I always wanted to go on a trekking trip or a backpack tour sort of thing and this wish has been completed with Matheran trek.
We , 6 people, boarded on a train to pune and got down at Pune. Had a delicious pune ka poha as breakfast and took a local train to lonavla from Pune. It took around one hour to reach Lonavla and we went on searching for accomodation . It was such a impromptu trip that we did no reservations and bookings except the tatkal booked pune train tickets 🙂
It was all greenery and moist all around us . We got an awesome old bungalow for economical price but it was little far away from railway station ( Place: Shamiana Lodge ). Tip : Say you are students 😛
Then, we took the hike to Bushi dam which is around 7 kms from our place. Well, we went there for some trekking and hiking 🙂 . It was not much of khaas (special) and was too much crowded owing to the weekend, but the hike was awesome with some awesome views . There was some Lions point nearby which many say is good , but we couldnt get a chance .
Next day, we took a local site seeing Innova and went to Carla caves and Rajamachi point(Also known as Khandala stretch ). Carla caves was good and we got some real good hike on steps on hill top . Rajamachi point provides a magnificient view of Mumbai Pune Expressway with hills and clouds. Tip for prospective goers: Local sight seeing guys will only consider time for charging . So, you cannot cover all points in 5 hours what we hire them for and overcharging is how they make money for extra time we spent. So, its best to visit only selective points and ignore any temples etc . 🙂
Then, we decided to board for our actual plan , Matheran trek. There are some trains that go till karjat and take Mumbai local till Neral and then take sharecab till foot of Matheran hill. We decided to take a direct cab (costed us around 2000 bucks) to Matheran base as train timings were not convenient for us to get there by dusk.
The road to Matheran base (the place till where vehicles are allowed ) from Neral (Dont be confused with NerUl , which is a posh suburb in Mumbai) was a ghat road completely filled with fog and was too narrow but was a exhilarating experience with small water falls roadside and people doing road trek.
There is a toytrain from Matheran base till uphill but only runs few times every day . We missed the last one for the day . Then we decided to rail trek on the route and that was an awesome experience. It was all raining and fog and we walked for some 5 kms to reach uphill and then couple of hours to find a place to stay. Due to time constraints, we took a place which was shabby deciding to shift next morning.
Next day morning, we shifted to Hotel Premdeep which was too good and economical considering it was not weekend and embarked on our trek plan. Reached Charlotte dam point and had full plates of Poha and maggie as brunch. Thereafter, we have travelled across some great awesome view points trekking almost 18 kms to and fro . The best one was Malang Point and Alexander point . It was worth it. Every point was good and was such a nice walk.
And after this, it was like we were on heaven . We were literally living on clouds.
Final day, we took the toy train downhill which was just 30 mins . Its a different experience. We took the sharecab till Neral and take return train from Karjat.
Best part was that my Idea mobile was not having signal for full two days and i was cutoff from the world with a digital detox. There are no ATMs on Matheran , so please take care . You can use horses for transportation uphill. Dont miss the toytrain.Best season to visit is Monsoons.
Some pics taken from my friend Photography page : https://www.facebook.com/Sawant.photography?fref=ts