Daunting Heights and Shallow Dips
The girls made a pit stop at the Tungi Fort, the following morning. The starting point of the trek was quaint and beautiful, with age-old, expansive banyan trees and a dilapidating temple. But, the girls didn’t have the right gear for the trek up to the top of the hill and the weather was not favorable. It was a disappointment really, although the view at the top looked absolutely enticing. Something for the next time!
The Pavana Lake was large and reaching the dam took some time, around sloping and twisting roads. When they finally reached the dam, the view was breathtaking and a strong, cool breeze made it all worthwhile. Sulagna photographed the landscape to heart’s content, even as the strong winds made the act of remaining still difficult. The girls were content when they decided to leave for lunch. But, right around the corner, they discovered a nook of the lake, where locals were enjoying a cool dip in the shades of trees. They had to stop.
The girls sat on the rocks by the lake, dipping their ankles in the cool, pristine water.
They watched the fish come biting at their ankles and local children build human pyramids in the middle of the lake – a memory that would be etched in their minds forever.
On Highland and Sunset
After a quick lunch at the local Dhaba, the girls made their way to the Lion’s Point for the sunset. The place was crowded, but it was so large, that the diffused crowd was not overbearing. The display put on by the Sun was colossal and calm, vibrant and timeless. The colors of the sky danced playfully on the slopes, the water bodies and the dust – making everything come alive in a magical avatar. The girls left the point refreshed and reconnected with life.
Anumita had researched that Lonavala was the place to be for sweet teeth, with an extra special affinity for nuts! So Maganlal Chikki Center had to be on the itinerary.
The girls spent a large part of the evening tasting varied homemade fudges and nut-brittles made from cashewnuts, almonds and groundnuts.
They were all delicious, to say the least. They packed themselves till the bags and tums were bursting at the seams. Then they made their way to the German Bakery across the street for dinner. The place was aesthetically decorated but the food proved to be average – with the exception of an incredible Keema Pav – a Maharashtrian delicacy. The girls misjudged the time they could spend in the town. The drive back proved mildly disconcerting, given the pitch dark, winding roads and the loneliness of the deep woods. That was, probably, the only half an hour when they felt any sense of vulnerability.
The Low Downs
While the husbands were supportive, parents had very tepid reactions to the idea of two girls on a trip.
The girls had clearly under-estimated the trails of the Western Ghats and fell short of making the steep climbs of the multiple forts in the area. Sulagna most definitely wants to redo the trip in the monsoon, to capture the greenery that she had envisaged.
Will they do it again?
“Absolutely”, said both the girls, in unison!
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