Sunday, February 04, 2007

600 kms, 6 days, 2 wheels, 1 man!

It was after a long time that I decided to make a trip on my beloved bike to Mumbai. Ocassion? a long weekend was coming on 26/27/28th Jan. Adding to that, my two complimentary offs made it a stretched week-off.

I decided to leave on Tuesday from office directly. It was a sneaky exit from office since there was a meeting scheduled at 3 which I did not want to attend :-) With my usual trekking sack on back, I left at 2 Sharp. Next 5 days were going to be marvelous.

Getting out of Pune was boring, thanks to congested roads and undesciplined traffic. Those just 40kms till Dehuroad took exactly one hour! Once Dehuroad camp is left behind, the road opens up the fun. Oh ya, be cautious in the Dehu Camp area. Its quiet narrow road compared to rest of the journey and truckies and cars on road compete for dangerous overtaking.

Road from Dehuroad to Lonavala is quiet straight patch so it was good to open up the throttle. Bike was already warmed up by dodging peds and bikes on Pune streets. Lonavala comes up in just 30 mins from there.

Lonavala was first halt per se. Time for a coffee at the main Lonavala signal. Dont remember the name of the hotel but I usually halt here. And menu choice is always a cup of coffee :-)

Road that goes next to Lonavala station is always facinating, dont know why, maybe cause it closely parallels the railroad. And next 30 kms of stretch is ultimate. curvy and steap descend starting from Rajmachi point, getting on top of the hills on Amrutanjan bridge and then entering Expressway at a steep curve....its the most exciting part of the whole journey I would say. Speeding sounds fun but after a straight patch it rather gets boring.

Expressway is common between Lonavala and Khandala for all the vehicles. But it offers less fun to speeding cause its just the curves. Thankfully there is a tunnel before Khandala exit. I wanted to ride inside tunnel, putting on blinkers (yeah, I just got blinker switch on my bike that lets me turn both of them on at once, like the hazard blinkers on cars).

It feels very sad when the Khandala exit approaches...who wouldnt want to ride expressway all the way till Mumbai!

Khopoli comes soon and then Mahad Temple. After a quick halt there, Road to Panvel starts. This is a great stretch again. Properly laid out and divided tarmac. You can me most quickest to pass this on, without getting the needle drop below 80 on curves.

Once you pass on Panvel, you reach congested roads of Navi Mumbai. Thane Belapur road is being concretized. It was never a road per se but now its become quiet worse. Hope things will change when the conversion is complete.

After an unexpected jam on Eastern express highway near Mulund, It was sharp 6 when I reached home in Thane. phew! exact 4 hours.

Next 4 days was fun. I could go and meet lots of people and complete long pending meetings :-) It was a different feeling when I could see all vehicles around registered with MH-04/MH-02 plates...and there is something I can only attempt on Mumbai - timetravel! Wait till I blog about that next :-)

Okay, now time to go back to Pune. Journey was good..started at 7.30 in morning. Didnt took long to reach Panvel and then Lonavala...There is a tea stop on the top of Khanadala ghat. Its accessible only when going towards Pune. Bike can be parked. You can sip hot tea and enjoy the halt.

The trip ended exactly after 4 hours when I reached Pune. It was a needed break I was looking for.

Hope to do more such runs to new places soon...thats the Globe Treading spirit...!!!