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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BiKronicles 4: Lavasa Valley City

Happy Deepawali

This time Diwali was a scramble about town. When you are a couple you have much in common or rather end up having much in common. This is good. Then come those occasional uncompromised-able uncommon factors, which I think are fun cuz THAT makes us individuals. Diwali is lights, sweets and full stop at 10:30pm as per mister Abeer. Diwali is “woooow” “oh my god oh my god” *whaaaam* *BOOM* #nomnom “do I look fat” “haven’t I lost any weight” “where is your traditional avatar” and the likes as per et moi.

This time we played it slow and all loved up. I found a dress and wore it. There were no loud crackers and no severe abuse of the arteries. I decided to play it mellow too on the condition that we AT LEAST fuse up a few phuljhadis which we did :D These sparklers were also to cheer us up for the ridiculous struggle and failing to plan our Diwali weekend (or so we thought at the time). Every resort, beach property, hotel, home stay and everything that all websites and travelogues could offer had gone up fpr grabs like it was the last vacation on this god forsaken planet. Long weekend Family festival Firecrackers Mumbai Getaway options and offers- Who wouldn’t run outta town the 1st blip they got. So we decided to stand our ground on the leave and take off.

We chose Lavasa valley city as our new exploration and decided to follow it up with Khadakwasla Lake the same day or the next. NH47 our standard route and an early start at near dawn i.e. 6am was the kickstart of the weekend. Not surprisingly, cracker echoes were still ringing into the pre-sunrise sky. We were glad to escape the heavyset smog and evident gunpowder pollution. Following the route and now covering it in lesser time than we used to, we took a turn at the Wakad circle and headed right. The road was pebble-like and had tons of gravel for a while. The locals and petrol station warned us of that. But after a few kms it was smooth as butter and absolutely scenic. By now we were used to scenic routes but when green valleys and plateau like visuals were replaced by reservoirs, unending and winding lakes and huge dams, we just had to pause for a break. What strikes at 1st is the sustenance of the area. The locals look like they are well maintained, have ample job opportunities created by those who paved the Lavasa valley city and dams and have their own produce and resources tended to. The good thing is that there are still miles of untouched and un-hawked zones on the driveway to the valley city. That’s why it’s imperative to stock up on chai and water any chance one gets.

We noticed many bikers this particular weekend. Especially the Dukes and KTM riders (more like racers), a whole lot of Royal Enfield groups probably on one of their breakfast rides and also a stray few Harleys. All the key scenic points were stacked with bikers and each one was checking out the other. Abeer and I were the stray lone ones not part of any groups. However, the thrill of overtaking or riding along with one of the passing groups, even if briefly, is something I am always prepared for. We reached Lavasa valley after what seemed like an ascent, a descent followed by another steep ascent overlooking Temghar Lake. Temghar Lake starts with a humble scenic water body and quickly expands into a winding massive water body that provides resources (water, hydroelectricity, harvesting etc.) for 1000s of kms of land and forest area. Lavasa city is built on one of the banks of a hilly region overlooking Temghar lake and has its own Dasve Dam bridge that connects the waterfront from one end to the next. It’s a brilliant concept based on a European design and always draws a ‘mini EU in India’ comparison. There are ample places to eat and explore despite them being WIP. We lunched at the All American Diner where there was an offer for a few course meals at fixed price. We were starving and foodies that we are, offers always cheer us up. Therefore, we did indulged.
Temghar Lake Dam

A quick ride around the entire property across the riverfront, a bit of a walk and the day just sped by. Lavasa appears to have been made rather clean and ecofriendly. Again it was quiet and the crowd was scanty. The same cannot be guaranteed on a crowded day or event. The properties looked promising and rather inviting but I was clear I wasn’t looking for a community. I was looking for my own lone cabin by the lake. We left for Pune and had an eventful rest of the weekend by ourselves. It usually involves lovely meals, some real us time together and of course a good watering hole. This weekend we checked out a new joint and an old all-too-familiar brewery – Flambos and Irish Village. Khadakwasla was saved for another day given that we woke up rather late and didn’t quite feel like copping another long ride.
Beer samplers at Irish Village

All in all it was a gorgeous weekend. Lovely sights with simplicity being the order of the weekend. In addition, our bebe and beauty –RoyalEnfield Classic Tan 500cc series (I call her Limited Edition) <3.
For a top-of-the-hill view of Lavasa Valley visit the following clips I shot on Instagram: http://instagram.com/p/ujwkWivrWa/?modal=true and another video taken from the middle of Dasve Dam http://instagram.com/p/uhpcYFPrVn/?modal=true