February 9, 2023

Just a few hours way – Pawna Lake

The swivel chair at home has now a new use. Since I have been off the internet and blogging, the computer chair lay unused for the last few days. Till my husband in a flash of brilliance converted it into my personal wheel chair. I came back from hospital with both feet bandaged – I kicked – i.e. waved my hands wildly – and screamed and foiled the best efforts of my doctors and the hospital administrators to get me to stay there for a couple of days. I got off the car and since then have been moving around in the swivel chair.

Here is some more armchair – swivel chair, wheelchair whatever – travel. The first in the series on just a few hours away. Mostly photo essays with descriptions in between.

It was a lazy rainy Sunday afternoon when we drove to Kamshet. Allured by the promises of the numerous lakes that dot the region, and of paragliding adventures, and armed with the Outlook Traveler Weekend breaks guide. No clear directions except the knowledge that Kamshet was just after Lonavala, barely a two hour drive from Bombay.

After much stopping for directions, and much more assistance from helpful locals who did not have a clue but did not let that prevent them from giving us directions as they saw fit, we reached Pawna lake at Kamshet. And suddenly we forgot all the wrong turns and the squabbles in the car.

Pawna lake in Kamshet

Pawna was serene and windy, cool and inviting. And thankfully uncrowded. A small shack selling tea and garam pakoras – just the right thing for rainy afternoons. A few high cane chairs all over the lawns. And the gentle breeze lulling one into sleep. Stupid smiles on our faces. Bliss.

Pawna lake

Dancing trees

Till the tourists hit. The carload of them jumped on to the grass, stripped in front our of disbelieving eyes and ran to the lake and jumped in. And suddenly Pawna lake was only about underwear and pot bellies and the obscene screams of merrymaking middle aged men. Time for us to leave.

We got lost on the way back to Lonavala, (mis)guided by a local who pointed out a “short cut” route. The road on his route was non existent but was full of surprises. Like this sudden sharp turn on the road here. The distant view of the hills through a wedge in the rocks.

And locals drying chillies and fish on the road and gaping at our car as we passed. And old men with umbrellas and walking sticks, and tirchi topi firmly in place.

Umbrella man

A bumpy drive on dusty roads. And finally Lonavala. With this one stop at the side of the pond just after. Striking red of the temple wall and spire across the pond. More conversations over roasted corn and raindrops falling on the face.

Temple on the shore

And then the expressway back to Bombay. Kamshet invites us again – other lakes to be discovered, Lohagad fort to be trekked up to, and paragliding dreams…

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