Secret Camping near Mumbai

Once upon a time, when nomadic life was not merely a buzzword but a way of life, staying connected with nature was not a matter of choice but a conscious effort for human sustenance. This winter, I embarked on an adventure to experience this nomad way of life.

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Packing ultralight, learning from my mistakes from Camping at Rishikesh (1) – Trek and Treat, I along with 12 of my friends went camping at this secret serene place near the city. With mini budget, we booked a mini bus and set out on our beguiling Bon Voyage!

It was 3 hrs route, stretched to 5 hrs thanks to truly absurd traffic at the evening office hours.

However we did so something that a real camper would never do. And  I am not proud of it. Half hour before we would reach our camps , we passed through this 4 star hotel and decided to halt there to get some Chinese food parcels. Blame our hungry tummies and weak hearts, for we were not strong enough to resist temptation of extra spicy Sichuan noodles on cold wintery nights.

We reached the place at almost 9 p.m., parked our bus little outside the rough narrow road and hiked to the place with our torches and map directions. And we were welcomed with smiling beaming lake all to ourselves. The location was secluded, giving us complete, exclusive access to entire skies and entire lake. It felt like we were gifted our little share of paradise on earth.

Before we get further hypnotized with beauty of the place, we quickly started to do the camping duties and meet our basic needs, food, shelter & here, light (warmth)

We divided our squad in 3 teams, each taking care of each necessity. While the tent group pitched up the tents, and the light group made the bonfire, I belonged to the food group who unpacked and served the food that we had got. We also made some veg mayonnaise sandwiches, lightly toasted in bonfire.

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Luckily for us the location, the winds and the ground everything was perfectly supportive for camping. Or else it would have been really difficult roaming around to find alternate site devoid of internet, proper light and proper directions.

We gathered near bonfire, had our dinner, roasted some potatoes, sang songs, cracked jokes and had really fun time. My musically gifted friend pulled out his guitar, entrancing and entertaining us with some lovely mellow music.

It was a perfect camp night. Staring into the  starry sky , while mix of soft waves and pleasant songs amused my ears. We never realized when 3 hours went by.

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Later I got into my tent, falling asleep as fast and sound as a baby. I never thought sleeping in tent can be comfortable. Also Thank God, there were no mosquitos.

Next morning, I wake up to the sounds of water and the rays of sun upon my face. I get out of my tent to be completely mesmerized with the pristine beauty of the place. It seemed even more gorgeous in the daylight. I took a stroll along the lake while all my friends were still asleep. I find the water so calming, be it lake, stream, fountain or sea. There is something therapeutic about seeing and listening to water.

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Little later, when everyone was awake, we made some coffee and Maggi on our small portable stoves. Enjoying our breakfast with magnificent view, I felt pure happiness at that very present moment.

Slowly, as the sun became stronger, we packed our stuff began to leave, bidding adieu to this lovely location.

Guess we were pretty lucky that day, since on the way back from our camp, we came across this blooming vineyard with ripe black grapes. The place was shunned for visitors or else we would have nice walk in the grape field. Nonetheless it was a pleasant surprise.

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In next 3 hours, we reached home. That was my secret camping trip, short and sweet and full of great memories.

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