Continued from https://lovethewild.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/glimpses-of-rural-maharashtra-day-1/
Day 2 – We were up at 5:30 AM sharp and hurried to freshen up for the day’s adventures. While everyone finished their morning ablutions, I got ready and stood at the bedroom window to watch the morning sky fill up the landscape with golden light.
The plan for the day was to drive down to our host’s parents who stayed on the mountain at Mangavli, which is around 24 kilometers away from Pachal. Google Map link from Pachal to Mangavli:
Our first stop was just 5 minutes away from our host’s place at River Arjuna. The River and the landscape around it looked as pretty as a picture postcard. A huge Fig Tree stood at the River’s edge that had various birds feeding from it. I got a chance to capture a Female Asian Koel there. On the other side was a telephone wire on which sat a Wire Tailed Swallow. That was another first for my camera.
We spent a few pleasant moments there watching the river flow past and the birds twittering and then moved on. The road ahead slowly winded up on a mountain. On one side I could see the mountain and on the other side I could the valley with the dry scrub vegetation. We could see a few children in school uniforms walking on the road. But mostly the road was devoid of any traffic.
A lot of birds perched on trees caught my attention along the way but unfortunately stopping to click all of them would have made us very late. So I contented myself with making just a few stops for photography and cheering myself with the prospect of going to the house on the mountain. Meanwhile, the driver regaled us with a highly entertaining but equally dubious story of an incredible snake that was found in his village. Apparently, the snake seemed to have its head at one end for six months and then switched to having it’s head at the other end for the next six months!
45 minutes later, we all got down from the car. Our host smiled showed us a narrow path leading towards the mountain and informed us that we had to make it to the white house that could be seen there on foot. The house was in Mangavli. I shielded my eyes from the sun with my hand and squinted into the wilderness and thought; “Brilliant!” Far ahead in the distance I could make out a white house just barely as the dry vegetation obstructed the view. As far as I could see, only the mountain could be seen. There were no other man-made structures here. The view was a delight to behold.
Thus began the walk into the wild. The sun beat down hard making photography a bit difficult. However I managed to tolerate the sun enough to get some really beautiful clicks of the landscape around. Birds were seen sunning themselves on the bare branches. On the way we found a snake’s moult lying near a mound of rocks. Much to the driver’s distress, I carefully picked it up and announced that my husband loved to see snake’s moult and I was carrying it back for him. No more was said about the matter then although it was considered bad luck to even touch a snake skin there. Back in Mumbai, I had it identified by my friend and snake expert Yogendra Satam, who confirmed that it belonged to an Indian cobra.
The Walkathon in the sun ended in about 45 minutes and we were greeted by the charming house on the mountain! We made it!
More pictures of the house and Mangavli coming up in the next post! To be continued…