The Great inland lake
Finally I had come off the freeways and back onto the smaller rural roads. Once again there was the pleasure of heading back into the mountains. From the city of Pune it had been a slow climb up and up onto the Deacon plateau, as with every up, eventually there must be the down. The mountains in this area are really rugged but covered with this beautiful soft green coating of dense forest. From a distance they looked like rolling hills carpeted with wash of vibrant soft greens, but once you are in it, it’s a dense entangled mass of trees, creepers and thorny undergrowth. Steep acsents and decent dropping and rising hundreds of meters over rugged rock that look like graduals of instant coffee.
The roads that I was hoping to take, recorded on our maps, were no longer there. They have been taken back by the jungle over the years, leaving not a trace. I pushed on following a secondary road into the highland plateau until it levelled out between the massive peaks, watching over it like centurions motionlessly standing at attention. There was a haze in the distance that just seemed to hang like a giant hammock between the peaks as if it was trying to hide some thing. Slowly as the sun elbowed itself up and over the mountains, it slowly started to dislodge the cloud that effortlessly shrunk back and slid into the morning sun and evaporated to expose this massive expanse of water, a lake that looked like an inland sea twisting and curling between the mountains.
The road took a little dip and snaked down towards the lake, twisting and curling back onto itself, it slowly wound down to the water’s edge and then disappeared into it. I could not believe this, on my map the road was there, the corner mile stone even read Chiplun 53km but the road was no more, as I looked up all I could see from my feet up to the horizon was water. Where to now?