Monday, July 11, 2005

Matheran - Day 2

[from Day 1]
We had to wake up very early in the morning – at 6 am, so that we had enough time to visit all the points. 6 am, my normal wakeup time seemed tooooo early this time. None of us took bath that day, we simply couldn’t. We then started walking up and down the rolling hill road. Our first stop was Charlotte Lake – which looked like an artificial lake made by damming up one of the sides. The water overflowing from the dam created a great waterfall downstream. All the waterfalls I had seen were from the bottom, and this was from the top! While we were admiring the beauty of the view from the falls, one of the moronic tourists threw a plastic peanut bag into the stream. We then walked to some of the view points there – Lord Point, and Lumley Seat, which had no railing to protect us in came someone fell down. We saw a phallic looking rock from there and we would be seeing that wherever we went.
We then walked back to Echo point, and Honeymoon point. There were another three moronic tourists relieving themselves, in a tourist spot! Our next stop was Louisa Point, one of those places where you want to build a cottage and allow no one else to come within 5 kilometres of! The scene was captivating. This is the place where the phallic rock is present. From here, we could see a Maratha fort in the distance, a British watchtower, and the first bungalow built in Matheran, and some other places. There was this guy with a telescope, fleecing tourists, as usual – he was showing ‘5 points for only Rs. 10’, of which two were of the paddy fields in the valley below and one was of the rock that was just metres away – Lion’s Head, which had featured in many Bollywood movies.

After spending almost an hour there, we started walking back to the station, and we had lunch at a Gujarati place. A few friends from the plains who just wanted to ride the toy train, up and down, joined us. They did not get tickets up hill, but they hitched a ride anyway, and caught up with us. An hour later, we went to the station to get tickets back down. Unfortunately, they were sold out just moments after we joined the queue. We thought we could ‘bribe’ the ticket collector and somehow get a ride. After half an hour of debating, he relented and let us one girl from the group to ride till the taxi stand. I was disappointed as this was the fourth toy-train that I had missed – the other three being the ones to Ooty, Darjeeling and Shimla, in that order. I and another guy then decided to ride a horse downhill, all by myself. Unfortunately, I got a grandpa horse that would not go more than a trot, how much ever I kicked it.
I thought our excitement was over once we reached the taxi stand, but then, there was some more left. The taxi we got was a rickety old Premier Padmini, whose doors had no handles, no levers inside to open the door or roll the windows, and had to be pushed to start. It sounded like the car was running on a motorcycle engine. After a few metres, the silencer broke and we dragged it till the plains where it broke completely and fell down. From Neral, we caught the train back to Dadar.

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