Thanks to Mumbai University postponing my Control Systems paper to 14th of Jan, we have a 12 day leave for Signal processing. We decided to make full use of the time by planning a one day trip to Matheran.
Vineet and I were supposed to leave at 4 am from our building to catch the 5.00 am train to Neral from Dadar. i set the alarm for 2.30 in the morning because I wanted to catch the last few minutes of the Arsenal game.
Flash forward to 4 am when I got a call from Vineet. I realized my alarm had not gone off and I was pretty late. I had a bath in water that was freezing because there was no time and to my surprise, exactly 12 minutes later we were taking a rickshaw to the station. It didn’t matter that I was late because Matoo and Gaurav came to Dadar even later than us and Chaukya and Kunal had bought tickets to Nerul instead of Neral and had to get it changed.
We reached Neral after a train ride that was laced with stupid electrical engineer jokes which made we wish I had not taken engineering in the first place (but then again so does everything else). A short taxi ride later we were at Matheran where we were charged 25 bucks to just get entry. We walked all the way to Matheran station because cars are mercifully not allowed inside.
We sat down to have breakfast at a seedy looking hotel with surprisingly good kaanda poha and we were soon ordering seconds. While we were leaving, the owner cum waiter cum cook cum accountant presented us with a bill for 350 bucks!!!! A complete rip off because he showed us the menu only after we had finished eating.
We bought a map and decided to walk in a great ellipse covering as many points as we could and saw some amazing scenery. After a really long short cut, we came to points with really weird names like Lord point, Gorilla Point, One Tree Hill, Porcupine Point. The One Tree Hill was a total scam because the tree was nothing more than a shrub. We could hear no echoes at Echo point and we were harassed by touts who wanted to give us rooms in cottages. But the splendid walking trails and the views made up for all the inconvenience.
We had to wait in line to get the tickets for the toy train journey from Matheran back to Neral, something I had not done since I was 2 years old. Below the train is a sheer drop of 3000 feet and we got some nice pics and videos of the view below.
From Neral to Dadar we took a crowded local train. It was in Dadar where the fun began when we found that there was a line fault and some of the local trains had been canceled. There was a huge crowd at dadar and we couldn’t even get on an Andheri local. We decided to take a bus home only to be told that the roads were clogged. We decided to walk to Mahim and with Kunal and Gaurav almost on the verge of collapse, we managed to find a relatively empty train and got into it.
We reached home at around 11 at night after walking total of 25 km that day. That’s the most I have walked in a day for close to seven years. Well at least its a start to my marathon ambitions 🙂
I still have 9 days to kill and so I have started to learn pencil sketching. It seems an uphill task because me and drawing are old adversaries but lets hope I make quick progress. Back to the drawing board….