Dec 29, 2009

Pench Trip - Building Machan (2 of 4)

The next day morning we visited Ramdham, a religious theme park on the Nagpur – Jabalpur highway. We had some time before the Junglethlon party picked us up at 11am. Major Pradeep Rao, Manu, Avni and Shrey welcomed us to the gypsy. It was a bit disappointing to see only four registrants though the Facebook page showed upto 33 people. The ‘extreme’ edition was scrapped as well – not that I was up for it (had a right calf muscle cramp and a left ankle-tendon pain). Nevertheless the drive to Pench was good – nice road and even nicer weather.

We stopped at Khawasa on the highway – Pradeep, Srikanth and I picked up roadster bicycles from Jaleel’s cycle shop. We cycled the 12kms to the Tiger-N-Woods camp located on the edge of the Pench Tiger Reserve. We were in the forest buffer zone and the ride was good. It helped ease up my calf muscle – cramps need massage and what better than a nice cycle ride? We passed Turia village and some Gond habitats before reaching the venue. En route, Pradeep pointed to a bad patch on the road saying he almost jackknifed into the ditch there – I rode carefully. My bicycle fall would happen later, on another ride.

At the venue, we had a quick ‘breakfast’ past noon – once again puri bhaji, and quickly got down to work. Our first task was to build a machaan on which six of us would spend the night. Pradeep showed us one with stilts in a nearby field, and another one on a tree without stilts. It all looked simple, but as we got down to finalizing the spot and identifying raw material, the complexity dawned on us. Should we leverage a clump of trees as stilts? Or do we build ground up? Can we strengthen the tree machaan if there is space for six? As we resolved these questions precious time sped by. We finally decided to use a parachute as canopy and built six stretcher type beds on stilts.

I had never wielded an axe before, but quickly learnt how to - find a foot rest for the left leg, bend at the waist but keep the rest of the back straight, swing fully and carefully hitting the wood into a V pattern. After some serious log cutting, I was a happy camper. Soon it was dark and we realized the stilts were not happening on time. The night-shelter task was abandoned only to be taken up the next day.

We sat around a bon fire having good food and even better banter. We spent the night in machaan style double bedrooms that were elegant to say the least – wide balcony looking out into thick jungle, well appointed bathrooms, large bed etc. Now Srikanth was serious about the challenge and spent the night in his sleeping bag, going to the real machaan near our camp site. Sincerity is his forte!

4 comments:

Rahul said...

Hi Ram,

My wife and I are planning to visit Pench National Park over the Republic Day Weekend. I stumbled upon the Tiger N’ Woods resort website and was quite impressed, both with the website and the reviews the resort got on tripadvisor. I even spoke to Sandeep Singh, who I believe is the Resident Manager of the place and have a good feeling overall.

However, I know one should never go entirely by what one finds online so I just felt it’s best to double check with someone who’s already been there.

Tiger N’ Woods seems to be a new place and outside of tripadvisor, I couldn’t find any other reviews or mentions. From both Srikanth Perinkulam’s and your blogs, it appears your experience there was fine, but I’m not sure if you actually stayed there or just had some meals there and set up tents nearby.

Anything you can tell me about the resort will be extremely helpful. In general, are the photos on the website a true enough representation? Would you agree with any of the reviews at http://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Review-g1189061-d1570848-Reviews-Tiger_n_Woods-Pench_National_Park_Madhya_Pradesh.html?

Thanks so much

[FYI I've also posted the same comment on Srikanth Perinkulam's blog to maximise my chances of a quick reply. Bear with me.]

Ram Medury said...

Rahul, we found TNW a good place. I stayed in the room for one night and the room was amazing.. authentic jungle design and decor all over. On that count it is clearly good.

Food and service by resort staff: very good, food was clean and nice.

Activities within the resort - not too much unless you are game for some adventure like we had.

You should maximize your experience there by packaging a good set of activities.

Overall i will recommend the place.

Rahul said...

Thanks Ram. Srikanth strongly recommended it too. We just got back from Pench yesterday and overall it was a fantastic experience. Thanks again.

Rahul.

Ram Medury said...

Glad to know it went well!