Tag Archives: Off Road

Ritz to Rajmachi – Off-roading Adventure

Foggy Morning

These are one of those trips that you always wish you had taken a while ago, and at the same time, not taken at all… Many a times we’ve been trekking to various destinations and most of the times, we take a car to the base-camp… Earlier it was a bike and now it’s a car, thanks to my friend Swapnil… His Ritz I must say has done a lot of miles in the couple of years that he’s been on the road with it. Long stretch of lands across various states to weekend getaways that have been really bumpy and super sleek at times. From grazing dirt tracks inside villages of Vidarbha to stretching a two day trip all the way to Indore and back to Mumbai.  And of course, the Alibaug, Kashid, Murud-Janjira is something which has become a routine. Lonavala – Tiger Hills is of course a destination which we do most of the times in the monsoon, but this time around we did something else… And of course, this had to be the brainchild of my ever enthusiastic best friend, also my college mate Swapnil himself. For those who don’t know him yet, well, we’ve been friends for over 12 years now and right from college both of us have been auto enthusiasts, me being the lesser one and almost every other time just being on the listening end of his aspirations and stories from various rallies, so much so, that I’ve taken up interest in Formula 1 only cause of our animated conversations and his total interest in the sport which he rubbed on to me way back in 2001.

Most of the times our trips have been adventurous, luxurious, crazy, tiring and bewildering… But none like this. It was a Saturday morning and Swapnil, Mangesh and I decided to leave early in the morning on this trip in his Ritz…

Swapnil & Mangesh

“Let’s take this baby all the way up to the basecamp.” That’s what Swapnil said…

“What?? You really hate your car don’t you?” was my first reaction…

Apparently not… Now this could certainly be a good exercise for Maruti guys to test their vehicles and maybe build an entire campaign around it… Anyone seen the Woodland shoes ad?? 😉

For regular trekkers, they take a 15km hike to the basecamp or most of the times we get people bike it up till the base camp. Of course, the villagers or people who have to go back and forth, might at the most have Jeeps which can take them that far, especially during the rains…

For a Ritz to go up there…. Was quite a task, a task like most others, which we always end up achieving… This is where we went and boy o boy, don’t ask us How??

Bumpy rides, dirt tracks, steep turns and a whole lot of rocks and stones to test us… This was quite a ride. There were uphill and downhill roller coasters on our way, so much so, I couldn’t shoot or take pics. Steady is not what I could expect at all…

Most of the time it didn’t rain throughout our uphill journey and we finally did reach one spot, where there is a small stall. That’s not even the base-camp. A guy usually cooks Maggi, Bhaji-Pav and stocks loads of biscuits and other snacks. Well, since we reached this spot at around 7 AM, we had to wait…

As luck would have it we discovered, there was a small waterfall near this place… But we had to go down to really get below / under the water and it was a downhill slope and had to trek down a few yards to get there… Well…. IT HAD TO BE DONE!

That's where the falls were...

…And when we say ‘IT HAS TO BE DONE’… we 99% of the time mean it…

Well, It had to be done... 😉 so...

So, anyways, that’s just the half of it… We haven’t even got started… Thankfully, by the time we were done with playing around the waterfalls, getting soaked in that foggy morning and enjoying the cold water and by the time we came up… the guy from the hut had opened his shop… What more did we want?

Mr. Kekda Khan

Certainly not this crab to bite us… 😛 Meet Mr. Kekda Khan, who happily posed for my camera.. Add to that he was really enthusiastic when the camera zoomed on to him. So much so he did the Kekda Dance, moving his claws up and down…

Maggi... Never fails you... wherever you go

But yes, eating HOT Maggi early in the morning is certainly what we wanted… Well, that’s what we thought at that time…. We really didn’t know what was in store for us…

So we move ahead and head towards the base-camp… Lo behold… There was this huge rock on the road… Mangesh said it wasn’t there last week. He’s a regular trekker and was there by foot last week. It was a landslide and there was very little space for the car to squeeze through… On the other side of the road was a cliff… and it was also blocked by rocks, if not as huge as the one fallen, at least huge enough for us to make them budge…

“Every problem can be solved…” That’s always our motto when we go out on these adventures…

We tried moving smaller rocks, whichever we could squeeze through and tried to make some space… Well, it was a little better than before, but not enough to let the car go by… If nothing else, the car would just go down the ravine or scrape some metal on the huge rock… Now, that’s something we didn’t want to happen. Add to that, it was a muddy track, so couldn’t quickly skid through that part.

