It all started with work pressure everyday, meeting / not meeting targets, daily process update hurdles becoming boring and monotonous routine in office. A midst all this was plan formulating in mind of my colleague & team leader Ghatak for trip to Nilshi. He was the only one who had visited this place once. Not one had any idea where the hell is Nilshi on maps.
One Saturday morning after shift, we had a bus ready with organiser & contractor auntie ready with our sandwich breakfast. People too desperate to loosen up from daily office routine. So here we were in all 20 + people ready to go on team outing but not knowing what the place had in store for us. In fact what mattered for everyone was "OUTING" FUN" "BOOZE"
Drive from Malad to Lonavala was fun as it took around 4hours. With everyone already down couple of pegs of choice, whiskey, vodka, rum, beer,thumps up......
We checked with couple of locals if we were on right track to Nilshi, we indeed were !!!! thinking 60 kms would be covered in one hour and we would be at lake side. But drive from Lonavala on village road was turning out to be nightmare with lake not insight and sun already in full control. After 2.30hours drive covering 65kms from Lonavala we were at our destination - YMCA camping site. Its not a resort but international standard camping site near lake Gibbs (also called Andhra lake).
Mere sight of entire camping area is so soothing to eyes, one because its more than what you would expect when you have only seen barren roads for last 2+ hours drive, second because you now know that its gonna be only enjoyment
Let me talk about YMCA camping site. The place provides everything you require for fun filled adventure trip. Situated in the lap of Sahyadri hills at village Nilshi, 64 kms from Lonavala. The site is spread over 37 acres surrounded by Andhra lake.
We checked into our accommodation surprised to find rooms in form of bunkers dug in the ground, bunk beds and lawns overlooking your rooms for evening bonfire, party, music, barbecue.
Food included in the package is simple veg / non veg combined. like Dal rice, chicken curry, bread (pav) for lunch/dinner, simple snacks like poha, upma for morning or afternoon snacks. Make sure you carry enough booze, cold drinks and your own bitings as place does not have enough stocks if not informed in advance and sure you don't have the guts and courage to drive 65kms or 5hours to & fro only to get cold drinks, or bitings or booze. LOL
We settled by 4pm in evening, all set and ready to explore the place. We found that road leading to lake is uneven slope and not advisable in night. We reached lakeside by 5pm, It was mesmerizing !!!! enchanting
No one could resist dip in the lake even when no one was carrying pair of clothes as it was already evening.Dip in the lake is strictly under watchful eyes of the campsite and not allowed to go deep even when you might have swimmed the Atlantic !!!
As it started to darken we all promised to be back as early as possible in the morning and began our ascend back to camp site. We were the lucky ones as our Team leader - Ghatak was one classy DJ and also had carried his instruments, speakers and music collection to spin & mix.
At 9am, it was time for some boating, kayaking, swimming as camp starts its activity now.
Other activities include trekking, rappelling, rock climbing. The activities continued till late afternoon till we received warning that lunch will no longer be served as it was already time for afternoon tea.
Then it was time to say adios and packing our bags. Still we didn't want to leave the place so it was time for photo shoot with camping site being on hill gives panoramic view of the scenic lake and nearby forest,
Finally we bid goodbye, promising to return back at any given opportunity. Our bus ride back was more relaxing with sunset and our mind still at the site.
Occasional village kids bidding goodbye to us was adorable.
We stopped at Lonavala for quick purchase of Lonavala chikki, fudge and reached Mumbai around 11pm with everyone bidding goodbye, taking home memories of one amazing outing in their heart, in their cameras only to tell others how amazing it was. Someday pen it down in books as memories or type it in BLOGSPOTS !!!!!