Bhandardara 2004

Morning 8:00 … I am bit lazy to get up. Look at the watch and think, can sleep
for some more time and again doze off seting the alarm for 8:15. Got up at 8:15
and asked my wife to get the things ready to pack. In the mean time I started
geting ready. At around 9:00 AM got a call from Amit asking “Kidhar hai” I asked
him to come to my place at 9:20. I had already recieved call from Manoj and Nix.
We (me and Amit) started at 9:30 from my home. The Thane Toll naka is hardly 5
min. ride from my place. On the way my cell rang. It was Gautam. He was supposed
to ride with the evening batch. But to our surprise, he had called up to say
that he is starting from his home and asked us to move ahead and would catch up.
I reached Toll naka at 9:40. Kuldeep, Nix, Manoj and his friend Yash, Hemal
Dave, Bodhi, Amit D and Dilip (Uncle) were waiting for me. We started off at
10:00 with me leading the pack and Kuldeep being the last. Vijay was supposed to
meet us at Kalyan Phata. I tried his cell but was not able to contact him. His
cell just kept on ringing. We reached Kalyan phata, had a look around if we
could see him somewhere, again tried his cell and then we started again. Every
one was hungry. I was on a look out of a Dhaba where Gautam could easily notice
us. Found one just before the naka which joins NH3. Parked our bikes and ordered
omelette. It was hardly 10 mins we stopped and Gautam caught up on us. So it was
now 9 bikes. Had a good break fast and some had a good spicy breakfast :) The
Omellete had lots of green chillies. I think they were busy removing omellete
from the chillies. Started off from there at around 11:45 AM. It was decided we
would next halt at Ghoti to pick up the booze. With me leading the pack again
and Kuldeep being the last one. Riding thru, Gautam noticed that his battery is
running dry. It was not charging. He stopped at one of the petrol pumps to get
distilled water. I stopped along with him and asked others to move ahead. Took a
bottle of distilled water and we started to rip (me and Gautam) and soon caught
up with the rest. We were some 10-15Kms before the ghat and I wanted everyone
together at the ghats. Amit said that Nix has went ahead. So I told him that I
am going ahead and would wait at the base of the ghat. Reached there very
quickly and after 5 min one after other the rest of the bikes came. Nix was with
that group. Amit was under the impression that Nix was ahead. Since we had a
halt, Gautam opened up the battery cover of his bike.. and found that the
battery was totally dry… all the 6 cells. Filled up the water in the cells and
moved on. Ghoti was some 20 odd kms from there. Me, Nix, Amit and Hemal were bit
ahead in the ghat. We reached Igatpuri and we were just 4 bikes. Ghoti was some
10 KMs from there. We anyways had to halt at Ghoti, so instead of waiting for
them at Igatpuri I thought we would wait for them at Ghoti. On the way we saw a
terrible accident. The accident must have occured hardly 20-30 minutes before. A
Maruti 800 had split into 2 peices. It had toppled.. don’t know how. There were
4 people travelling in that car. One died on the spot, rest 3 were taken to
hospital. There were 2 havaldars, who, along with the locals moved the one half
part of the car to the road side making way for the traffic. The traffic got
clear and we started. Reached Ghoti. We waited at the turn. Nix went to the
other side of the road (Since it was a turn to right) and guided the others to
take the turn. It was assured that Kuldeep would always be the last guy to come.
Saw Kuldeep and started again… thru the Ghoti market, searching for a wine
shop. Picked up the booze and moved on. There is a level crossing at Ghoti. A
havaldar was waiting there for a bus to come.. and since I was very slow, asked
me whether I could drop him. I decided to give him a lift. Asked him to sit.
Poor guy, all the way, he never moved an inch, neither did he speak anything. As
usual, we were doing 60 – 70 thru the turns and ghats. The road to Bhandardara
from Ghoti is all turns and ghats. Amazing ride. One has to turn right for
Bhandardara from main road. Bhandardara is about 6 KMs from there. I waited at
that turn. One by one bikes came and waited. It was quite hot by then. It was
around 2:00 in the afternoon. Bodhi, applied some Buddhi (as put up by Gautam).
There is a school at that turn. He went to the ground, found a good shade, and
parked his bike there. One after other, every one did the same. We were waiting
for Dilip and Kuldeep to come. Looks like they were left far behind. Waited for
abt 10 mins.. and saw Dilip and Kuldeep come. Dilip had missed a way and instead
of taking right he moved on straigt. Kuldeep went behind him honking. But Dilip
just kept on going, looking in the mirror. He thought that since Kuldeep is
behind him, he is on right way. My bike had started making some rattling sound
by then. Found out that the welding of the chain cover is gone. Thought would
fix it up at Bhandardara.
We reached MTDC at around 2:45. Every one was hungry and just waiting to eat.
Took a 20 bed Dorm, kept our luggage in the room and headed straight for the
restaurant. Me, Kuldeep, Manoj and Yash went down to get beer. Had good food and
beer. Some decided to sleep, some thought they would take a dip in the lake. I
wanted to get my bike fixed, so me and Kuldeep went to the village hunting for a
welder. The shop was closed. Now what to do. Thought would get it fixed on next
day. From there we left for some falls (don’t remember the name). Its about 10
KMs from Bhandardara. The roads were amazing. No trafic, good roads, I was just
ripping. The water at the falls was very low. These falls are definately a worth
visit in Monsoon. Had a look around and then again came back to the resort.