Then we took on the task to move the bigger rocks on the side… Tried sliding it, lifting it… Reminded me of that episode of Dhani Tackles the Globe, where he goes to Scotland and lifts huge rocks as part of a competition. Heck you might even have watched Worlds Strongest Men doing these antics for a living… But we certainly weren’t them and we needed some one else to help us out on this…

What more do you want?? Of course, we needed a few people to help us… There were a couple of guys who came from the other side… the village or the base camp, but they were villagers who were going to work in town… We sure didn’t want their hands dirty 😛

As luck would have it, just like our most other situations, we met a bunch of trekkers who thankfully agreed to help us out… And within a jiffy, we moved most of the huge rocks making enough space for the car to go by…

Between a Rock and a Hard Place...

What happened after that is not for me to tell you in this off-roading chronicle, but certainly this experience was quite different from most of the trips we’ve ever taken. Have you ever been in any such situations?

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Walking Along… Road Less traveled

“Soon I’d be free… Love, Life… Walking by the desires of my dreams on the crooked roads of my destiny.”

This I say to myself with great pleasure for I take pride in my travel… I want to find myself a destiny, as crooked as it sounds or looks like… Without living a lie to myself or to anyone else. Sometimes I just feel like taking this wild trip into the adventurous dreamscapes of my wilderness. Sometimes I think of stopping time without having a notion of what it really meant.

They say you live life only once… Once is what you need, and what you can get. But sometimes I say to myself… that once is never enough… I’d have to be born again and again in my dreams to say to myself that I need this more than once. So I decided to anyways figure a way out…

Pretty soon, I’d be taking the road less travelled, chalking out maps and hoping for a great dream, waiting to happen. Take off every month for about 10 days, just to live for myself… Live without the world as we know it. Live for a greater search, spiritual and metaphysical. Every month I’d get time for myself to give my goals a shot. My dreams to be fulfilled without the fear of losing what I have at the helm of what we all end up looking for as ‘Life.’ Truth be told, life is out there… and not really here… So I’m all set to trudge on that path along the crooked roads of my destiny. Wherever they take me I’d say, bring it on….

For now, I don’t know where I need to be, what I need to do, but I know this… I have to get out there… Out there without the fear of letting go. Without the question of what, why, when and how… get out there without self-doubt, discontentment, resent or for that matter the true question of what is success and what is failure.

So without asking many questions to myself I thought of what would I want to do with this thought of discovery and the thought of the real plan being in my head and where would I really want to go… For now, the answer is, ‘I don’t really know’ but what I can do is, chalk out a bucket list… A bucket list for me to travel to.. Places that I would really want to go and something that I want to do, not for just the sheer joy of traveling, but for a destiny that lies beyond my comprehension. For now, let’s just say this is something I have to do… I have to do for this is what I believe in…

What is this belief you ask? Well, random thoughts that I know have a meaning… I know them now because ultimately I have a master plan… A master plan which cannot be divulged, as it won’t be a master plan then… It won’t make sense as much now, I know it won’t… But somewhere down the line, I’d come back and then I’d know… Why I wrote this post and what it meant to me and why I decided to take these roads less traveled. One day I’d realize how this whole ‘master plan’ fits in the grander scheme of things. How the beauty of these words make bigger and a much stronger sense of belief.  I know, there’s a reason for that too and there might be some changes that would come along the way… Nonetheless, it’s all part of a plan… I know, cause I had to… Cause, It was meant to be… Yep, meant to be… This side or the other…

“Soon I’d be free… Love, Life… Walking by the desires of my dreams on the crooked roads of my destiny.”

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