Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Wind Tunnel of Peth

Highlight: Wind Tunnel

Minibus from bandra to base, break for breakfast, lose driver, find driver, start climbing.
Fairly easy hike... was kinda sultry on the way up, and just when I was beginning to think this was the hottest hike till date, we reach the cannon plateau.

Amazing wind all of a sudden. really took me back to the north India winters where I think I lost a couple of fingers and ears to frostbite while cycling to school. Ok, not that cold, but the clouds were streaming past exatly like the winterfog back then.

And then there's the tunnel / cave / stairs to the top; weather very well-behaved until we start down, and the the rain comes with a vegeance. As does the wind. Turning the cave into a Lockheed wind tunnel test that whips rain around your head like an aerated waterfall. And the temperature drops some 20 degrees in 3 seconds. Fantastic.

Pros: Very well organized, absolutely up to and beyond expectations.
Cons: We need more space on travelbugworld to upload the snaps. Keeping at 1 MB is great but if the owners decide that some people can be accorded more space for snaps if they take good ones, they should definitely increase the limit. That'll also give more space to write longer and nicer reviews.

The Monkeys of Lohagadh

Highlight: Monkeys

Nice one. Classic long walk up, with rains hitting almost immediately. I heard my windcheater hood start to go whooooo after nearly 2 years. Redefines 'deliciously chilly'.

Made good time, reached the fort, met the monkeys who gave us a very enthu welcome until they realized not only were we not going to share food, but were occupying the perches they had exclusive rights to for taking snaps. Then the teeth got bared and and the threatening hoots started. Or maybe we just looked potentially like squatting rival monkey tribes coming in a takeover bid, the monkey version of threatening MBAs in dark suits, laptop bags, legal papers and nasty grins.

There was a pool in the fort, in front of the soldiers' barracks - the palaces had long since collapsed into ruins but the barracks were still around (makes you glad you're still a supporting flunky on the bottom of the corporate ladder.)
Ate parathas and bhaji inside, watching the rain, the monkeys, and an extremely traumatized pup at the door. I swear no food ever tasted as good, as warm, as filling and as ab-so-lu-te-ly delicious as this.

Leisurely walk back down, where we discover our driver has aquired a 'cousin' in the village, some woman who needs a lift to Lonavla. Dubious.

But of course, we're hungry again, so it's off to the MTDC resort for chai and bhaji.

Mmmm. Sudden cousins can wait.



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