Monday, 19 June 2017

Camping at Bhira & River Rafting at Kolad, Part 1 | Travelogue


For my best friend Anurag's birthday, we were planning to go camping. We both take delight in it and we thought that it would be a fantastic idea. He also was keen on going for river rafting. So we hunted down river rafting organisers and then a camping spot nearby. We decided we would do it at the Kundalika river and camp near Devkund waterfalls. We fixed the dates; we were going on 14th June and coming back on the 15th. We had fixed the place as well, but we did not have a company yet. We gathered people from both our sides--I asked my cousin and my best friends and Anurag did the same. Finally, in the end, we were six people in total.

We had planned on going by Vishal's car, but he ditched at the last moment. Vishal is Anurag's school friend and he cancelled because he was in Bangalore for a work meeting. The next best (but costlier) option was Zoomcar. We had hired a Zoomcar for my birthday trip too, so we knew how exactly it functioned. Vishal had cancelled on 13th morning and we were leaving next day. We immediately booked a Zoomcar and our expenses rose high. From Mumbai suburban to Kolad village, they charged us Rs. 3,200 inclusive the petrol but exclusive the tolls. Vishal's car would have cost us around Rs. 200 per head, and the Zoomcar cost Rs. 640 each. Along with the car, we had one Bullet. Anurag's society friend Roshan was going to be on it.

Next morning, on the 14th, I woke up at 5:30 am to make food for us. I was going to make aloo parathas and cheese sandwiches. I made the potato stuffing and kneaded the dough a night before. In the morning, I made balls out of potato stuffing and dough, and made parathas. I made eight, as my brother, who was up early morning to read a book, was hungry too. I made two for him and packed six in an aluminium foil. I packed pickle and tomato sachets along. Later, while my mom was making parathas for my breakfast, I was making cheese sandwiches. These are my favourite ones. I made four of these and cut them in four little squares. After packing the sandwiches, I started getting ready.
 

Anurag had asked me and my cousin Pratik to wait near a decided spot at 8:20 am. As the same blood flows through me and Pratik, we were on time; we are always on time. But, the Zoomcar guy handed over the car to Anurag at 8:15. Anurag was waiting for Roshan, who was late. Roshan stashed his and Shrutika's stuff in the car trunk. Shrutika is Roshan's school friend and I had been with them for a Liverpool match screening. Pratik and I were still waiting for them. It was 9:30 am, and finally, we saw Anurag in a maroon Figo. Imagine! We were waiting for him since 8:20 am and after an hour, we finally get in the car. Our next pickup was Amrita, my college best friend.

We went a little farther and picked her up as well. Roshan and Shrutika were coming on the bike. Anurag was too frustrated with what had happened in the morning. He wasn't in the mood till we reached Bhira village and we could see that; he wasn't cheerful at all. 
 

We met Shrutika and Roshan on the way and then followed each other's trail to reach the village. Unfortunately, it was not raining even a bit. Rather, the weather was a little unpleasant. We had already stopped four times on our way. Sometimes for Amrita to vomit, and sometimes for hogging something. We stopped our car and bike near Karnala Bird Sanctuary to have breakfast. Within few minutes, we gulped down the food I had carried.

Vomit break


Anurag trying to calm down his anger

Bhira Dam

Top | Decathlon; Pants | Vans; Shoes | Decathlon
 
We were gonna camp first and then on 15th, we had booked river rafting. After getting directions from the locals, we finally reached Bhira village. When we were getting directions outside Bhira, we got our 'guide'. One of the locals told us that he would guide us till the waterfalls and arrange for food if we gave him Rs. 600 as guiding fee. We bargained and settled on Rs. 500. He sat with us in the car and then showed a place near his house where we could park our car and bike. We got down from the car to marvel at the surrounding greenery. It was 3:00 pm when we reached. The guide asked us about lunch and we said that we would have dinner and skip lunch.

From the base village to the falls, we started walking. One young boy and his younger brother were guiding us. We had so much of weight--our individual haversacks, food bags, tents, and few extra bags. Amrita was feeling too weak to walk so we had to pause for few minutes while walking. It was cloudy, but not a single drop of rain. It surely was cloudy, but wasn't cold at all. We reached the campsite by 5:00 pm. The guide told us that Devkund waterfalls was an hour away and it would get completely dark until we come back. 


It made sense. It was already 5:00 pm, and until we reach, have fun under the falls and come back, it would have been pitch-dark. And I wanted to enjoy the waterfall and not worry about the time. So we decided that we would not go there but enjoy the river, which was overseen from our campsite. Rather, we were camping at the bank of River Kundalika. 

Twice I had aimed for Devkund waterfalls, but could not see it even once due to some or the other reason. Heaven knows what the place is about to offer! So anyway, we started pitching our tents while simultaneously gaping at the beautiful neon green carpet that was around us...

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Part 2 of the travelogue coming soon...