Malshej: Driving through clouds and rain
There are journeys that are well planned and then there are those done on a whim. Infact, most of the time , the latter are the most fun because there is a sense of adventure and excitement in the air. And this is exactly what Meenal & Ram, busy professionals from Bombay did….
On a whim, decided to head out to Malshej, the popular monsoon destination 140 kms from Mumbai. Knowing that the only place worth staying over is the Flamingoes Resort, run by MTDC that gets booked four months in advance, it had to be a day trip.
The lure of driving through clouds, soaking in a waterfall and watching flamingos take off in synchronized flight was too much to resist! So we grabbed a few essentials, had a hearty breakfast (and thank God for that) and hit the road by 10:45 am (too late a start for a 300 km round trip, but better now than never). What followed was a crazy and yet awesome day! We did drive through the clouds (and was it great or what!), didn’t soak in a waterfall (there was no place to change into dry clothes again), nor see the flamingos (horrendous roads ate into our time), but had a lovely time simply drinking in the beauty of this piece of heaven and walking hand in hand into the mist.
After what seemed an eternity, we finally hit the ghat road (and with that the bad road stretch ended too). This has to count among the most scenic drives – lush greenery all around, innumerable waterfalls dotting the mountainside…
In fact there are waterfalls gushing by the roadside – so close that we could reach out and touch them! The ghat road was full of waterfalls which were in turn full of picknickers frolicking in the water! There are even spots where you actually drive through water falls – there was this spot where the water descended in torrents onto the road from an overhanging ledge above, creating a curtain of water to drive through! Ofcourse, we drove through it windows rolled down!
And finally, we had reached…The resort sits atop a small plateau, at the edge of a cliff looking into the valley. The place is mesmerising. Tall cliffs rise to touch the clouds all around and as we watched a thick cloud engulfed the whole place, including us, reducing visibility to barely a few metres! We were literally ‘walking in the clouds!’ Not to waste the opportunity M and I let loose our cameras – there were several photo-worthy landscapes begging to be shot!
The hour that we had slotted to spend here quickly merged into the next and before long, it was time to turn back. Promising to return soon, we headed back..