Trek & Visit To Ajinkya Tara Fort

DSC07157Fort Type : Hill                                                     Base Village : Satara City, Satara district

Grade : Easy                                                          Height : 4400 feet

Distance From Pune : 100 kms

Ajinkyatara means invincible fort and is one of the most important forts in Sahayadri ranges and was once the capital of Maratha empire. It is located next to Satara city or one can say Satara is located on the slopes of this fort. It is on one of the seven mountains surrounding the city of Satara (from which the city derives its name). This is the first thing which one sees as one gets neat Satara on the NH4 highway and has a towering presence, which can be seen from any place in the city.

There are many important landmarks present on the slopes or machi as it is called, including Dholya Ganpati, which is patron deity of the city, Adalat vada, Hanuman temple etc. I still remember going to the Hanuman temple every other evenings when we used to be there. One of the interesting thing to see there is a huge rock, which some time in history rolled from the top and landed there creating a small cave (gufa) beneath it, which we kids used to love hiding under and spooking others. On the very rock, there is a vista point, from which you get a great view of the city along with surrounding hills and the sun set from there is a thing to be experienced. We used to drag our feet when the time used to come to go home from there.


On the hill slope there is one more place called char bhinti. There is a water tank at the entrance and then stairs to climb. This is the place where they have built a memorial to the freedom fighters of the First War of Independence and this spot offers a unparallel and unobstructed view of the Satara city. You can see the seven hills encircling the valley and on behind you is the mighty Ajinkya Tara and its buruj on top of it is this huge signage (“Ajinkya Tara”) written in marathi, which can be spotted as far off from the NH4 and is pride of the city .

The road to the fort starts from either Char bhinti or further down hill from the junction of upper and palace street from where it winds through a narrow street and merges to the ghat. It takes around 20 mins to reach the top, the road being small and uneven, but has some nice thick forest cover and so a treat in monsoon or just after that to drive on and we had even spotted peacocks and some other wild animals here few times. Just before you reach the top there is a nice vista point from where you can see another famous fort; Sajjan Gadh and the wind farms further in the background. The entrance area to the fort is small and the parking space is limited.


Satara has a very special place in my life and I have been coming to this city since childhood and the visit here is incomplete without ascending this fort, which keeps following you where ever you live or move in the city.  There is a road which leads to the main gate of the fort, which is fairly maintained as there are few offices on top (DD, Akashwani etc) and so people travel everyday there to work. I along with my cousins used to trek it once a while and I believe this was the first fort I trekked in my life. There are many trails and you crisscross the road as well and takes anywhere around 1:30 hours to 2 hours to reach the top.


There is a big gate at the fort entrance and some steep steps. On the either side of the entrance there platforms for the soldiers and the bases of which have some stone carved motifs. You can continue climbing the stairs and you reach the buruj or you can continue and you pass through the DD/Akashwani center and a short distance from there is  remains of the palace of Tara rani. There are many tanks and temples at the top and som remains of fortiffication. Mangalai mandir is close to the famous buruj and due to this temple the fort is also called as Mangalai. Just besides it is the famous Ajinkya Tara sign board in marathi which is visible even from NH4. You also get good views of Yavteshwar, Sajjangadh and other hills surrounding it. One could sit there and time just passes you by.

I have so many memories of this fort and it has been my most visited fort and with the history associated with this place on always leaves this place with pride in the heart!



A Day at San Diego Zoo – II

04-Feb-2018: With our tummy’s full and good rest, we headed first to cross the bridge to the other side. The bridge is at a great height and you get to see not only the whole of zoo, but some parts of San Diego city. As we crossed over, we saw the Elephant trail on our right, but first we decided to do the Skyffary, which is cable car rope way connecting this part of the zoo to the entrance. Luckily there was not much queue and we hopped on to the cable car in 8-10 mins.

One of the good thing is that it is one way trip, so they can do fast turn around and also it provides connectivity if you want to move between ends of the park. The view from the top is spell bounding and you pass over many exhibits and if you look closer you could also spot some animals like Ar spotted the lazy gorilla deep in siesta on that slow sunny afternoon. I don’t know what was with the weather or it may be the time we were there that most of the animals were asleep.

