|An elderly lady selling limbu sherbat on the way to Rajgad Fort.|
1. Explore Goa on my own - preferably on a bike.
2. Travel to Pune (Maharashtra) to meetup with my family (who were flying directly from Kuwait to Pune), and spend some quality time with them.
As far as sight-seeing or photography goes, I did not have any expectations regarding Maharashtra. I find the place over-crowded, unhygienic, and communication with the people is a hassle as I don't know Marathi, and my knowledge of Hindi is very limited.
The only concrete plan I had made regarding Maharashtra was that I would try to do the "Rajgad Fort" trek - which is supposed to be a very challenging one-day trek. I also had some vague idea of spending a few days in Lonavla or a similar hill station - just to unwind myself.
Once I landed in Pune, I learned 2 things:
1. Maharashtra has massive history dating back to thousands of years. It also has an amazing natural beauty crafted by the Sayadhri mountains range.
2. For a decent amount (around Rs. 3000/- per day), you can hire a good car (such as the Toyota Innova) plus the driver - and drive anywhere you want.
I wasted no time in plotting a sight-seeing agenda that included historical places like Ajanta and Ellora Caves, challenging treks to various forts, and of course, unwinding in the beautiful hill stations of Mahabaleshwar & Lonavla.
It ended up being the most interesting time for the whole family. Long drives, interesting places and people, eating strawberries fresh from the garden, food poisoning and even a theft of my beloved Nike running shoes.
Over the coming few days, I'll try to sort out all the photos and organize them by place. Stay tuned.