Day 4 - Peaceful Pune

Pune Travel Blog

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Park Central Hotel, Koregaon Park, Pune, India A nice friendly hotel

I didn't set my alarm last night for two reasons, the first was that I didn't think my phone battery would last the night so I turned it off and the second was that I was sure that someone or something would wake me up - I was right, at around 9.30am on of the other guests (or maybe a member of staff) stood right outside my door (which is strange as I was at the end of the landing!) and shouted something to a friend, I didn't even think about complaining as they would've probably added an early morning call charge to the bill! Got up and showered in the not too pleasant smelling bathroom and headed down for the complimentary breakfast.  "Tea and Toast and out" I thought to myself.  The tea was once again Mosalla or Masala, really ought to look it up (correctly spelt masala tea - a blend of spices and herbs and sweeteners boiled with milk) this time served with sugar - still not that keen but it was hot and wet which went well with the toast.  Never really been that big on breakfast in the mornings so not too sure about paying extra for breakfast in future, jsut give me the tea!  After breakfast I went back up to pack then down to pay the bill.  Was given the final price which I paid for to the Rupee and waited patiently for my receipt.  Apparently the recepetionist was having a few problems printing and finally looked at me and said "you don't really want a copy, do you"?  The whole stay summed up in those few minutes I guess!  I left them with a false smile and a grunt and left with receiving a thanks or goodbye. At this point it may have been advisable to tell you the name and address of this hotel so you could avoid it but as I didn't get a business card or receipt (and also the fact that they are probably no longer in business) I cannot do so!  First stop an ATM to get some cash in case the cards were playing up again today, not that I had any doubt that they were perfectly ok, then off to find my new hotel.  I had written the name of the hotel on a scrap of paper but not the address - oops!  I showed the name to a rickshaw driver sat at the side of the road who said "yeah, I know it" so I piled in and off we went to join the 1,000 other maniacs on the road that morning.  So, another note to self - rickshaw drivers are born liars!  We must have stopped about 3 or 4 times to ask other drivers for directions who really weren't that helpful, probably due to the fact there was a foreigner in the back and they were envious of the huge fare that my driver would get at the end of all this! (god I'm so cynical!)  So after a bit of driving around we finally found the hotel tucked around one of the back streets in a nice quietish area, I was sure that I had walked down here last night...!  The fare was Rs35, a bargain considering and the driver was most apologetic with a sheepish smile so I gave him Rs50 - bless him!  My bag was whisked away to reception by one of the porters as per usual so I followed and asked if there was a single room free for that night.  "You have not booked" ?  "oh shit" I thought, not yesterday all over again!  Luckily enough they did have a room, I think they were just teasing me, so I filled the registration form out for them as it was written in English, my passport was copied for the file, standard procedure and I was asked to pay half of the fee as a deposit.  I was taken to my room which compared to the last effort was a penthouse! Clean bed and linen, towells and no smell!The bell boy turned on the A/C then turned on the TV and tuned into the cricket then generally faffed about until I got the maessage and tipped him.  About 5 minutes later he returned with complimentary snacks, water and soft drinks, a nespaper and even a vase of flowers, what a difference!  Spent the first part of the day relaxing by watching the cricket or reading my book then fell asleep.  I woke up and went for a walk around the area, it seemed that there was a major road crossing the river and the hotel was about a block away from that, all very peacuful and laid back, I like it! I ended up at a shopping mall where I purched two new shirts - colourful ones ... watch out mum, am in danger of losing at least one black one!  Stopped and had a coffee (haven't drunk coffee for about 10-12 years), no more tea for me!  Wandered back to the hotel where I was greeted with smiles from reception and enquiries as to whether I'd had a nice lunch, this is more like it.  I asked them about good places to eat later and they suggested the hotel restaurant, I said that it would be nice to go out for the evening so they told me to head for ABC Farms or something similar! Interesting.  Off for a nap and a shower then out for dinner.  Asked a rickshaw driver if he knew they way, of course he did, silly question, he told me that as it was a bit out of the way and he had to drive back empty that the price would be Rs100, I haggled from Rs50 and got him down to Rs70 and off we went.  What a strange place, a group of about 5 or 6 "european style" restaurants all bundled together in the middle of nowhere.  I wandered around and opted for the "Swiss Cheese Garden", a very cosy place, all outdoor seating spread around a nice garden, very romantic - just perfect for a "table for one"! :-)  I wanted to order the Raclette, one of the reasons for stopping here as I had tried it in Berlin but apparently the cheese was not mature enough so it was not available.  The waiter, coiuld have been the owner, talked me into a vegetarian cheese salad which followed my leek & potato soup with cheese topped garlic bread, I then had the "Cheese Garden Special Rosti" - what can I say, I was hungry!  Food was good as was the service, all in all a good recommendation.  I wandered around for a bit looking at the other places then wandered back out to get a ride home.  Found a free rickshaw and told him my hotel name "Rs200" he said "No way" I said and he just looked at me.  "I paid Rs50 just over an hour ago" I said calmly.  One of his mates then stuck his head in and said "It's night time, double fare" "F*** off (didn't say that really), it was night when I came here!, Rs100" I said  It's Rs170" hea said so I came back with "Rs120"  He turned around and said " No, it's Rs170" and started driving us off!  The moral of this is to get the cheating b******s to get the meter going as I found out later!  Got him to drop me and the end of the road and went for a stroll, stopping at an internet cafe to check messages on the way.  At 10pm headed back to the hotel for an early night (saturday night in bed before 2am whoo hoo!) but before I got there I was stopped by a man asking in a hushed voice if I wanted "anything to smoke" or if I wanted "a nice girl" ... uhm, "no, thank you" I said before scuttling off to bed!  All in all, a very quiet and relaxing day compared to the others, just what I needed, hopefully the same goes for tomorrow ...  Goodnight


** Note, the second hotel is called "Park Central" in Koregaon Park, Pune, I will write a review as soon as I can find the receipt for my stay **

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Park Central Hotel, Koregaon Park,…
Park Central Hotel, Koregaon Park…
photo by: bhush2006