You reach the other side in 2-3 minuets and Ar thoroughly enjoyed the ride. What then we did, just got out of the exit and from the other side entered the gates again for the ride back 🙂 We were enjoying this and within few minutes were back to from where we had started. We then headed for the Elephant trail and on the way saw few other animals which we had not seen before. The area for the Elephant habitat is quite big, i think over 2.5 acres and there were 2-3 of them in open.

One of them was standing besides what looked like a granary, with a door and a chain attached,which he was pulling and banging, this exercise (good idea :)), was releasing some fodder at a time, which he used to eat and then repeat the whole routine again. The other one was eating lettuce which was spread across the ground and we got close up view of her. Just outside their enclosure there was a small park, which housed many models of animals and Ar was busy in climbing on top of them and waiting for someone to click a pic with smiling face.

We had covered most of the zoo, except some parts which we did not find interesting, though we would have liked to do the waterfall trail, which passes along and behind it which would have been fun, but we were coming to the closing hours (5:00 pm) and had to cover few other things and were tired as well, so we moved on. Yes, we were back to the Skyfarry again and en-route spotted the gorillas again, though one of them had woken up by then and was moving around though grudgingly.

We got off the cable car and headed to the exit and as we were about to leave we spotted the Reptile trail just on our left and decided to cover it quickly. It was quite nice, which had few crocodiles (both of them lay motionless with there mouths wide open), many snakes and lizards, some of whom scarred Ar a bit. One thing which we liked in this zoo was connectivity here which has been well thought of and they have made all these connections to move from one part to another easy, which helped us in covering the zoo in the little time we had. It was almost 4:30 pm and time to say good bay to zoo, which we all liked.

Before heading home we had to cover couple of other attractions which were outside the zoo in the Balboa park area. One was a mini train, which was literally mini, not like the ones we commonly see and other was merry go round, which Ar was quite eager to hop on (actually she wanted to hop onto a horse, but a false moving one was just as good for her :)). First we hopped onto this mini train, me and Ar, which winded through the mini San Diego and Zoo, moving under a tunnel and ending the journey on the mini platform. It was fun, which I think Ar liked. Then we headed for the merry go round, but there was also a butterfly ride besides it which Ar went for.

That brought an end to a wonderful trip we had. We headed to our parking lot and picked the car and headed home. On the way back for most part traffic was thin, though it increased as we got closer to home. But we were back by 6:15 pm at home, as per plan. We did not rest a bit, as we had to celebrate Ar’s B’day, do the traditional ceremony and give Ar gifts 🙂 and a surprise! I hope Ar enjoyed it and would have nice memories of it for the future.

PS: I was so tired from the schedule we were in for past 2 days and my stomach was also not all well, so I ended up taking leave the next day. I had asked Ar also to take leave but she was determined to go (she does not like taking leaves from school like me :)) ! 

A Day at San Diego Zoo – I

04-Feb-2018: Ar’s B’day was coming up and we were thinking of plans to celebrate it. Off-course we wanted to go out to some place but were going back and forth on which one to go. We tried asking Ar few times but she was not giving any definitive answer. After many iteration we finally locked in Sand Diego zoo, which we had been wanting to visit for a some time now, but somehow never managed to go.

Once the tickets were booked through AAA (tickets are priced around $54 for adults and around 10 less for kids, but we got good deal of 15% off from them), we got busy in our daily chores and nothing much happened on this front, until the day before. We bought some stuff like chips and all and had planned to have lunch there only.  We had planned to leave early the next day so as to reach as close to the opening time of 9:00 am.

It was Sunday today, we woke up not too early and our pace was also quite slow. After we got ready,  we had a small B’day celebration at home, packed our bags and headed out. We were running really late. It was 10:30 am and we were supposed to be at the park around 9:00 am. Luckily the traffic was quite thin that day and we were cruising on I-5.

