Remember the feel of your new two wheeler, the gleaming sleek beast ready to own the streets? The freedom is unexplained! Somewhere in the transition from college to corporate life, you forget why you got the bike in first place. Isn’t it the worst when your bike goes from being your passion to an ordinary mule with the mundane task of taking you to work and bringing you back, maybe stopping for groceries on the way…? I had this epiphany and decided it’s time to shake things up!
This is what we did when we realized our respective 2-wheeler were getting too laid-back. Living in Pune, you have lots of options to explore and this is the first one we did.
Locale: Pawana Lake
Distance from city: 56km (From Wakad Pune)
Bikes: 1 Pulsar/1Access/1Activa
Number of people: 5
One word for this place: Pristine!
Pawana Lake is the by-product of Pawana Dam and is one beautiful man-made lake.
We planned to leave by 6, which got extended to 7 am and that didn’t seem all that bad. The mistake here was that we assumed it to be smooth ride and that was one big surprise. When the GPS tells you 1 hr 45 mins, take it with a pinch of salt. From steep Ghats to ghastly roads that test your off roading skills, the ride took us over 3 and half hrs! The literal ‘kacha-roads’ will definitely cover you in a thin veil of red dust. Also, the novice rider of the group ensured that the average speed of the onward journey was 35 (that was me, L Guilty! )
We stopped at this indigenous food place called Govind for some typical and awesome breakfast. Poha, vada pav and Chai in the brisk morning at 8-15 am seemed like the perfect start to this adventure. Pick out any local shack and you will feel the sizzling tea become a perfect detox. All the deadlines and pressure from work will give way to this calmness. I still maintain that Chai is the cure to all the crappy stress of everyday life!
The route was marked with fields and cattle. Small water bodies were spread out and it takes very little effort to imagine this place in monsoon! Sigh .., at around 10-30 we reached our destination.
The internal route to the Boat club is no child play, you feel the ache in your arms from all the effort of controlling the ride on the dicey road.
However, the first reaction to this lake is Meh! Stay with me for a bit…
No kidding, after 3 hrs. on bike, the distant lake seemed bleh… Owing it to the journey, we walked to wards the lake through a uniquely paved road
( there were few sulas and absolutes mixed in with the good old fisher! )
That’s when we came to this awesome campsite! Turns out the banks of Pawna lake have been converted into small campsites with the organizers arranging for bonfire, bbq, music , tents , hike through the jungle boating, kayaking etc! They even had hammocks 😀 need we say more ?!
( the most sought after Hammock! )
The tenets were good for 2 / 3 or even 10 people! Needless to say, we immediately started planning for the next outing here, who wouldn’t!
It was 11 pm by then, the idea of boating or kayaking under the sunny joyful sun was definitely out. Instead we did what we should! We waded into the water, tried to skip stones, listened to music, walked along the bank towards better set of stones and repeated all the above!! You can blissfully spend an hour and half along the bank and be sinfully happy!
By 1 pm we were ready to eat but food around here is made to order and waiting another hour seemed unreasonable. We were hungry but the sun was climbing steadily and the ride back was already scary!
We ended up hogging on chips and decided to head back home. Being the weak link in the rider category, I was destined to be the pillion for the ride back. The rough roads and the sun definitely made me smug! I soo didn’t want to navigate the road back!
We reached home around 3-30. Dirty, tired, sweaty and thinly covered in said red dust. The arm and thigh muscles were singing but so was the heart! There is nothing better than getting back to nature … next time you have half-baked idea to explore the places around you, just grab your keys and head out! Rest will fall in place, trust me!
Tips from the horses mouth:
Entry time for camp:
Check in: 4 pm, check out : 12 pm
If you are here just for a day trip and want to have lunch, inform the hotel owner as soon as you reach the spot. As they cook post placing order, you might end up waiting for another hour if you order after exploring the lake
Book directly to save 200-400 bucks! Call the boat clubs and ask them for bookings. The online sites list it at 2200 whereas in person charge is 1800 for entire package. Just call up the boat clubs.
Choose the days as per your intention. For a big group, snag the weekend for your group and have the campsite to yourself but ensure that you book beforehand. For small group try off days to have some freedom and space. If meeting new people is the intent, go for weekend and meet some like minded people.
In addition to its scenic beauty, the fact that it is located in a close contact with historic forts like Lohgad, Tikona and Tungi, it also makes it ideal location, its both rustic and rough, take a pick.
Things you may wanna carry:
Pair of clothes to swim in , glucose or other energy drinks, sunscreen, a good book or two, board games or any other games, fruits or munchies.
Note that the ride is not all roses and clouds, its gritty and dirty… But it’s so worth it!