It is a long weekend here in Mumbai now, which means that even Friday was a day of.
It maybe should have been a time to relax. But not really so. Together with an Indian colleague, I decided to go to Matheran, which is a small hill station some 90 km outside Mumbai. So I had to wake up around 3 am in the morning (not kidding) to get there! We had to take a train, and change a few times, and then we were at a place called Neral, which is just close to Matheran. It’s maybe hard to believe, but it was actually a bit cold in the train! Even in Mumbai it is cold at 3 am at this time of the year.
Matheran has been used as a point for reclamation all since the British were here, and when you are mostly travelling and working in Mumbai, it is actually quite relaxing to get to a place like this, where the air is not that much polluted and where you can hear birds singing, and, well, everything is quite relaxed at this place.
So what is this Mathean like? I must admit that I thought that it was mostly a viewpoint, but it is really a bit more than that. First of all, it is an eco-friendly place. Cars are not allowed in Matheran itself. So there are only three ways of getting there. You can take a small train from Neral, or you can take a taxi to some place just below Matheran. From there you can either walk the last few kilometers, or you can ride on a horse. There are a lot of people offering a horse ride, but we are young and fit people so we decided to walk! At the top it is like a small town, kind of. Some resorts and off course restaurants, shops and things like that. I think that next time it is maybe a good idea to spend a night or two there, to really relax.
Mostly Matheran is also a mountain plateau, where you can walk around and have a view of the areas around. As you can see from the first picture, my colleague is studying the map, as it is really some distance to cover here.
It is probably possible to walk around for more than one day also. And it is really a nice view! As you can see on this picture, there are monkeys living here, and the area around is not really like the Mumbai metro. Much more quiet, and a really nice place.
Have a nice weekend and talk to you next week!