The road runs straight down south on I-5 and then as you near San Diego you take I-805, which takes you to the exit for the city, from where after negotiating the small and tricky city streets you enter the Balboa park. This parks houses many attractions and one of them is the zoo. So we were in the parking lot at around 11:44 am and it was quite empty and so we got parking in the 4th row. En-route Ar had had a nice sleep and we munched on old Hindi songs, the drive had been pleasant but the weather was quite hot.

After a short walk to the entrance, we entered the zoo, which is quite large and is one of the oldest and quite famous ones in US. We got the map at the entry and were trying to figure it out, which if you have been to any of these big theme/amusement parks would know can be quite intimidating at first. We spotted the bus stop near by and decided to take the round of the place first to get antiquated with it.

The queue was quite thin and we were told that today we had got the fast lane as it was Super bowl day and only few of the folks like us were outside. Though we would have got the place in the first bus, but it was on upper deck and we had learned that the lower deck is better, so we waited for the next bus and were kept entertained by our host. We were running quite late now, it was almost 12:30 pm and were bit worried if we would be able to complete the park or not. The next bus came as our mind was going through this thought and we got good seats.

The bus takes you past all the major exhibits. It starts with majestic Flamingo’s, then passing through the Lion’s den, Tigers abode and Elephants grass lands, it covers the African section, penguins and lot. Ar thoroughly enjoyed it and we got a great view of Lion, Tiger and many others. The round the park trip took 40 minutes and we were back to from where we had started. We then decided to visit the interesting exhibits on foot.

Right next door to the entrance is the Tiger trail. This passes through thick forest, taking us to home of some other animals like many types of monkeys etc, passing through the Hippos home, though we could catch only a glimpse as it was not in the water but tucked behind a rock at an height. We then reached the Tiger’s den, but were bit sad to see he was sleeping. We went over its viewing area which is expansive and were about to leave we spotted the yellow stripes and then the big feline was out in open. It roamed around a bit, then again went to his den, then was back again, climbing down to come closer to us. We got one of the best views of Tigers we have had. Ar was quite excited and was readily taking pics with him.

We then decided to move on. We were bit hungry by now, but as we had started late, we decided to cover some more before taking a break. Next up was the Panda zone. We started the trail and got to see the Panda. She was having a nice time and was doing lot of funny things, she even showed some of her good climbing skills which were impressive. Ar found her theatricals funny and was not ready to move from there. Though Tiger and Lion are always on the top list when you visit the zoo, but Panda for sure is the star attractions as they are not that common in most parts of the world.

We then were out of that trail and were trying to understand the map, to see where the food zone is. It seemed that it was closer to one end of the very high bridge which was straight in front of us. We saw stairs rounding up from the base to the top and were intimidated by them and were thinking there has to be some lift also, but the escalator which takes you to the top was even more impressive. I don’t think we had seen such a long running escalator, taking you to such a height, though it was divided in some parts. We got on it and really enjoyed the ride, with some great views and Ar jumping around.

As we reached the top, we were not sure if we were on the right side of the bridge and which side to go, so we asked one of the attendants who sit on the help desks at many places of the zoo. As it turned out, we were on the right side and the tree top cafe was just across the bent. It was a nice cozy tree house type cafe, though the food options were limited. We took Cheese Pizza Kids menu for Ar (yay!!), Sandwich for G and Fruit bowl (melon) for me as I was not feeling well.

We got good seats on the edge, closer to the waterfall and we just overlooked the bridge. Nice breeze was blowing and amongst soothing sound of falling water on that sunny afternoon we had a nice lunch. Ar had her B’day Pizza and she was all energy that day. We then took some break and rested there. It was now 3:00 pm and surprisingly we had managed to cover a lot, credit goes to Super Bowl as well.  We then decided to cover the remaining places we had marked on the map.

PS: This was the trip which Ar was enjoying in and out and she was full of energy for the whole day!



