Friday, September 25, 2015

The City in Lavasa

Most people don’t watch movies in theatres alone. I do. Most people don’t take car drives alone. I do.

I love my City and I keep it singing like a bird. And I love to take it out of the hustle and bustle frequently. Me, the car and my thoughts.

I had an opportunity to visit Lavasa recently. It was an office outing and I was in charge of the stay and entertainment arrangements. We had booked all 60 of us into the Mercure and it was a 2 night stay. I would be going there for the first time.

I jumped at the opportunity to drive there first so that I could “check” that everything was as required, room allotments, water sport arrangements etc.

I started from office at Hinjewadi at about 4 pm, estimating 2 hours to reach Lavasa. I am a leisurely driver, not fascinated with speed at all. And my City also has its sweet spot in this leisurely pace. We just understand each other so well. ;-)

I passed Phase 3 offices and then over the hills to Ghotawade.  The sun was low over the horizon and it was slightly windy. I like to drive with the windows open and this was a good time to do that.

The City responded to every command I gave, speeding up as I passed lorries and six seaters, slowing down as I passed pretty farms and waving school children. By the time I crossed over from Ghotawade over to the other side of Mulshi road, the traffic thinned. The road also became better, courtesy Lavasa Corporation. Mutha ghat came up and I have fond memories of cycling to Mutha top and even to the other side with friends. There is a lot of evergreen foliage in that area and it is beautiful to see year round. Needless to say, because of the sights and road conditions, it is a great area to drive or cycle on. There is a lot of “karvanda” fruit shrubs in the hills and I remember having a feast of freshly plucked fruit earlier. Not sure what it is known as in English, but it is a sweet sour black berry like fruit. It is green when unripe. Used to make pickles and sherbet.

After descending Mutha, very few vehicles passed me. It was a Thursday, so apart from State Transport buses, occasional taxis and private vehicles, no one passed by. There after I had the road to myself almost entirely. I made my first stop at Temghar Dam. Admired the water gushing through its sluices before moving on. Almost immediately the Lavasa Ghat starts and the City was doing its happy dance on the ascents.

At one point, I happened to look back at the setting Sun through the RVM. What a sight! I knew I had to get down and capture the moment. Temghar in the background, my City in the fore and time was still. (See picts).

The rest of the ascent was a series of sharp turn and twist which both of us navigated with aplomb. 
We stopped for toll at the Lavasa gate and were waved through. The ghat descended after that and I got my first glimpses of Lavasa. It looked like a ghost town kept alive by tourists. The lake in the city centre was well maintained and clean. The whole town’s landscaping is very well done. Wonder what keeps house/villa buyers away.

I saw the Mercure and knew my journey would soon come to an end. The drive was a fantastic way to spend time with myself and with my gem of a car. It is a true friend in every sense.



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