Ride Date: 14th September, 2103
Last weekend (8th September) I rode with MG and we did a ride through Medha and the idea was to end up at Kaas. But when we reached Kaas, we were disappointed to see the bloom. Hence we both decided not to stop there and rode on to Pune via Bamnoli. But I had decided that I would come back to Kaas next weekend and check out the bloom. Now this weekend I had both Saturday and Sunday off hence I made an elongated plan. I decided that on the first day I would ride to Kaas and Thoseghar and by evening I would head towards Kolhapur. MG was supposed to join me in the evening somewhere on the highway.
I wanted to start early for Kaas and hence rode to Pune the previous night and decided to start early next morning for Kaas. However due to some reasons and some awesome friends I couldn’t sleep on time and had to postpone my start by a couple of hours. I started at around 8:00 from Pune and took my first customary stop at the Reliance A1 Plaza after the first toll booth from Pune towards Satara. The ride was as interesting as it can get on a boring 4 lane NH4. I wanted to rush to Kaas and start clicking flowers. I kept riding towards Satara and don’t know how and why I missed the turn for Satara.
After going a few kms ahead I stopped and asked directions for Kaas. The locals directed me well as always and I took off from the NH4 and took the internal road that would connect me to the main Satara- Kaas Road. Once I entered the city I saw a traffic cop indicating me to stop, I went near him, stopped and asked him the directions again. He quickly guided me and before he could say anything else I started off. 😛 I still wonder why he tried to stop me and what he might have thought when I left.
In no time I had crossed the miniscule ghat section, if it can be called a ‘ghat’, and then headed to Kaas. En route the wonderful sky scape with clear blue skies with some speck of white clouds compelled me to stop for a photo-break. I first thought of clicking the Umrodi dam. The blue skies and the Sahyadri range carpeted with green vegetation made it a perfect frame.
Within a few meters I had to stop again this time to click the Kanher dam. While I stopped to click this time, I saw a group of college friends having fun and clicking pics, it was fun watching them, they reminded me of my college days. However I was not in a position to waste time thinking about old days right then. I clicked some pics and once satisfied I started for Kaas.
I reached Kaas at around 11:15 A.M. but thanks to the huge influx of tourist the entire plateau where the flowers bloom has been barricaded parking is now banned by the side of the road. Visitors now also need to pay fees for visiting the plateau and if you are carrying a camera bet ready to shell out another 30 rupees. Also you can only park your vehicle in the parking spot towards the lake where again you need to pay parking charges. Another issue with that is if you are on a bike then you need to carry all your stuff back with when you come to the flower beds. I was lucky that I had the BIKINGSPIRIT backpack. It was a blessing; I strapped my knee guards and riding jacket onto it and was left only with the helmet and camera in my hand. I made it a point to carry a bottle of water with myself as I planned to spend a long time clicking the flowers.
While going inside I noticed the road that comes from Mahabaleshwar that was piercing through the valley, but off course was barricaded on both sides.
I asked the cops there “Am I allowed to ride to Mahabaleshwar through this route?”
They said “No”.
I replied “What if someone comes from that side?”
They said “That is allowed.”
I smiled and started walking inside. Seeing this they said “the road is very bad from that side.”
With a broad smile I replied “I Know”.
Now I know what I need to do next year I mean which route to take for an exciting ride to Kaas. It was 11:45 A.M so I went inside and started to click click.
More pics can been seen here
By around 3:00 P.M I was done with clicking and was really hungry now. Also I needed to be on the highway to catch up with MG who would join me for the ride ahead. More importantly I needed to go to Thoseghar Windmill farms.
I quickly went to the parking and started off for Thoseghar and decided to have lunch at ‘Shayadri Pusph’. That’s a restaurant in between Kaas and Satara. I had been there during my True Wanderers ride and felt the food was decent. En route I saw two fellow bikers on KTM dukes waiting by the roadside. I waved at them and they waved back. I like this feeling, the feeling of brotherhood that is developing amongst the bikers here. Once I reached the restaurant and I parked my vehicle people started looking at me as if I came from outer space. Well I have got used to it like most of us who wear gears. The restaurant was jam packed, thanks to the flowery valley. I luckily got a table and had a quick lunch and headed out.
I headed back to the junction where the road diverges and one of them takes you back to Satara and the other one takes you to Thoseghar waterfalls and Windmills. I took the one that would take me to Thosehhgar Waterfalls. Within a few kms I was on the other side of Umrodi Dam.
As I moved ahead I could see the entire horizon dotted with windmills which looked so tiny under the shadow of the huge cloud over them. This looked so different and so much greener than my last visit here. I stopped for a couple of minutes to click some snaps.
I moved ahead keeping in mind that my other riding partner has already started from Pune and I need to be on the highway very soon. I decided to go to the windmills rather than the tourist crowded waterfall. It was already 4:30, so I decided that I will spend a maximum of 30-45 minutes here and then start riding towards NH4 where I was supposed to meet MG. The place looks so different in monsoons, the ground was covered with flowers not as dense as Kaas but yeah good enough to make it look amazingly beautiful. The splendid landscape of flowers with the windmills was a delight to capture.
I spent almost around 40 minutes clicking pics and then decided to return back, on my way back I saw those two KTM riders again whom I had met while returning from Kaas. This time I stopped and recognized that one of them was Deepak Kulkarni (he is easy to recognize, courtesy his special Duke 200) and the other was Mr. Tank. Surprisingly he also recognized me and then we started discussing biking and I came to know that he was heading to Koyna via Patan and after a small chit chat we parted ways as both were getting delayed. These kinds of incidents make you feel that the world is really a small place.
I was on NH4 and I got a text from MG that he expects to cross Satara by 6:15 P.M. I decided to ride on slowly rather than stopping at one particular point. I went to re-fuel at a BP petrol pump around 12 kms before Umraj, the pump was a new one and was considerably small, hence I was surprised when they said that they accept cards.
It was sunset time; I parked my bike by the side of the road, updated MG about my current location and took out my camera to click the dramatic sky. MG arrived within the next 10-15 mins, and the first thing he said was “I am very hungry, let’s eat something first”. We noticed that there was a restaurant a few hundred meters back and decided to go there itself. The restaurant was half filled with passengers of a tourist bus and as soon as we parked our bikes we became the centre of attraction. Keeping the bikes in our view we had a quick snacks session and then started out.
We stopped at another hotel, Sai food Court, just on the outskirts of Kolhapur. MG made some calls and informed me that he won’t be able to join me for the entire ride tomorrow as he needed to stay in an area where he gets proper network for making calls. We decided to stay in some hotel by the highway itself, we enquired at Hotel Sai international, the place we were presently at but it turned out to be expensive. I made some calls and found out a more economic one just at the entry of Kolhapur.
We switched on our ignitions once again without even having a hint what nature has in store for us. Suddenly, out of the blue it started raining very hard and we had to take shelter in a parking shed of a small hotel. The rain kept getting stronger and we decided to stay in this hotel. MG had to ride for another 5-10 kms to hunt for an ATM as none of us had cash and the hotel didn’t accept cards.
After having a good dinner we discussed the next day’s plan. MG proposed that we start really early and cover some areas near Panhala and then he would return back and I would continue with the original plan. It sounded good to me and we agreed to do that and called it a day.