Saturday, May 23, 2015

Aqua Magica - A Day Trip

This time in Pune, Anjali and I decided to get done with Imagica, the entertainment park built at Khopoli by the Adlabs group. Anjali was keen to go. Somewhere along the way the idea changed to Aqua Magica, Imagica's twin sister, which is a water park and adjacent to Imagica. That was fine by me. Water in May sounds good. To watch. I'm not much for parks etc.
The Imagica rides from the parking lot
Booked tickets online. Imagica tickets are priced at some 1500 bucks a person (what?). Aqua Magica is priced lower at 950 bucks. All rides are free though some have age and height restrictions. Also the dress code is given on the web site (saves us some ghastly sights). Anyway we booked online, got some idea about how to go there and set off in our Brio (thanks to Malay who generously let me borrow it). There was the three of us and Anu and Pooja. Right at the start I stopped to fill air in the spare and the suspicious looking character tells me that one of the tyres looks flat. Check it I said. He got to work on it and picked out 6 punctures in one tyre!
A huge funnel where rafts are flushed into
One or two did seem genuine but I felt he simply kept poking and removing stuff that was not there. I told him I never saw a single tyre have six punctures. He charged me a princely 700 bucks! Anyway, he did not look at any other tyre after that and we set off.

The Expressway is crazy. People zoom by from all sides at speeds in excess of 140 kms. After those 6 punctures I did not dare do more than 80 kmph which is the prescribed speed limit. But on the expressway it appears that they consider it the minimum speed. Why they don't have a speed gun there is what I cannot understand. I mus confess that if there is one road on which I feel unsafe its the Pune-Mumbai expressway with its bullying traffic. Anyway we stopped at the toll booth near Khopoli, partook of some nice morning breakfast - sabudana vada, vada pav, buttermilk etc.
The restaurant where we sat for hours and hours

Then we went past the toll and turned off onto to a road which had no boards. We just had to keep on asking and hoping we were in the right direction. Come on Aqua Magica guys, why cannot you have more boards? After seeking directions from some twenty people we landed up at this huge entertainment park. Turns out that Imagica and Aqua Magica are in the same premises - only separated.
Imagica rides at 6 in the evening
Anyway we found a huge parking lot and looked on in amazement at some huge rides in Imagica. Scary stuff. People were already screaming etc and I was glad I was nowhere near that place. We got checked by security, went to the next check point, were told to go back to the ticket counter and get new tickets and wristbands, went back, waited, got new tickets, got bands, went back to the counter, were told to keep bands carefully, waited for bus, got on, got off and finally went into the park. Inside the entrance there were shops selling swim suits and stuff like that, on one side there were lockers to keep your stuff. All those who were to hit the water changed while Anu and I stayed back. There was constant friction between Anjali and me for my refusal to enter the water.
It was rather hot so we found a restaurant and drank some stuff. Then the three riders went away. Anu and I sat around chatting and eating and drinking. There are some 22 rides, some pools, rafts etc. Some rides are pretty challenging and some were simple. There were two restaurants. And there was a rain dance place where everyone danced like crazy.

Pooja describing a ride
Lunch time. Pizzas, pasta and stuff. Had a nice experience there. The queues were as usual not marked clearly, so everyone stood wherever and the restaurant guys served whoever they pleased. While we were in the queue two kids, perhaps 12 years old, went into the next queue and got ahead. I let the boy go ahead with his order. But his sister made him come back. She must have been 14. She was like - you were there before us so please go ahead and order. Rare. I told her it was okay and for just being thoughtful enough, I'd not mind if they went ahead.
Couple of water rides from the restaurant
More rides. More eating, more drinking. It shut off at 6 pm. We got down to the car, drove back, stopped at the eating joint at Khopoli and picked up some stuff, played some nice music and went straight home to some Chinese food.

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