The monsoons were about to step in and kill the heat and the mango season was ending too. Like a good omen The Road Trippers Club announced a weekend drive to Devrukh in Ratnagiri – the home of the world famous Hapoos or Alphonso mango. So without further ado we joined in!
A convoy of 4 cars started from Mumbai around 7 in the morning. The weather was pleasant for about an hour or so after which it started getting hotter! The drive along NH17 was scenic and the roads under the scalpel for widening made it easier for us to slow down and enjoy the scenery. It was the first time that I saw paver blocks in parts on a highway which further helped us sway along! But despite the road conditions we managed to cruise along at a decent rate and had our first halt for breakfast in a restaurant on the highway. It was time to meet up with our 5th road tripping vehicle which joined us there. It was also a good time to know the fellow road trippers slightly better as most of us were meeting each other for the 1st time!
The time was ripe for a group selfie too!
We trundled along after a good breakfast, on the ‘highway’ as the sun beat down upon us mercilessly right upto Chiplun for lunch where were joined by the 6th vehicle.
The Surmai thali in Abhishek restaurant in Chiplun was heavenly! I wouldn’t mind going all the way to Chiplun just for this meal! For my review of this restaurant click here.
Fortunately the road conditions did not improve much after Chiplun too, for if they had, we would have fallen asleep at the wheel after the sumptuous meal.
As we neared Ratnagiri the sky darkened menacingly and lit up with streaks of lightning followed by
Picture courtesy - Chitra Amembal
thunderous claps that had us awestruck at nature’s drama. And then it poured relentlessly for a few minutes to cool down the ambient temperatures by at least about 7 to 8 degrees. Hence it was in a very pleasant and cool state of mind that we reached our destination O’Nest in Devrukh, Ratnagiri in
the evening and were welcomed by a yummy drink of ‘Aam panna’ (a delicious concoction of raw mango and spices).
We (my wife and me) were lucky to be allotted the room in the tree house. Very beautifully
constructed and the interiors were elegant too. The climb up seemed a bit dicey the 1st time but after a couple of times of going up and down it was a breeze. An airconditioned room with a bathroom attached with all the modern amenities on a tree house! How much more luxurious can it get?
The evening was reserved for a jaunt to the farm which had mango, jackfruit and cashew trees apart
Yes this is a massive mushroom!
from others. We were taken there, walking along the village path, with the occasional autorickshaw passing by and a lot of natural beauty on display. The walk in the farm was educative and we were
encouraged to climb mango trees to pluck a few. To top it all, they brought tea and pakodas for us and it
was a veritable picnic in the farm! A great time was had by all.
It was during our dinner that we managed to get to know each other much better after a round of self-introductions. Road tripping really makes you less judgemental. After a sumptuous dinner of fish, chicken and vegetables we retired for a well-earned rest.
Next morning we had a yummy breakfast of Poha, eggs and bread in their restaurant O’Leaf while the home grown mangoes were delicately packed for all of us to take back home and relive the taste of the wonderful weekend in Devrukh, Ratnagiri. For my review of this homestay please click here.
The return drive was uneventful as we decided to take the national highway which was faster but
boring as compared to the scenic route that we had taken inbound, except for the back roads that led
to the national highway and the delicious lunch in Sangli enroute at Pancham’s Naivedya. For my review of this restaurant please click here.