Its been close to 2 years since I am a member of TAI
and I wasn't aware that there is a Travelogue section in TAI
(How sad). Its a really wonderful section and I decided to wrote up my experience as well. Its my first Travelogue hence please ignore any mistakes. I will try to give as much necessary details of my trip as possible.
Its been close to 3 years I was living in Pune and close to 4 years for my parents trying to get me married.
Yup 4 yrs. Long time.
Finally that happened in Aug 2015 and my wife who's from Noida came with me to live in Pune.
After the rains, came Oct and there was a long weekend thanks to Bapu's Bday.
It had been my long time desire that I would visit Tarkarli with my wife only after I would get married. It was 3 years that wish remained unfulfilled. Hence I decided its time to complete that wish
Prior to that I had been to Nagaon and Diveagarh and I was pretty much aware on how the Konkan landscapes would be. Only later I came to know how wrong I was.
My wife being new was not aware of these landscapes and I told her it would be wonderful.
So we planned our trip for Ganpatipule and Malvan Tarkarli. One of my friend suggested to add Karde Beach in Dapoli as well as its beautiful as well. So I finally made plans for the entire trip and did all the bookings online. My 4 year 2 month old Chevrolet Spark was my ride for the entire trip.
Day 1 - Pune to Karde Beach, Dapoli
Total Distance - 200 kms
Our target for the day was to reach our hotel on Karde Beach asap
. We planned to start by 5:00 PM on Thu after coming back from office so that by the time its light we could cross the Tamhini Ghats. Since I had been to Diveagar I knew that once the Ghats were crossed the landscape would become plain and it wouldn't be that hectic to travel even at night. That's where my assumption was so so wrong.
The start itself got delayed. My wife got stuck at her work and we got late. We finally started at 6.30 PM from Pashan in Pune. As soon as we crossed Pirangut, heavy rains started. By the time we reached Tamhini Ghats, the sun had set completely and it was pitch black along with rains. I thought for a moment whether to proceed or not. My wife looked a bit worried but I told her since the rainy season was almost getting over the rains would also stop after sometime.
After 15 mins the rains died down a little and we started to cross the Tamhini Ghat at 7.30 PM. It was my first drive in Ghats at night and even I was a bit scared too. However I soon got used to driving even with heavy rains. I just needed to make sure that I follow the leftmost white line and always keep the car right of the line. There was no traffic at all and we kept moving steadily. We reached Raigad MIDC at 9:00 PM and I was really happy that we crossed the ghats without any problem.
We rested for 5 mins and started for Mangaon. We reached Mangaon at 9.30 PM and decided to take dinner. We had already covered half the way in 3 hours and I thought we will be able to cover the next 100 kms in 1 and half hours since we had crossed the ghat section. We finished our simple dinner in 45 mins and again started at 10.15 PM.
We were driving at around 80 kmph on NH66. The road was very good and there was not much traffic. However majority of the traffic were of trucks and sometimes our speed slowed down. Now this part of the road even I was travelling for the first time so this was where we made our first mistake. We missed the right turn to Mhapral and moved ahead. Since there was traffic from opposite end we decided to go ahead and take the next right turn. We finally took the right turn to Mahad and got lost in the little town. It took us some time to crossed Mahad and finally we got to SH96. I was tired to drive in the small lanes and bylanes of Mahad and decided to take a bit of rest. It was already 11 PM and we still had 70 kms to go. I started again and that's when we encountered the most dangerous roads till date.
After a bit of driving I could make out that there were mountains to my left and sometimes to my right. It was a ghat section. And it had much more dangerous curves than Tamhini. My wife was sitting very quitely and very worried. But she was making me nervous in any way. Thankfully we didn't encounter any rain there. Slowly and steadily we moved on. My worry was if anything bad happens to my car or us here no one will ever come to know. It was a thick forest. We saw little foxes and rabbits and other animals who were probably sleeping on road and ran away after seeing headlights. We kept moving on and on.
After 1 hour of hardcore mountain terrain driving we finally saw a sign saying (Dapoli-10 kms). I was happy. Google Maps showed another 20-25 kms to go to Karde Beach. The road to Dapoli became smooth and we made good progress. Once we reached Dapoli, we got surprised. Everybody was sleeping. Not even a shop anywhere was open. There were some people sitting and I asked them how far is Karde Beach. They said it will take another 15-20 mins. It was 12:00 AM. I continued without wasting any more time and again encountered Ghats. Now I was really getting tired of the curvy roads and frustrated for the first time and cursing myself to make this journey at night. Even when the distance was showing 2-3 kms to my hotel the Ghat roads just didn't seem to end. I was flabbergasted and wondered just where the hell was the beach
Just when things couldn't get any better, it again started raining heavily. I calmed down and my wife said good that it was raining when we were just near the hotel. All of a sudden we saw our hotel and went in. Even the hotel staff were sleeping and we wondered whether we would now get room or not. It was still raining heavily. Thankfully my phone was not charged out and I called them up. The owner woke up and answered the call and quickly woke up the staff to take us to our rooms and provided towels and water. It was 12.30 AM and I was really thankful to God that we were able to reach there without any mishaps. After refreshing ourselves we went to sleep