Thursday, July 22, 2010

All for dopamine: Lonavla

Somehow, life had lost it’s meaning. It all boiled down to that substance of my brain: Dopamine.. Docs say this substance; or rather lack of it is capable of tipping you off the cliff of sanity. Of late, monotonous incidents were controlling my life. Lest I fall victim to some chemical locha, I knew I had to get away. Fast.. Away from the city, far from the maddening crowd, from the dog eat dog world..

Easier said than done. The challenges were plenty. Assignments apparated from nowhere, dark clouds threatened and no company was to be found for this short trip. And of course, there are battles in your head to keep your dreams alive. In the end, it was just me and my faithful machine..

At 8, the dark clouds chose to give us a break from the seemingly perennial rainfall. The window of opportunity did not last long and the rain Gods were at it again an hour later as I exited the city of dreams. Once the Parel bypass was reached, the treat began.. This was when my lungs screamed out in joy, my eyes soaked the lush green surroundings and the grey skies and my spirit soared. The highway presented a decent tarmac and allowed 3 digit speeds. The precipitation continued though the intensity dropped in a while. Besides the oil sump, the water helped with the cooling and I had no qualms revving the engine hard. Since the Mumbai- Pune expressway does not allow bikes, I stuck to the NH-4 and had birds, trees, some obscure towns and the hum of the motor to keep company.. Though the wet tarmac kept the engine cool, my body begged for mercy and around 10am & I made a stop for a cup of hot coffee. Thereafter, rains kept away for a while and the cool winds helped me dry up in a while. I made a stop at Khapoli to visit a forgettable waterfall.

By 11, I had managed to beat the traffic at Lonavla and headed towards Bhushi dam. Yes! The maniacal traffic at Lonavla comprised of desperate Mumbaikars eager to get away from the city. To be honest, the rush continued upto the waterfall and the dam. Though the drive was thrilling featuring steep roads and numerous hair-pin bends, the wannabe people were bugging. Cars with people seated on rooftops or sticking out of windows are a permanent feature here.

Having heard wonderful stories of the road to Ambey Valley, I decided to push my luck and continue with my quest for beauty and peace. And bingo!! In no time, the crowd disappeared, the forests thickened and the roads remained brilliant! The dimensions of time and practicality were lost somewhere in the bliss. The engine roared, the air became purer and my spirit soared. I reached the starting point for the trek for Korikad fort and the Ambey Valley city soon thereafter. The hills at Korikad were in the greenest form and lack of company meant that I’d have to come back here sometime in better numbers. Ambey Valley was a treat again and so was the adventure camp established nearby. ATV’s are quite prevalent here.

How did I feel? Great indeed.. But as the wise have stated: sometimes the journey is the destination..

The return journey was a treat again. My feet never touched the ground; I hummed along with my machine: “Singing here we go again…”


  1. awesome get go place .. so beautiful .. even i want to go :)

  2. Hey Brilliant Photos!!! The lush greenery is enticing... Cheers to yoyur getaway!!! :)

  3. Killer stuff! Keep driving Mr. Biker :-)