Quite a few had dozed off. Even I took a small nap. At around 8:20 PM, Amit Gore
and his friend Harsahd came. They were from the 2nd batch. It was good to see
them. Amit had recently joined and this was his first trip. So, it was difficult
for him to remember everyones name. He came and said that there was a guy with
long hairs ahead of us. It was Ronny… but Ronny had not reached the resort. We
thought he must have missed the way and would come soon. After about an hour, I
felt a bit worried. The road from Ghoti to Bhandardara is very lonely. Very
difficult to find even a single soul. Pitch darkness. I thought if something
happens to his bike, he would have a very tough time.. specially when he is
alone. Mobiles are not active in Bhandardara .. and for some reason we could not
even call to any cell from the land line. I thought I would check it out.
Decided to ride for few kms on the way to Ghoti. Kuldeep volunteered to give me
company. My bikes chain cover was not yet fixed. So I took Nix’s bike. Rode back
about 23-24KMs. Kuldeep’s cell had roaming activated and to our luck, there were
weak signals. I had Ronny’s number. Kuldeep called up Ronny and we had a talk
with him. He was with the rest of the group. Felt relieved that he is not alone.
Two bikes had stalled just before the ghat. Prem Leela had a fall over a spilt
oil. After the fall, his bike simply refused to start. There was some
misunderstanding and we thought that these guys would not come before morning.
Thinking this we left for the MTDC resort again .. but this time the ride back
was great. No tension, enjoying the night ride. We had already orderd the food
for 20. The food was ready. What to do with that food. After everyone finished
(I was the last one to finish the daru and food), we asked the hotel wala to
pack the food and keep it in fridge. Thought we could have it as next days
lunch. Every one had left for night ride. Me, Bodhi, Hemal and Kuldeep left a
bit late. The question was which way did they go. Went few KMs towards
Bhandardara, then came back to MTDC and instead of going in the resort moved
ahead towards Kokan Kada. rode for abt a KM. Took a halt and were simply
enjoying the stars. The night sky was simply great. I don’t think I can put them
in words. MTDC resort was visible from there and we saw some lights. Thought the
guys had come back from the night ride and even we started. Reached the resort
to find the guys from the evening batch. It was really great to see these guys
reach Bhandardara at 1:30 AM. Now the problem was the food. The restaurant had
closed and the food was locked in the kitchen. Apna Dilip uncle went to the guys
sleepin there and said… We have the bikes with us. Just tell us whom to get or
where to get the keys from. He had the keys with him .. but for some reason was
bit reluctant to give it. But then he was convinced that these guys are going
the get the kitchen opened at any cost. So took out the keys, heated up some
daal rice. In the mean time 2nd session of Daaru had started. We came to know
that After prem had a fall, his bike did not start and he had to leave it there.
Luckily there was some mechanic who was travelling back to his home and stopped
when he saw so many bulls. They left the bike with him and Prem rode pillion
with Goli. Then followed the jokes section. There were couple of new guys with
us. They wanted to sleep, but poor guys had to stay awake till Rasik, Amit, Goli
slept :). Those who know them can understand what I mean. Every one slept at
arounf 5:00 in the morning. Got up next day at around 8:30 AM. The MTDC has some
issues with check out time. The check out time was 9:00 AM. So me and Dilip went
to the Manger and he agreed on that we vacate the place by 11:00 AM. Came back
and told everyone that the place needs to be vacated by 10:00. Every one had a
good breakfast and by 10:30 all the bags were back on the bike. In the mean
time, I took out the chain cover from my bike to find that it was no point get
it welded. Threw the cover. Now Sachin’s new electra refused to start. Goli had
a look and said check the fuse. Replaced the fuse and the bike started .. again
just to go dead. Everyone trying to use their brains.. found out that there was
a some problem with the Ammeter. Probably had loose connection. Pressed the
contacts and his bike became alive again. We all moved towards Kokan Kada. Hemal
knew the way so he was leading. Reached there and some of the guys went down for
a dip in the lake. They were back in about 45 minutes. Had a line up and photo
session and then started back. This time I was at the end. The last person of
the pack. Since Sachin bike was in runin he was doing around 50 .. and at some
time 60. Quite a few needed to fillup their tanks. Filled up the fuel at one of
the petrol pump at highway. We had to pick up Prem’s bike which was not ready.
The mechanic was unable to start it. He was waiting for us at Jawahar phata.
Said that Prem’s bike is lying at the same spot where they had left yesterday.
So we went there and some of us tried to start it again. It was Sunday and all
the mechs and shops close at 2:00. I called up my mech in Thane and said that we
are reaching there in 3 hrs. We had to tow the bike all the way .. i.e around 85
KMs. Reached Thane at around 6:00.. straight to the mechanic. He had a look and
the problem was the air filter. After the crash, oil had entered the air filter
and that was the reason bike was not starting. He replaced the air filter and
there u go … Prem’s bike was alive again. Lesson learnt … if u have a TB…
u better carry a spare air filter. He also, opened up the ammeter of Sachin’s
bike… just to find out that the wire connection was loose. Fixed that and
everyone went their own way from there.

 

Cheers,

Rajiv

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