Finally after a very long time i have again started to blog! As a part of my new year resolution to pursue seeing new places and picking up photography i have been to many places in the last couple of months.

Frustrated sitting at home on Saturday, not doing anything we, the three idiots (Synti, Rena and myself) wanted to go to Matheram, a hill station on the outskirts of Mumbai for a day’s trip on sunday. We bought the toy train tickets from Neral (Railways Central line) to Matheram and decided to do the trip on Sunday.

After stupendous support from Rena (who got ready in half an hour!), we could start from home at 7 Am in the morning to catch the 10:15 train at Neral. The journey went on fine till we reached Kalyan Jn from Dadar, where we had to take a different train to Neral. After some struggle and some asking we finally got to the right platform. The train to Khapoli came in a few minutes later, with a typical Mumbai-ish crowd. There was no space for even the back pack to fit, forget myself. We then took a very wise (!!) decision to stay for the next train as we had an 90 minutes to catch the train. None of us actually knew how long it would take us to Neral from there.

We waited on for the next train only to realise that it would not go till Neral and it was to an intermediate place. Upon enquiry we realised there was a next train an hour later. We decided to go to badlapur and then catch some auto to Neral. After reaching Badlapur at 9.30 we enquired about the auto and realised that it costs us 200 bucks and it did not have a direct road access. But there was a train at 10:06 leaving us 9 minutes to catch the train at Neral. Since there were 2 stations between Badlapur and Neral we assumed we could reach there by 10:20 and then we would give it a mad dash hoping the train @ Neral started according to IST (:P)

Unfortunately the train that was supposed to come at 10.06 came at 10:09, that meant we were 3 minutes late already to the revised plan. The toy train does the 21 km trek into the mountainn in 2hrs. So we were still confident of somehow catching the train even after it left by running along side the track (Atleast we kinda hoped so :P ). To all our surprise the distance between the stations was too long that even at around 100 kmph the train took 20 mins to Neral.

We were 15 minutes late to Neral and the train had left, nor was it in our sights so that we could run to catch it. We went to the station master who told us to try taking an auto and chase the train to the next station (jummapatti). We had an outside chance because the train takes 30 mins to reach there and the auto (supposedly) could do it in 15 mins.

Not having any other choice we took an auto and started for jummapatti!! 5 mins into the journey we came to the ghat section where the auto literally started to plead mercy!! The auto at the least gear with full throttle was doing no better than people jogging! Thanks to synti who kept saying more negative things like what if the Auto fell of the cliff! or what if we start going backwards instead of forwards!, we started worrying as to what would happen if the auto started to roll backwards instead of worrying whether we would catch the train.

Link to pics @ picasa

The poor auto decided not to give up and tagged us along the awesome road to jummapatti. 15 mins later as promised by the auto wala, we reached the station right on time before the toy train started its way up the mountains. We were glad we made it to what was an awesome journey up the mountain.

We reached matheran at around 12:30, and after paying 25bucks ! (tax to enter matheran) we set forth for a trek to various view points on matheran. The motor vehicles are not allowed to enter matheran and have to stop about 3 kms away from the hill station. The only mode of transport available other than using one’s legs were the horses. We chose to trust our legs this time and started on our trek.

The roads were full of loose red soil and they smelt bad because of all the horse sh** along the way and when ever a horse galloped past us we had to block our nose to prevent the dust entering the nose. After 30 mins we got tired of all the dust and the horse **it and decided to take paths that led us into the wild. Since we were three we decided to use the rules of democracy when ever we came up to a bifurcation in the path. As all of us were so frustrated to find the wild we took the road not taken unanimously and reached an old bungalow that was locked.

We then got the idea of taking an horror thriller movie starring rena and syntax with me playing the suspense role. 2 hours passed by as we tried various angles and various takes and retakes with synti providing all the action by his awesome stunts!! After some thought we named our movie “EVADER” and very soon we were done with the trailors. Don’t ever be surprised if in the near future a hollywood movie named evader turns up at the theatres. :P

The bungalow had awesome swings where i spent around half an hour while synti was busy climbing what ever he could find. After a maid came and started shouting at us, we finally decided to leave, what was an amazing bungalow. We then trekked all the way to a lake and had some fun there for about an hour. Rena and synti tried some luck on a few games which they lost terribly (:P). I then tried my hand in it and won 2 Dairy Milks.

@Synti: lol max the way you tried those games !!!

After our stomachs started complaining we decided to call it a day and reach matheran. Another 30 mins trek and we were at a restaurant eating our lunch !! After the 90 mins lunch (thanks to rena) we started again for a 3 km trek to catch the road to find a ride back to Neral. Assuming it was just a 30 min walk we started our way back at 6. We dragged our bodies along the train track in search of the road. 30 mins passed by and the sun set leaving us in total darkness. We had no one in front of us, but we kept going on in some hope. Another half an hour passed by and still there was no sight of any habitation.

We started imagining the worse. After sometime we heard a few footsteps and looked back to see some more people. I got a new lease of life, was so happy to see some one behind! We were then guided to the destination in about 15 mins!! Within 5 mins we got a taxi back to Neral, from where we returned home at 10:30, with legs aching bad. All in all it was an awesome experience visiting a place that I hope will remain pristine untouched by vehicles.

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