The family decided to take a journey to the small strip of island called Manori off Mumbai with the primary purpose of checking out “Juice Adventures”, which is an adventure park located on Manori island.
The website of Juice Adventures was interesting and I had received an offer from someone couple of months ago to see the place. So, I was inclined to go. We called the place and the person who attended to us spoke very good English – I am always partial to any stranger conversing in good English and that too, a person in a remote corner of Mumbai who is expected to speak only in Marathi or Hindi.
So, the expectation was that this is kind of a well-known, cosmopolitan kind of place, serving the well-heeled folks from Mumbai.
I will come to that point soon. But before that, it is interesting to see how Mumbai manages its nice coastlines. We took a car ride of almost an hour for a distance of some 15 Kms, which is not unusual in Mumbai. Once we reached the Malad-Mudh Ferry point, there was confusion – the only respectable ferry ticket booth loudly proclaimed that they issue tickets only for the Essel World (which is a large amusement park), and when we asked them about Manori, they directed us to check with the ferry operator in another side of the beach.
The beach itself was dirty, jammed with taxis, auto-rickshaws, peddlers, tourists, hawkers, and what not……..the point was that there was no organized way in which the ferry terminal was established to serve any kind of customer who wanted to spend a day off. No body really cared, and there was no single agency monitoring the whole place and servicing the people. The place was crowded, noisy, and like any other tourist location in India was dominated by touts. I don’t see why such practices should continue in what is one of the best locations in India for a scenic ride in the sea.
In any case, we found our way to the ferry which takes all of 7 minutes to cross a narrow patch of sea for INR 14 per person (I thought we could even cross it on foot ! Ha Ha Ha !!). The ferry had no safety provisions, no lifeboats, no life jackets, and no guards. Does that sound unique or strange ? No, it doesn’t in India, unless you own your own yacht or speedboat.
The funny part is that the operator of the ferry loaded anyone who can pay – he even had several horses in the ferry and many motor bikes. It was India and its unique way of operation in all its essence. One cannot complain, just take the ride if you wish and pray that nothing untoward would happen.
So, there we landed at Manori. Juice Adventures was located within 3 minutes from the ferry terminal. There was a good reception for us, as we had made enquiries at the reception by calling beforehand. The person in-charge of the reception gave a good explanation of the facilities, and we were convinced it was worth the trouble of the car + ferry ride with all the attendant experiences.
My son enjoyed the rope exercises, the ATV ride, the Sumo fight, the archery, and especially the zorbing (which I thought was not like the one in NZ on the hills). We liked the place though it was not fully operational with all the games that were mentioned on the brochure. They opened only 3 months ago, and I think it would be better to wait for another 3 months before a visit which can derive full benefits from Juice Adventures.
The thing that I could not fail to notice is that there were no other visitors except us on a Saturday mid-morning, which was rather surprising. There is hardly any such adventure place in Mumbai, apart from the well-established Essel World which does not have some of the adventures featured here in Juice Adventures.
Overall, we enjoyed the place, but instead of the 5 to 6 hours we had allocated, the visit to Juice Adventures was over in about 2 hours. That is bad business given that we would not stay for lunch at their place !
Well, my suggestion would be to wait till about June and then make a visit to Juice Adventures.
11th March 2012