It was a beautiful chilly morning in Pune, and we were on our way to camp at this wonderful site, Camp water’s edge located near the hill-station Lonavala. The route was traffic prone until we reached the highway and then the traffic started to reduce. We took a stopover on our way to finish our packed breakfast – Sabudana khichdi and sandwiches.
Our package for the day at Campwateredge includes lunch, hi tea, dinner and breakfast for the next day.
As we turned onto a narrow road – that would be reaching us to the campsite, it became very scenic. We had to drive very slowly and carefully so as not to damage the vehicle which was not meant for off – road journeys. We rolled our windows down to breathe the fresh village air and revel in the scenic village view complete with farms, small huts, farm animals like hens, cocks, cows and calves. The quiet and placid surroundings of a village always bequeath you with inner peace and tranquility. Your entire body immediately becomes laid back and detached.
The Swiss tents at our destination were extensive and could accommodate around eight people in one. It is perfect for family get together and one day outings for group of family and friends. The bathrooms and toilets are separate but very near to the tents. They are exceptionally neat and clean and we had no trouble utilizing them throughout our stay.
We reached on time for lunch which was nothing fancy but simple and delicious. This was the first time where on a holiday we were to clean our own dishes after eating. They provide with a soap gel and scrubber so you clean your own dishes and bowls.
The extremely clean and peaceful lake makes the view from our tent very alluring. There are a few more tents lined up along ours and also on the opposite side. The terrain is not very flat but in fact a little hilly with a slope through out the site. So, moving around the area is not very feasible for the elderly people. Yet, that is what gives a rustic vibe to the place – away from the city and in natural surroundings.
There are quite a few adventurous activities to keep you busy throughout the day. We commenced with the river crossing, moving on to Burma bridge crossing, kayaking and swimming in the river, and lastly, the bonfire with our own music. There are guards to guide us through all activities and special attention given when anywhere near the water. You are not allowed in any activities without putting on the necessary gears and taking safety precautions.
My personal favorite was kayaking in the lake. It is meditating with no sounds except from the birds and splashing of water against the oars.
Kids favorite was crossing the long Burma bridge. It required stamina and concentration, both of these qualities to complete the task efficiently.
After spending hours doing adventure, we were famished by evening. what was waiting in evening snacks was everyone’s favorite- chai and bhajia’s.
Soon, it was evening and time for bonfire and music. We sang a number of Bollywood songs joined by other guests who love Bollywood too. Since we were there in winter season, it became quite chilly by the time it was night. The sky was very clear with stars lightening it up so we could do the last activity of the day – identify the stars and naming the most visible constellations.
We had a shut – eye for just a few hours before we woke up to the most awaited activity – trekking up the little hill just behind the camping grounds. It was a short one hour trek but the view from above was captivating. We beheld the enticing view with utter happiness and gratitude. Yes, gratitude!
We returned from our trek , famished , gobbled up the breakfast in no time, and then we started packing for our return journey home. We realized that the entire day had just passed in minutes. There is just so much to do and experience in this place that it leaves you wanting for more, always.
Even if it was my second visit, I left the place, pledging to come back, maybe just to see the stars in the night, sit by the romantic lake during the evening or trek over the little hill.
Here is a place for all those who find it difficult going camping the traditional way, surrounded by beauty and nature, but also having all the facilities for comfort stay.