June/Jule 2008: Since childhood we had heard about the anual Wari piligrimage which takes place in the month of Aashadh which per Julian Calander would be June/July. As we used to keep moving our base due to father’s transferable job, I could not attend it. So finally when we were well setled in Pune and the oppurtunity which I was waiting for knocked on the door when Ashk asked us to join him for it. It was Sunday and so we all could go there. The plan was to first meet at Ashk’s place, then along with Ram go to Hadapsar at Sandy’s place and then head to Solapur road/Saswad road to take darshan of Paduka’s and join the Wari till the Saswad leg and return. Unfortuanelty I had some appointments later in the afternoon and so I was going to join the Wari till the start of the Deve ghat and then return.

So I woke up early, got ready and went to Ashk’s place. I was to come on my own bike as I had to return before others. We then moved towards Hadapsar and went to Sandy’s place to park our vehicles and walk the remaining way, which we had planed to start immediately. But Sandy had made all the arrangements for Breakfast and tea. After having a nice poha and tea, we were on our way.

We were heading towards the Saswad road, for which we crossed the Gliding Center on which we learnt few things that day. Per Sandy, this huge ground is used to fly the gliders and they also offer rides for newbies for a ticket. We were excited to do it one day, but Sandy was worried that it does not have an engine and more importantly can it hold him 🙂 . Nevertheless that was for another day. As we reached the road, we were not sure if the Palki has passed or not. So we walked back to Solapur junction and it seems Palki had just reached there.

Every year as part of Wari, Palki of Dnyaneshwar maharaj and Tukaram maharaj start from Alandi and Dehu respectively and make a 21 days journey to the temple of god Vithoba at Pandharpur on the day of Ashadhi Ekadashi. Today was the 4th/5th day and the palki was to start from Pune city, where it had rested yesterday and pass through Hadapsar -> Deve Ghat and then rest for the night at Saswad. There were so many people, one can call it a sea of humanity, but no chaos pure order and bhakti. People were walking happily, chanting abhangas and greeting one another as Mauli.  All were equal and same. We saw the Palki approaching and we headed towards it. We got a good darhshan of Paduka’s of Dnyaneshwar maharaj and Tukaram maharaj.

We then joined the sea of people and were varkari’s. People from all over Maharashtra join this journey. Many a times they come as part of a group called Dindi, which has all the arrangements including a truck to carry there luggage and per need old and tired people. They have the medicines for emergency and also carry food and equipments along with cooks and support staff. The path of Wari is fixed including there stops and breaks.  Everyday they stop at a town or place and the trucks which normally move ahead would go and make the preparations for tents, cooking food etc for the varkaris belonging to there group. Also from whereever the Palki passes the locals arrange many things for the travellers like tea, snacks, water and places to stay or rest etc.

I along with others continued the journey till the start of the Deve ghat. The journey from here to the top as people say is amazing as the Palkis are pulled by bullocks and people and one has to see and be there once. But sadly it was not to be for me this time. I bid all others and headed back. It was such a great spiritual experience being there. Even the thought of continuing and going all the way to Pandharpur also crossed my mind. The enthusism of people, the eglatarism, happiness and hope is what I took back from the Wari.

It was bit diffcult to make my way back and to find Sandy’s place. But somehow I made it. I picked my bike and was on my way back home with being more enlightened and spiritual!

Trip to Alandi

Oct-2006: This is the trip which started it all. This was our first trip as a group which over the years led to many exciting trips. Not that there were not attempts made earlier, but nothing was coming through and it seems divine intervention was what was required. So, one fine day or rather afternoon as we were taking after lunch walk Ashk initiated the topic to go for some outing. Again, you know how these discussions are, they start with some small place and then within no time every one is throwing around names of some exotic locations and then the plan is non starter even before it had time to form. But that day, he not only talked about the outing but suggested rather asserted we go to Alandi.

Alandi is a holy town close to Pune which is a place of pilgrimage having samadhi of Sant Dnyaneshwar maharaj and is around 20 km from Pune city. This seemed like nice place to start our journey and everyone were on board in no time. We decided to go the coming Saturday and decided to travel by bike. We all were from different parts of Pune and so I, Ashk & Ram were to meet at their place (I was going to travel pillion) and then we were to meet near Bombay Sapers where Sam, Sandy & Rav were going to join us. We were planning to start early and plan was to be back by afternoon.

