”I’m won’t be able to make it man” said one friend, “I’m bored to put in soo much effort” said the other at 9.35 PM just 55 minutes before the train was to depart. “Ditchers” I said in a tone as irritated as it could get and hung up the phone. 5 minutes of thinking if I sould take the trip or not, a phone call to my closest buddy to tell him what had happened and some swearing was all that was required to not unpack my backpack. He too agreed to give me company. Originally this trek was meant to be with anonymous fellow trekkers but the “ditchers” gave me hope of having a good company, so best friend company was a balm.
A relatively empty station and an anxious wait for the train
Our last vehicle onward the summit
A short train ride followed by an hour’s drive marked the end of vehicular journey on our way to the peak of Bhimashankar hills.
Overnight bonding sessions
It was half past 2 AM and 25 excited souls couldn’t decide whether to sleep or to just enjoy each other’s company. None slept. Within no time we went from being fellow trekkers to friends.
The villager who has agreed to let us stay for the night made us hot chai and poha ensuring we were trek ready. Food cooked in earthen pots does have a flavor of its own.
There it starts…
Everyone was ready with their backpacks at 6.30 for a breath taking experience.
Well that’s not even one third of the mountain.
With the target right in front of us we started our walk.
And the trail blazers
The 1st challenge in our path was a gushing stream.
The gushing river we had to cross without landing in the manhole.!
A manhole, cold-water and downpour was all we had to battle to cross this stream. A rope and a few brave souls made the “easy” task “easier”
Waterfalls, tiny streams and slippery rocks signified we were at some altitude now. Our legs were still relatively fresh which made that part of the ascent quicker. Then came the huge rocks sucking energy from every muscle from our bodies. Slips, supports, waterfall baths, F-words, “we are almost there’s” and growing bonds were our steps to reach the summit.
To be extremely honest to myself there have been few moments which have been as satisfying as taking the final step to the top. There was a momentary loss of all other thoughts and pains. My quest for solitude had given me this and I was proud of myself. I had completed the ascent of one of the most strenuous trek in the western ghats(I was told about this after the trek ended)
A customary walk to the mountain top shrine(no trip is ever complete without the divine blessings) brought an end to our ascend. We needed the bleasings.And blessing we got. Hot food in a cold rainy weather is nothing short of a blessing.
Few stretches, bags on our shoulders and we began to track back our route.The descent started
Our descent was a beautiful combination of tired legs and enthralling natural beauty. Wouldn’t deny my brain had a hard time determining which sense to satiate first.
All of us had swollen legs by the time we managed to come back to a favourable altitude. But what occupied our minds was a sense of joy, a sense of achievement to have completed one of the more strenuous peaks of the sahyadris.
The many enthralling scenes