Anyway, I will continue with my Mahabaleshwar Odyssey now. :))
I’d stopped the last time at the end of our first day in Mahabaleshwar. The next day we went to Panchgani.
Before I go on, I have to mention that all of the conversations that we would have, would always inevitably, come around to the point that we had nothing to do on New Year’s Eve, as the guesthouse where we were staying had nothing planned at all. We thought that we should check out any of the other hotels in Mahabaleshwar, which had some event planned. Everybody liked the idea, but then we wondered how exactly we would come back, as the guesthouse was a 15 minutes walk from the market place and a great deal more from the other hotels that we had seen.
On our way around Mahabaleshwar we had come across Hotel Frederick, which had a banner displayed up front announcing that it was hosting ‘The Wildest New Year’s Eve Party’. So on our way to Panchgani we stopped there and decided to enquire about the ‘Wildest New Year’s Eve Party’. We were met at the reception by a very matronly looking woman, who made us all feel as though we were back in school and had broken some sacred rule, and were to now receive our punishment! Ms. Matron told us that the party was only for couples, then looking at our despondent faces, asked us if we were only a group of girls, when we said ‘yes’, she decided to grant us the tickets to the party. We were quite excited and decided to purchase the tickets there and then.
We went back to our car and after the initial jubilation died down, began to wonder once again about how we would go back to the guesthouse after the party. We thought that we could ask the driver who was ferrying us around Mahabaleshwar, or maybe ask the guesthouse caretaker to suggest some alternative. So having to a conclusion we then had a delicious breakfast of corn cutlets and corn pakodas. They were terribly yummy and just melted in our mouths!
En route to Panchgani we stopped at ‘Parsi Point’, which offered a view of the green hills and lake.
We then reached the Panchgani ‘Tableland’ and were at once beset by a tangawalla and a ghodawalla. After working out which would be the cheaper option, we decided to go with the tangawalla. P sat upfront with the tangawalla, while N, J and I sat behind in the buggy. As soon as the horse took a few steps forward he reared up! All of us screamed, or maybe it was only I who had screamed! Hehe! But that was one scary experience! And throughout the ride the horse kept on acting funny, he would run just a bit too fast and I was really scared that he would keep on running over the edge and take us along with him! All of us were holding on to the buggy rails as tightly as possible!
We saw some 6-7 ‘points’ on the Tableland.
One of them being the footprints of the Paanch Pandavas. Apparently they had visited Tableland while they were on their Vanvaas.
The roller coaster buggy ride came to end at last and the tangawalla told us that if we wanted we could go down and check out a cave close by where we had stopped. I was quite gung ho about visiting a cave, and dragged the others along too. It was quite a steep climb down to the cave. There was a little restaurant being run in the cave, which offered modest fair like tea, coffee, samosas etc
. The cave was quite cool, literally and figuratively!
There were quite a lot of monkeys running around too.
After we finished our Tableland tour, we visited two Mapro factories. Mapro manufactures jams, squashes and some other stuff. I bought a bottle of mixed fruit jam for my grandma and a bottle of green apple squash for my brother and myself.
We then went back to Mahabaleshwar, had our lunch in the market place and went back to the guesthouse.
We lazed around in our rooms and this time decided to start out earlier for the market place than we had done the last time, when we had had to walk in the dark and pretty much freaked out!
N decided that she wanted to buy a skirt to wear to the party as all the rest of us were wearing skirts. She bought this gorgeous white skirt with sequins. We then fell upon this tiny shop that sold some very interesting jewelry. A lot of brightly colored stones were used. I bought myself two pairs of stone earrings, which I simply LOVE! :D I also bought two interesting looking necklaces. Then we went to this shoe store, and N bought a couple of pairs of shoes for herself. We even bought nail polish for the ‘Big night’! You can say that we really went all out! Hehe!
After we had shopped to our heart’s content, we stopped at a bakery for dinner. It was terribly crowded, and as there were only two tables to sit at, we decided to pack some burgers and pizzas and eat them at the guesthouse itself. So while I was standing in line for the food coupons, guess who walked in? Shaimak Davar and a bunch of his friends! So we gawked a bit, but as discreetly as possible! Most of them looked as though they danced in his troupe. One of the guys from the group was standing at the food counter and he just could not stand still, he kept on moving to the music that was blaring in the bakery. And the music that was being played was stuff by the Backstreet Boys, and Enrique Iglesias, and Ricky Martin – all the hits from my school days! :)
Anyway, our order took ages to come, and as soon as it did, we made our way to the taxi stand and rode back to the guesthouse . After dinner we decided to turn in a bit earlier than we had the previous night. So after playing one or two rounds of UNO, N and I went back to our room and fell asleep at once. And that’s where Day 2 in Mahabaleshwar comes to an end!