Every year, as the monsoons arrive, I start counting days when we can drive down.
The timing has to be perfect ... which is usually during the latter part of the monsoons .... when the land has had enough rains to drink in and turn into a lush, green carpet.
When the trees have soaked in enough water that the ranches are covered with soft, velvety moss.
When there has been enough water to feed the waterfalls to gush down the hills.
And when there is fog, fog and fog everywhere.
I love the way the western ghats turn into an amazing shade of green after a dryish, golden colour all year long. (Lonavla and its hills are beautiful then too. )
This is the only time when we see all shades of green merging into each other harmoniously.
My favourite part is the drive down the Mumbai Pune expressway. When it is not raining heavily, I try to roll down the windows and feel the fresh air on my face. And sometimes a light spray of wet when an occassional cloud passes by.
We usually avoid the weekends when there is a mad rush of traffic both from Mumbai as well as Pune.
This leads to unpleasant traffic jams, accidents and a crowd that is so unruly and unpleasant that it takes away the beauty and serenity of the place .... the only reason we go there.
So on a weekday, drive down. Enjoy the quiet and the serenity of nature and come back in peace.
Lonavla has changed much with the growth of tourists. The little, quiet hilly town is not made for this kind of rush.
We have seen Lonavla in better days and hold on to those memories.
Have a picnic somewhere on the road, if I have packed something. Or drive back and have lunch at one of the many resorts in Lonavla or Khandala. And then drive back.
I will leave you with some beautiful photographs that I clicked.
There are some videos too ... will try to upload them as soon as I can edit them.
Till then .... ciao!
Here is a video of a part of our drive.