As this was our first official trip and also it was going to be a short one there was no specific planning done. I just showed up at Ashk place as per plan around 8:00 am and after some time Ram joined in and we started towards the meeting spot. We reached there around 9:00 am which was close to the agreed upon time, but there was no trace of other guys, they started arriving one after the other and Sam was the last one. Finally we were on our way. The road to take is straight from there, i.e. towards Vishartwadi and this goes all the way to Alandi. The road till Vishartwadi or till bit further was ok, but from there on the road was real bad. It becomes single lane, with good amount of traffic for company and as you approach the town the road was no more than gravel. It really tested us!

Somehow we managed to the town and after crossing the famous Indryani river we parked. We were quite hungry and the original plan was to eat something en-route, but as we had started late, we had come non stop here. So there was one nice restaurant just at the entrance point of the temple walkway and we had misal and vada sambar there which was nice along with tea. We then went straight away to take darshan of Sant Dnyaneshwar maharaj. The samadhi & and temple is tranquil and spiritual. This I think was my first visit there and I liked the place. Then we spent some time along the banks of the river, the name of which has been engraved in our minds from  childhood.The town is quite nice and well maintained, though the river could be kept in better shape.

We were not sure on what next and were contemplating, when Ashk informed us that one of his relatives is disciple of Sant and he manages one of the ashrams just outside the town and he is in today. So we headed there to meet him and we had nice discussion with him. It was almost lunch hour and they were serving food for the devotees and he asked us also to have the prasad. So we sat on the floor and had the lunch which was nice and a good experience. It was over 1:30 pm now and we had to head back. The weather was quite hot though. We were back on the adventurous road and our back & spine got a good rundown :(. Earlier in the day on our way to Alandi we had spotted a new Sai baba temple which was still under construction but is quite nice and Ashk wanted to stop there for some time. So we compiled and had darshan. The work was still going on but the marble temple looked quite imposing and nice.

We also had nimbu pani outside the main entry gate and now were heading back home. We entered Pune around 2:30 pm and one after other people started going there own ways. We also headed towards Ashk’s home. I then picked my bike and was back home around 3:30 pm. So this started the journey which took us to visit many forts, treks and general travel and we were also back to Alandi as well few times!

Trek to Matheran

Dec 2002: We were in college then. So yeah, its been some time ;), long long time to be precise :). We had lot of trekking enthusiasts in our group and we had discussed going for a trek one day but it had not materialized. So one foggy winter evening we 3-4 friends had just gone to the snacks center per our routines and over tea and cream roll we somehow again got into this discussion on how we should plan a trek and how no one really makes it happen blah , blah and then someone suggested why plan lets do it this week, then other added why not tomorrow and then it was like why not start today only, who knows we might change our mind. It happened so fast that no one was quite sure about whats going on, but as people had given commitments just now it was difficult for any one to go back on their word now.

But we were still 3-4 of us and we thought it would be fun if many others also join in. So we fanged out on different directions, scouting our college friends and trying to get them on board. Some hopped on instantly others had to be persuaded a bit. But in the end 10 souls were ready and we had a group. It was almost 6:00 pm and there were so many things to do. We had to plan for the actual plan :), then what transport to take, get things to eat, provision for money etc and most of all the place to go.  Many option were thrown in the air, but either they were too lofty or all were not ok with it. As we all were students and low on cash we had to factor that as well. So in the end Matheran was selected as we could go by the local train, which was a great option as we had direct connectivity from our place to the base village of Matheran called Nerul and also it was not too high and then we had one more attraction of the toy train.

