Saputara 2003

The Ride at a Glance : ( 740 km)
17th – Mumbai – Nashik – Saputara (252 km) – CampSite 1 ( 1 km off Saputara ).
Total Distance Done = 265 km

18th – Saputara – Waghai – Vansda National Park – Waghai – Ahwa – Mahal –
BaradiPada (Purna WildLife sanctuary ) – Mahal – CampSite 2 ( 20 km from
mahal – towards Ahwa ).
Total Distance Done = 180 km

19th – CampSite2 (Mahal) – Ahwa – TakliPada – ShamGahan – Saputara – Nashik –
Total Distance Covered = 294 km

Bike Milage : 17015 km to 17754 km.

16th Oct 2003 – Thursday:

Came from office and was all psyched up for the ride to Dang District. Had to
start packing since we would be staying out in tent and cooking our own food ,
so needed some time to really do things up properly and not to forget anything
important. Also our biked needed some basic checkup . Finally packing and
checking of bikes done – slept at 1200 am .

17th Oct 2003 – Friday :

I and Zubin changed our strategy this time. Instead of leaving at absurd times
like 400 am etc … We thought of taking more sleep . We got up at 530 am ,
after packing the bikes left for Saputara at 630 am. I changed from these absurd
timings on the advice of Gaurav Jani (Jonny of 60 kph Bullet Club).

We had planned to ride around 120 km non stop , so took our first break after
Kasara at 930 am.Had some Omlet and Cheeze sandwich which we had got from
home.Upto now we had a pretty cool ride with no traffic and good roads.

We started for Thal Ghat . We got lots of traffic at Thal Ghat – because some
repairing work was going on and the road was in bad shape due to the monsoons.
Also after going ahead we came to know that a truck had overturned in the valley
. We were actually driving between the trucks to go ahead of the traffic jam.
Thats when while comming from the side of the road Zubin slipped due to looze
sand. After helping him out we again started off for Nashik.
Reached Nashik at around 1:00 pm .Took a small break there and proceeded towards
Vani .

On the way we stopped at OzarKhed dam . We filled up our water reserves from the
PWD Guest House on the Dam. The guest house was admist some good forest cover
.We could see many different kinds of birds . Just chilled out for 45 mins on
the dam . Its worth a visit on the way to Saputara.

Had late lunch at 530 pm just before Saputara. Now our main aim was to find a
good campsite which would be away from the crowds , and still not too remote in
case of some trouble.
Reached Saputara in 20 mins , with the Lake overlooking on the left hand side.
We could also see the Saputara Rope way.Looked around for some directions , and
also confirmed that the route we had with us was correct. We left saputara in
search of a campsite . Finally found one on the Saputara – Waghai Road. It was a
good clearing between the forest , just opposite the road.
We setup our tent and went to Saputara to make Phone calls . Came back and
started preparation to cook food.
Apna Zubin started with rice and vegetable prep , and I started the stove .
Thats when I realized my blunder. I had forgotten the Burner cap at home , so
the flame was just spreading and not giving heat to the cooker in which we had
kept the rice and vegetabes mix. So it was almost 45 mins before we could have
the cooked rice. After having food we decided to go for a night ride and explore
Saputara. I took Zubin as pillion.We came to the main Saputara circle. There I
found a detailed map of Dang district , so copied it down on my pad. Then we
rode through various small lanes of Saputara just enjoying the night drive . The
only thing to note here is the road going towards Sunset point. There were 2
sudden hair pin bends which were almost impossible to navigate and I almost lost
control there. After some time Zubin told me to look down on the road. To my
surprize we had left the road far behind. We were on a trekking trail . With
some difficulty I took a U turn and we headed back towards our camp site and
retired for the night.

