Surrender yourself in the lap of nature & break away from the hectic lifestyle with a unique concept of ‘Simply Do Nothing’ amidst adventure. If you can picture a holiday without internet & TV, participating in adventure sports & night camping, with a dramatic backdrop of dense forest and waterfalls; that’s the experience you need to live! Just like our visit to one of the properties of Green Getaway (Previously known as Youreka Extraordinary Holidays), at Kambre. Kambre, is a diminutive location, unheard by many, situated around 25 minutes away from Lonavala. A perfect setting for a quite break to spend time with yourself, after all when was the last time you did that? The precise location of the campsite is 3 hours away from the city of Mumbai and nestled at an altitude of 3000ft., situated on the banks of Andhra Lake.
While hundreds of questions pounced on us while planning this trip, there were endless queries that came to our minds just like what you are wondering right now. Let’s decode them.
Now seriously, how do I get to this place no one really knows about?
- GPS it friend! It isn’t too difficult to locate Kambre on the map. A diversion from the Khandala Exit and up the hilly terrain and there you are.
- The best bet is to hire a cab from Mumbai to the campsite.
- You can also take a train till Talegaon/Lonavala and hire a taxi post that.
Town, getaway, campsite and all that is fine, what about the accommodation?
- Well to be honest, we didn’t expect urban amenities but were surprised and happy to see clean beds, a table fan, proper bathrooms and toilets attached to each of our tents.
- Even if things are basic and simple, the camp will make sure that you miss it after going back to the city. (We still do!)
- Carrying energy drinks, medical supplies, sunblock, insect repellent, etc. is a must since the nearest market is 5 kms away.
Rest assured, under the clear sky, an interesting itinerary, and being surrounded by intense greenery all around, who needs a bed to enjoy the lovely valley view when you can rest on a hammock while munching on hot cutlets and tea from the campsite kitchen.
Speaking about food, most campsites don’t offer great food, right?
Aren’t you still in the notion that Maggi is every camper’s best friend? If so, you must have the food here. Day 1, post some fresh juice, we dived into mouth-watering lunch. Here at the campsite they offer vegetarian food for lunch and non-vegetarian options for dinner. Our breakfast consisted of boiled eggs, toasts, assorted Paranthas and juices while the lunch consisted of delicious Rajma Chawal, Panner Sabzi, Roti, Salad and Dal. The cutlets served during tea were truly scrumptious. And finally the dinner was a gala with Chicken curry or Chilli Chicken.
In short the enchanting breakfast, lunch and dinner were to relish for while the nature did what it does best – calm us down. Now moving on to our day-wise activities, firstly at Green Getaway they never share the itinerary, it is always a surprise. That’s the best way to keep it because what’s the fun in telling you that you are going to climb a 100 feet up today.
We started off our trip with an 80 ft. rock climbing activity and a demo to rappelling. There are a few caves nestled in the mountains which are a good 45 minutes steep trek before the climbing. Make sure you wear good sturdy shoes, are fully clothed and a have a litre water bottle (one per person) with you. The entire area is covered with greenery, wild flowers, ant houses, birds, (also snakes if you are lucky to spot them) etc., sure to reward you with heavenly sights of the hill.
Our instructor, Nagarajan – Naga the Climber on Facebook, made sure we were all geared up with safety helmets, no-fear attitude and other necessary accessories required for climbing. Nagarajan (Naga, as we later started calling him) was called from Bengaluru for our program. An expert at mountaineering and rock climbing, Naga is called to most Youreka/Green getaway campsites when there is a group coming up for exploration. So as we reached to the top and made our way to the caves, the view was breath-taking. Small huts midst the forest & a clear river few metres away from us… Bliss!
We started out to trek before lunch and came back to the campsite just before sunset. Tired us, we slept in early only to wake up and witness a beautiful sunrise. Mind you, one won’t get to witness that sight in a concrete jungle. On day 2 we started off with a 110 ft. rappelling, midst a spectacular valley view!
As instructed by our instructor Naga, we geared up & one-by-one, started to rappel down. We wouldn’t say it was easy but the first 10 feet was nothing short of an adrenaline rush. Imagine a walk down the mountain, facing up into the sky, not knowing what’s in store down – that. The 110 feet rappel down the mountain arch was an unforgettable experience!
Next up post lunch was the activity which we had never heard of – Jumaring! Need to know the true power of gravity and test your strength? Try THIS! Envision having to pull yourself up a tree with a rope, no branches to take support from; yes! We did this too and the feeling was incomparable.
What we also had in our schedule was a night with a zillion stars above us, pitch dark river side camp side & an involvement of cooking our dinner, setting our tents & fishing! On another day after work, would your tiring muscles ever provoke you to cook or go fishing? We don’t think so. Maybe it is just the zeal you go through to thoroughly enjoy every bit.
Next morning, a light breakfast and a power nap on the Hammock helped us sulk over the thought that our vacation was getting over. We left around 12 noon for the city. As we entered Lonavala and left the calmness behind, the atmosphere startled us. Commotion, crowd, noise, phones ringing, traffic, vehicles honking at the signal – this disturbed enough to miss this weekend spent at the campsite, all the more!
But at the end of the day, what really matters is that whether the trip was an extraordinary one or not. In our case, it definitely was!
- Cost: 6,000 INR approx. per person (12 years+) which includes – adventure sport activities, food and stay for the 3D 2N. Quite a deal, isn’t it?
- Youreka also offers a program for kids who would like to go camping with their group in the age bracket of 6-12 years. The cost of their program is 3,000 INR.
- Right time to plan a trip: Youreka and Green Getaway have scheduled trips across the year. To book, one can get in touch with them via their website or call them.
What’s the itinerary like:
- Be it family, school group or young adventure seekers; there is something for all age groups.
- A safe environment has been created to learn from in natural settings wherein one can engage in adventure activities.
- The 2016 schedule for the year-round activities will be out by December.
- Other than this the Green Getaway also offers – Mountain Biking, Outdoor Survival, Rock Climbing, Mount Geo, Riverside backpacking, Water Craft, Himalayan Circuit, -Archery, White Water Challenge; you name it and they have it across campuses in Sitlakhet, Yercaud, Kambre, Junga, Sai Ropa and Dharamshala. One can also seek adventure with Youreka in International sites like Switzerland, Singapore and France.
- Experience an extraordinary green getaway to simply do nothing. Distance yourself from urban comfort, service provider, daily chores, chaos & get to the other side, the greener side!
You can know more about Green Getaway at:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/extraordinaryholidays – Green Getaway
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Youreka
- Website: http://www.youreka.in/extraordinary-holidays
The post was originally published in November 2015.