian roads, we didn’t go too overboard with our driving and yet kept very good speeds till Malshej Ghat.

Malshej has always been one of those places that has always retained some element of excitement for me even though I have visited it many times. It might be the serene surroundings, the great views, the lack of crowds or even the awesome backdrop that makes it one of the most beautiful places to drive or ride to for a quick getaway. At malshej, we took accommodation at a nice resort that was manned by a couple of friendly locals and some cute doggies. The place was cold and was the ideal tonic for us city slickers so used to the dust and everyday heat of pune . Malshej to the four of us was a divine break. The night there was very chilly and we really needed a hot cup of coffee to keep us warm. After keeping our luggage in the rooms, we dicided to hop out for a coffee in the middle of the night. The time by then was around 12.30pm. After driving for 2 mts, we landed at a roadside coffee shop and savoured garam coffee in natural surroundings before heading back.

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We woke up to a cold morning with clouds on the hills and complete tranquility all around, took bath in hot water that the locals had arranged for us before setting of for shahpur enroute to Jawhar. We also spent some time soaking in the views at the tunnel at Malshej and also capturing pics of ourselves against the picturesque backdrop.

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Malshej was so beautiful that we really had to force ourselves to leave it behind and head for shahpur. The drive I must say from Malshej on is nothing short of terrific. For the enthusiast there are not too many roads that would come close to these for driver involvement.

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The car was holding up really well and we did some scary speeds downhill on the way to shahpur. The only thing we had to guard against were the speed breakers as 4 ppl in the car made it really sit down. There is no car inside of ten lacs that is as much fun to drive as an old shape Honda city vtec and I am quite perplexed that in spite of the years going by, no body including Honda have been able to recreate this magic on any car inside 10 lacs for so long. Quite strange are the ways of car manufacturers. Looks like car makers are hell bent on deploying air bags, and switching on climate control and have completely forgotten to add driver appeal to the list of things to think about for there babies.

Moving on, we hit the NH3 after getting of NH222 at shahpur and the time was 9.30am on a bright Saturday morning. We decided to have breakfast before proceeding. Ashvin went berserk with the eggs and kept ordering for more. I didn’t want to be left behind and chased him down in this egg eating finale. After eating and farting loudly a couple of times, we decided to continue with the onward journey. The next stop was Tansa wild life sanctuary. The roads inside the sanctuary were so good that it would have been a lively rally track had it been available for one. I am sure the likes of Gaurav Gill and Lohit Urs would have loved to tear it apart. This was one of the best winding tarmac stretches I have done in a long while.

Tansa came and went. Wild life was missing and the trees had all dropped their clothing. It was dry leaves all around and nice tarmac ahead. We let it rip. One wrong move or loss of control would have propelled us into instant news paper headlines…but we came out unscathed. Another reason for not dancing around in the woods was the warning that we got at the forest gate that the tribals could drill holes through our tummy and create fabric. So we decided not to attempt too many things and decided to get on with the journey and head for Vada that was to be our next halt enroute to Jawhar.

After doing enough with the steering and careening in and out on the fabulous bitumen, we reached Jawhar. Jawhar is actually a monsoon destination that needed the rains to bring out the best in the place. But even then, Jawhar presented us with fabulous roads and some lovely spots to explore. One of the most memorable ones were the Jai Vilas Palace and our withered old friend Laxman. He exuded an old world charm that brought back moemories of the good old days of the Maharajas and the the stately royalty that is all but disappearing. We would recommend the Jai Vilas Palace to any Jawhar visitor and would also recommend spending quality time with Laxman and his anecdotes. This is a treasure trove and we need the combination to withstand the ravages of time and modernity.

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After Jawhar, we decided to come down form the hills to the sea and drove straight to Bordi. The plan was to come to a screeching halt at bordi and say …’saaru che’. But in all the confusion of finding a toilet to pee, we forgot the grand entry part and just entered Bordi quietly. The sea was visible through the tall suru trees and the place was like any other chilled out beach destination. We went straight to Anand resort and settled down. Time by then was 6.30pm. After changing into comfortable clothing, we headed for the beach and took in the views. There was a low tide and the sea had resided considerably. Chaitra and Shivali walked into the sea for some time before giving up as it had resided considerably.

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Bordi was a quintessential beach town and had all the makings of a quiet holiday location. We would recommend anand resort to any Bordi visitor. The rooms were clean and the staff efficient. We spent the night and the better part of the next day at Bordi just lounging around and watching Valentino Rossi make mince meat of the opposition in the Chinese MotoGP. That in itself was a good Sunday gift as Rossi was fading was the general feeling among the ilk. We left Bordi around noon for Mumbai. The idea was to leave Shivali at Colaba and then the rest of us head for pune via the expressway. The NH8 is a great road with wide sweeping bends and nice smooth tarmac. The journey to Mumbai was largely uneventful and we reached Mumbai by Sunday evening. Shivali took us to her institute and we soaked in some good views at the TIFR campus colaba.

After that it was just Ashvin, Chaitra and me through the expressway into pune. A great three days and time well spent. The car also got a chance to spread its legs. The trip meter read 820 odd kms and the car looked and sounded healthy except for a busted low beam filament.
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Old 5th May 2008, 18:21   #2
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Sounds like a really nice unwinding weekend trip and the roads look invitingly empty. I agree there is no car that is as fun to drive as an OHC Vtech.
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Old 5th May 2008, 18:25   #3
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Very nice report. Were you the only one driving? What was your FE? It would be nice if you could give more details about the places you visited and the route info also.
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Old 5th May 2008, 18:32   #4
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Fantastic photos.

That rock sculpture is mind blowing.

A good road & a Vtec. What more can you simply ask for ??
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Old 5th May 2008, 18:35   #5
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thanx ppl,

And before you find some words impossible to find in the dictionary...i forgot to do the spell checks. pls read "resided" as "receded" in the writeup.


I was the one driving for the most part and was ably assisted by ashvin (desmoquattro) on the forum. I will get back to you with the details you asked for soon enough.
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Old 5th May 2008, 18:47   #6
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Was a lovely drive

Folks, for us, Laxman - caretaker of the Palace at Jawahar was the 'standing out' point of the trip.

I would really suggest you take a 300 KM drive to meet him.
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Old 6th May 2008, 13:20   #7
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That was a cool getaway and nice pics and a very decent report. The rock that looks sculptured stands out in the pics..truly nice ones there.
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Old 6th May 2008, 13:28   #8
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Nice pics & Travelogue

Ashwin Dude trip after a long time eh? Where did you find that D0G :P
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Old 7th May 2008, 09:45   #9
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Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Nice pics & Travelogue

Ashwin Dude trip after a long time eh? Where did you find that D0G :P
nahi bhai. I don't post logs on 'those' websites anymore. Thats all.
It has been a flurry of rides lately
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Old 14th May 2008, 16:24   #10
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hey,,,u should have given a map along with directions,as i love to travel by road and would one day travel all the possible roads in India,anyways seems like a good road trip,love to do it ...time allowing
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