The roadtrip, the anniversary, and all that jazz

The road trip

On a hot Monday afternoon, at around 11.45 am, we started our road trip to Jambulne jungle, 18 kilometers ahead of Lonavala. It was Ovee's maiden road trip and we were all excited.

We did away with our knee guards as that would have been too bulky for us. Tejas did away with the riding jacket as well, but I stuck to it since it has back and elbow protection. As always, we did not take any backpack. It was just saddle bags, tank bags and a sling bag for the essentials.

Initially, Ovee insisted on sitting on the tank. So I held the tank bag on my lap and she had her way.

Later, as we hit the highway near Dehu road, we shifted her between us and the tank bag went on the tank. That was our first break. After that, Ovee was sleepy and we had to remove her helmet so she could sleep well. During times when she was awake on the bike, we sang her favourite rhymes and counted the number of signals.

Since it was a weekday, there wasn't much traffic and we went steady at 40 kmph. As we entered Lonavala, we stopped for lunch at Amrapali, our usual one during bike trips. Ovee was refreshed after her nap and we allowed some extra time for her to run around before starting off again.

We rode through the Aamby valley road and reached our destination -The Machan -at village Atvan, in about two-and-a-half driving hours.

The picturesque road to the controversial Aamby valley
And then, we were off the grid for three days, with cellphone range available only at the reception area.

Riding statistics

As per GeoTracker, the app that Tejas uses for riding statistics, following are the details of the two days that we rode:

The stay
Since it was Ovee's maiden roadtrip, we wanted it to be free of glitches. We wanted a place close to the city, where bike and medical help was readily available. Yet, disconnected enough so that we would get just we-time for us...and The Machan fit the bill.

Since Ovee is not very much into watching TV or cellphone, it was a bigger task for us to stay off grid--no TV, no Internet, sporadic cellphone connectivity, and no AC at The Machan. And I must say we did well!

On our first day, after we had settled in our Forest Machan with a cup of chai, we spent our time enjoying the view from our deck:

The Jambulne forest view from our deck.

The Machan owners boast of "creating" and conserving the forest on 25-acres of their land

Spot the machan

The wooden bridge to reach our machan. Taken with a fish-eye lens.

The next day was our anniversary and Tejas surprised me with the anniversary package that he had booked for us. This included a private bonfire, a bottle of wine, starters, and a wishing lantern. It was too romantic for us, but it was indeed special because it was just the three of us around the beautiful bonfire for about a couple of hours. And since we are not wine people, we replaced it with Vodka and Whiskey to perfect the evening.

The awkwardness of accepting the anniversary bouquet bought by us for ourselves. By the way, do not delve too much into the quote on Tejas's tee and the occasion!
After playing songs like Wicked Game, Romeo Juliet, and Stereo Love, came Ovee's request for her favourite rhymes. And then we danced to Old MacDonald had a farm, Johnny Johnny, and Row Row Row your boat.
Dancing to one of the rhymes
And then, we were sitting by the bonfire, just about to leave for dinner, when a little girl walked towards us. He parents followed. The little girl, Tisya, and Ovee started talking in alien language (the girl didn't know Marathi, and Ovee does not respond to English or Hindi although she understands them).

Within no time, we started talking to the parents, too awkward to tell them that we were having a private bonfire. They were from Baner and the father worked in Aundh. As all the six of us headed towards dinner buffet (The Machan serves only buffet), Ovee and Tisya saw another little girl (Karam), and her parents started talking with us too.

Within a few minutes, we had these "strangers", so to say, wishing us "Happy Anniversary" and our voices had taken over the peace at the dining area. The girls enjoyed each other's company, us parents too got along well. And now we call us The Machan gang.
The Machan gang

On our last day, we took the guided jungle walk of two kilometers. Although it wasn't that informative, it was an experience in itself, The walk culminated at a sunset point inside the jungle and all we could do was to bask in the nature!

The forest machan seen from the jungle
The starry night
Sunset from the jungle
We returned on Thursday, refreshed, two items -Ovee's bike trip and stay at The Machan -ticked off our bucket list.

And then, there's nothing like both set of parents welcoming you home:

Back home :)

Read my detailed review of The Machan on tripadvisor.


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