Upper Deck Resort Lonavala TravelWithacouple
Beaches - Hikes - Hotels - Places - Sanctuaries

Travel in 2020: The Middle

(Before The Middle, there was a beginning. Read Travel in 2020: The Beginning. After The Middle, there is also an end. Read Travel in 2020: The End)

In September, we made the first outing. Sometime in August, many hotels and resorts in nearby places in Mumbai had started to open. After a lot of deliberations, we decided to go to Lonavala, which otherwise wouldn’t have been in our consideration at all, unless it is a base for a trek.

A first time visit to Upper Deck Resort and a 2-night stay was worth it, after locking up for months together at home. From the deck, the valley and the hills looked gorgeous, with its lush green cover, fresh after the rains. Food was to be picked up personally from the restaurant, but it just didn’t matter. We went hiking down the valley, up the hills around and made the best out of our first outing.

Upper Deck Resort Lonavala TravelWithacouple
Valley View from Upper Deck
Lonavala Rajmachi View Travelwithacouple
Rajmachi View

Then in end-October came Kashid. The Ro-Ro service between Mumbai and Mandwa had resumed (which started in March 2020 for the first time and shut immediately). Drive in with your car and drive out at Mandwa. Traveling to Alibaug have never been so easier. The Ro-Ro was a pleasant experience. From Mandwa to Kashid was more than 90 minutes drive. This was our first time at Prakruti resorts. Staying in resort have never been our idea of holidays. We often travelled to explore places and relied on half-decent hotels. Everything is changed now. The two nights stay at Prakruti was also enjoyable. We did morning runs and evening strolls at the beach. The resort itself was in the periphery of the Phansad Wild Life Sanctuary and was a green oasis.

Mumbai Mandwa Ro-Ro Service
Mumbai – Mandwa Ro-Ro Service


Mumbai Mandwa Ro-Ro Service

On return, we drove till Murud, for old-time sake. We had been to Murud almost a decade back, when there were only a couple of restaurants and lodging options. Murud has changed beyond recognition. There was enough crowd and traffic on the roads, beating the semi-lock down.

Kashid Beach TravelWithacouple
Kashid Beach

Yes, we cannot forget Phansad, so drove up the hills and the jungle till the sanctuary gate. The sanctuary was closed, not because of lock-down, but because of the damages caused by the recent hurricane. The forest guard was only happy to show us the new facilities for stay and informed us that they would open soon.

Another long drive, an hour in Ro-Ro and we were soon back home.

Gangapur Dam Nasik TravelWithacouple
Gangapur Dam, Nasik

In November, the Diwali break typically gives us minimum 5-days break and our normal practice had been to plan for a 10 day trip anywhere in India. This time, we settled for a nearby place – Nasik. The Soma Wineyard Resort seemed perfect for a 3 night stay. Again, runs around the resort in the mornings, short drives in an around the resort area in the evenings. Only the third day evening we discovered the opportunity for long runs by the Gangapur dam. So, on the 4th day, early morning we went for a long run by the dam. The resort and the restaurant is run by the Orchid group, while it is owned by the Soma group. Yet another resort-type holiday!

Soma Village Nasik TravelwithAcouple
Soma Village Resort, Nasik

With the country slowly opening up and economy picking up, our travels also started, though staying in a resort is not our type of holiday. We hope in 2021, we will be able to travel to new places, trek, hike and take long walks.

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