‘The winter air feels so crisp and nippy’, said Sneha as she entered the office. ‘Yes, I had to wear a sweater, imagine in Mumbai!’ said Rohan and laughed. ‘We should be outdoors in this weather and not sitting cooped up at our desks,’ Meena sighed. ‘Yes, madam, let us leave all our work and head out, who will finish these reports?’ teased Prakash. ‘And we have a meeting with the clients next week,’ added Aruna. The five friends had a start-up which was doing quite well in the one year of commencement.
Meena persisted, ‘We have not taken a break in a year. Let us go on a short trip. The reports are nearly done and we are ready for the meeting.’ Rohan was also in favour of the suggestion and soon all five decided to take a four-day break. The next decision was the place to visit. Prakash said, ‘Let us go on a road trip. I read about it all the time on goroadtrip.com. It’s so much fun.’
‘Sounds great,’ ‘but where?’ they wondered. Rohan who was new to Mumbai said, ‘Let’s explore the hill stations close to Mumbai.’ ‘Hill stations in winter? That should be cool!’ laughed the others.
As all their decisions were instant, the five friends set off the very next day.
Their first stop was Matheran, a petite hill station two hours from Mumbai. This eco sensitive hill station was a treat to all their senses with the pure, invigorating air, scenic views, waterfalls, lakes, parks and a surprisingly large variety of medicinal herbs and plants.
After spending a day at Matheran, they friends left on the 96- minute drive to Lonavala. Slightly more commercialized than Matheran, Lonavala offered plenty of activities like waterfall rappelling, trekking and farm tours which the friends enjoyed immensely. They also visited the Korigad Fort and Bhaja caves. While returning back they bought many boxes of the famous Lonavala chikkis to take back home.
They reached Mumbai after two days in Lonavala but were in no mood to return to their routine. ‘Let’s extend the trip,’ said Meena still restless. ‘We can go south of Mumbai this time’. Deciding to indulge her and wanting the extension themselves, they all continued on the National Highway up north.
Three hours from Mumbai they reached Kalsubai which is the highest peak of the Sahyadris in Maharastra. But since it required a three-hour trek to reach the summit, the friends decided to reserve it as an exclusive trip for another time. They proceeded to Bhandardara. A hill station set in the Sahyadri ranges, the place felt blessed abundantly with nature’s best. The high mountains with the lush greenery and soft waterfalls gave the friends plenty of options like trekking and boating. The friends felt completely relaxed and sat quietly together watching the lovely sunset over the hills that evening.
The next day they returned to Mumbai recharged but with the idea of another road trip already formed.
Also read 3 Unbeatable Hill stations of Tamilnadu