18th Oct 2003 – Saturday :

Our morning started with a Breakfast of Noodles and some instant coffee. Did
some stretching and light jogging on the winding forest trail.
Zubin was really eager to sit on the rope way , where as I just wanted to ride
and see more places. Its good we went with Zubin’s choice since the ride in the
rope way was worth every penny spent. (40Rs per person). We took a couple of
good snaps from the rope way . The road leading up to the rope way was really
steep with continous incline till the top.
One picularity I found on the ghats here was that they did not curl slowly up
the mountain , but went straight up . This does not help in decreasing the
incline ,and some inclines were pretty impossible to climb up.
It was 1:00 pm now and we had to decide what should be next on our itenary . we
decided to go for Gira falls . Zubin was really desperate to jump into the falls
and have a bath. But when we reached there we saw that the falls were too
dagerous to go inside , so we did a short trek and went very near to the falls
and took some snaps.
Then next we planned for Vansda national park. In my mind I had decided we would
camp there since it was already 430 pm , and not much time left before darkness.
We left towards Waghai and took a left once waghai came to go towards vansda
national park. What a ride it was through the small winding roads covered with
trees from both the sides. Cant describe the feeling in words .
Then instead of going towards Billimoria , we decided to ride towards Mahal
where the Purna wildlife sanctuary was there. So we had to take a U turn and
ride all the way back to Waghai. I was getting worried since it would now be
dark before we would find a camp site. But then once in the ride , we decided to
stop only at Mahal , come what may . Mahal was still some 80 kms away. After
Awha , we had to ask for directions for Mahal since the road directions were not
clear and it was already dark.
Finally 20 kms before Mahal we found a good clearing and decided to camp there.
Now with a days practice of camping and cooking, within no time the tent was
setup and started cooking food . Now we also had the Burner cap we had got from
Saputara , so the food was cooked real fast and by 10:00pm we had nothing to do
We would not have any time tomorrow to see Purna wildlife sanctuary and the
bamboo forest there, since we had to leave for Mumbai and had to cover almost
300 kms.So we decided to do that in the night.
We left for BardiPada where this Purna sanctuary was there. This was the best
night ride I have ever done through a forest. On both sides the Huge Bamboo
trees covering the road ,and absolutely no vehicle for the 2 hours we rode . The
headlight focus of Bullet is exellent and we were doing almost 80kmph on the
small forest roads. Never have I seen such good roads going through a Bamboo
forest. We stopped inbetween just to be one with the forest , put off the
ignition of the bike and just listened to the forest sounds and did some star
gazing too.
Suddenly we had waterfalls on the road (2 of them) . It was a surprize since at
night , I could just see the road disappearing into blackness , and when we went
near we could see that it was water flowing on the road. Remembered the Ladakh
trip nalla’s , although they cant be compared with this small stream. Then we
decided to turn back … the same enjoyable night ride and we reached the Camp
site at 1200 am. Done for the day …zzzzzzzzzzz

19th Oct 2003 – Sunday :

Since we had to reach Mumbai early by 500 pm we skipped cooking our
breakfast.Packed and left for Mumbai at 900 am.
We took an alternative route from Mahal to Saputara via Galkund. It was another
road with good forest cover and lots of rivers on the way . Of course there were
bridges over them 🙂 . Another ride which was worth remembering. Reached
Saputara at 10 30 am and had breakfast , also filled up our petrol tanks.Rode
non stop till Nashik.
Just before reaching Nashik my bike started misfiring . I thought it might be
due to the extra 2T oil added in petrol. I just rode on in hopes that my bike
will at least reach mumbai without problems. It did run fine with some misfiring
till Shahpur (60 km from Mumbai ).
Suddenly my bike stopped with a pop sound. It refused to start after multiple
Now it was time for some R& D. I checked the carb float for extra oil , spark
plug. The spark plug was not getting current. I checked below the petrol tank
and saw a looze wire there.With this info I called up Antony . He said the wire
which goes to the Ignition coil must be looze , so I would have to remove the
tank and fix the wire back. Till then Zubin came back with a mechanic , but I
had already fixed the problem so we had to send him back.It was already 600 pm
so we hurried back to Mumbai. Reached at 715 pm .
So here ends one of my best rides into the wilderness .




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