So the place and mode of transportation finalized, some of us headed to get something to eat and water bottles etc and some got onto the finance part of it. The train to Nerul was at 9:00 pm from Akurdi and so we were racing against time. We had decided that all would meet at Pradhikaran road to have dinner. Slowly one by one people started arriving and we quickly had Chinese food there and headed towards the Akurdi station. We bought the tickets for the Pune – Mumbai passenger train and headed towards our platform. The station was fairly crowded and the train arrived in a bit though it was running late. Now we knew what to expect from the passenger train but what we saw and experienced was beyond the worst. It was jam packed and not only all seats were occupied but even on the floors people were sitting or sleeping. There was not enough space even to stand. The journey ahead was not going to be easy which had to be covered by standing all the way through.

It was so hot and cramped and it was only when the train started moving that the wind circulation made it bearable. There was lot of chatter going on there and we also saw couple of fights as well 🙂 Nothing new! The train ride was one of the worst I have had and it stopping at almost every station added more to our exasperation. Finally after what appeared to be eternity we reached Karjat and we had the vada pavs for which this station is famous. Later we got some seats or rather a piece of the seat :), which allowed us to rest. We reached the Nerul station at around 3:30 am, the journey had taken us ridiculous amount of time. We were quite tired so once on platform we found some benches and slept or rather tried to for some time. Then we were awake by 5:00 am and after getting fresh, we were ready to head towards Matheran.

It was quite and roads were empty when we started. Shops near the station had started opening the shutters. We made out way from the narrow lanes of the town and were on our way to the trail. Our original plan was to take the toy train ride, which is one of the few mountain railways and an icon of our country, but the first train does not leave before 7:00 am. We thought through it and as the journey had made us so stiff, we were no inclined to wait another hour or so there. So we decided to trek to the top now and would ride the train on our way back. Matheran top is around 8-10 km from Nerul. There is motorable road which goes all the way to the entry point and so this is the one we got on and started the hike. After a moment it was getting quite monotonous and so we decided to go off trail.

But we were not sure of the routes and we were lucky to meet the locals with the trail information at regular intervals. So with guidance from them and some of our own logic we went on. The trek is easy, but the off trail is always adventurous and interesting. All of us were making good progress. We took couple of breaks in between and had snacks which we had brought with us. It was quite cold in the morning and we were having chills when we started, but the hike warmed us up. Luckily we had started early on and so there were not too many people hiking with us else as this place is quite popular with Mumbai folks it is always swarming with people. En route you pass the rail tracks and the small mini stations as well and looking at them (we even crossed the 1st upbound train as we reached close to the top) we were dying to get on one. The hill is engulfed in forest and we were passing through some dense cover.

We reached the top in 2.5 hours I think as we took our own time climbing. The entry/exit to the top is regulated and cars can’t pass the entry point, before which they have to park. On the top you either walk or you can hire horses or the palanquin (which we referred to as shahi sawari !) . But for us commoners walk would do and after a quick break and rest we explored the place a bit. Matheran is a hill station and is covered with dense forest. It was quite cool on the top in the middle of the day as well and we saw few points which I don’t have much memory off. By this time we were quite hungry, so we had lunch at some restaurant there and now it was becoming difficult to keep our eye lids open. We hardly had the nights sleep and the walk and heavy food made us lazy. But there was no time for that as we had to catch the train to Nerul and from there back to Akurdi. So promising over-selves to come back soon to explore this wonderful place again, we headed back.

We had done some prior inquiries and there was a train at 4:00 pm which we had booked as we were not sure if we would get the tickets latter on. We were right on time and boarded the train which is one of its kind. It has small carriages, pulled by a small diesel powered engine and it runs on small gauge. Before the train left the station they gave us some instructions, some of which scarred us no less, like don’t close the windows else the strong wind could knock the train off, or not to move much and the best one was you may have to off board and re board when required. It all sounded exciting and we were on our way. This train ride is one of the best I have had, which passes through one of the most beautiful landscape. On many occasions it is skirting the edge of the valley and many a time the strong wind drift really gets it wobbling 🙂 . At couple of locations where it had to make an ascent, the train started going backwards :), as forewarned some of us were asked to get off the train, when it being lighter started moving forward again, we had to run and made a dash to re board it ( not sure what happens if you are unable to do do). So after that singular experience, which we wont forget for long we reached Nerul.

We got off and bought the tickets for the not so desirable train back to our place! We were very tired by now and all of our faces were pitch dark with the dust and the ordeal, though the bigger one was waiting for us ahead. The train arrived and there was again the same chaos and we absentmindedly went with the flow. We didn’t realize for how long we were standing and when that journey go over, but finally somewhere around 9:00 pm we reached our destination, exactly 24 hours after we had started our amazing journey. We somehow managed to pick ourselves and drop on the bed at home. We were done!

PS: What an amazing time we had, to this beautiful hill station which I liked particularly because of the way they had maintained it and not allowed the modern jungle to spread on it. 

Trip To Hoover Dam & Red Rock Canyon

WP_20150801_14801/02-Aug-2015: We were some what tired from our two days sojourn and on on the return journey from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas except the drivers I think everyone had a nice nap. On the way we decided to halt at Hoover dam, which was not in the original plan, but as we were passing close to it, we decided lets stop over. I have been around these parts few times but have not been to this iconic dam.

Named one of the Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century, Hoover Dam is an engineering marvel. Built during depression, construction began in 1931 and when completed it was largest of its kind. It is located on the borders of two states (Nevada, Arizona) on a Black Canyon. There is a big motorable road on top which passes over the dam walls to the other side of the Canyon. Beneath you could see the contained waters of the mighty Colorado river.


You also pass through one state to other and even transcend time zones! We parked on the other side and then walked the remaining distance. We only went half way and it was breathtaking to see the huge walls and gates of the dam constructed over 80 years ago. By this time Ar was quite tired and would not walk and G was tired of holding her, so we waited while others explored further and came back. It was already getting bit dark and we left for Las Vegas.

We reached our hotel by 8:00 pm and all were equally tired. Earlier we had planned that we might cook something at hotel but now decided to order something. We even had planned we might explore LV bit more tonight, but that plan was also quietly dropped! So after exploring a bit on what to order we decided to get a pizza. We went to Dominos and ordered few pizzas and waited for long time for it to arrive :(. Finally we got hold of the smoking hot food and were back. We had a nice dinner and spent some time chatting. Then it was time to take to bed as tomorrow we plan to leave early as we were heading back home and also we wanted to see if we could squeeze in one more attraction to our trip.


We woke up got ready quickly, packed our bags and did checkout. We were heading to the Red Rock Canyon before getting on the route to home. Bye, bye LV, until next time! We enjoyed our stay there but did not do all the activities. Would be back for chopper ride and yes Celine Dion show!

Red Rock Canyon is around 20 miles on the west side of LV, so a nice half an hour ride takes you to this interesting park. I call it interesting as there is no vegetation there or hardly any and its all barren and splintered with rocks, but there is something to it that you start liking as you spend some time there, I think its the unique topography and play of colors!

Red Rock Canyon is located in Mojave Desert and as the name suggest is Canyon made of red rocks and you get a feeling that someone had just randomly thrown the rocks of all sizes and dimensions everywhere. As you enter through the park gate, you buy ticket for the scenic loop. The 13 mile Scenic Drive through Red Rock Canyon takes you from highs and lows of the canyon and has many scenic stops along the way. As said earlier the drive is scenic in its own way as the rustiness of this place I think is what is appealing. The rocks are pitch red and are of different hues which provide a different shades to the mountains. It is quite hot and dry though and we only got out at couple of places and we wanted to go back in the comfort of the ac in the car as soon as we could.


We took a break at couple of famous vista spots, where you have to hike a bit on the boulders and rocks and is fun and good exercise. The rocks had created a unique design pattern and we got some nice pic shots and when we shared it on social media, some people could not believe it to be real! We would have liked to explore this place bit more but we were pressed for time. It would be really interesting to hike around here, so that thought in mind, we bid farewell to this lovely place and headed towards home. On the way we stopped at one place to have chalupas and shake and then we were back home around 6:30 pm in the evening with loads of memories.

Thus ended a nice 2 days trip, in which we found solace in desert and rusty topography and managed to cover lot more than we had planned for!