The trekking bug was catching on. Facebook contributed in no mean way to the spreading of this bug.
We had more and more people wanting to join V Hikerz. It was a great feeling. Not only about the incremental numbers in our group, but for the fact that most of the joinees were new to trekking. It felt good that my passion was getting more popular.
In order to ensure that more beginners could join the trek, we wanted to plan an easy one. While thinking of where to go, I went back in time and remembered where I had started my trekking life. Karnala. Yes Karnala it would be for the next trek. The advantage of the place was that it was very near to Mumbai. It also was on the Goa highway, so it was easily accessible as well.
The trek was scheduled for a sunday. On thursday we had 13 confirmations so we booked a 17 seater mini bus. However by friday the bus was overflowing and we had to infact decline around 4-5 people from joining us for the trek.
I was really touched by the tremendous response.
We started early as we normally do and after breakfast on the way at Panvel, we started the trek at around 8:15 am. Given the fact that the group was inexperienced, they were quite quick. We had only a couple of breaks on the way and reached the top by around 10:15 am.
On the way a disturbing incident occured. Just when the steps leading to the fort were about to start one trekker from another group, a much older gentleman fell and hurt his shoulder. Some members of our group witnessed this incident. This scared them no end. To add to this the steps leading to the fort are exposed and look quite steep. They are not as difficult as they seem to be. Nevertheless they can be intimidating.
After administering first aid to this person who was an orthopedic doctor, I cajoled our new members into completing the trek by telling them that they could do it and such incidents are really rare and can be avoided if we concentrate while trekking.
Finally we reached the top. We had a nice session of jokes and anecdotes at the top followed by a snack session. We started from the top at around 12:15 and made it back to the base by around 1:30.
We encountered on the way a huge group of girl students who were on a college / school picnic and had to spend a lot of time on the way as we gave them the first use of the beaten path.
We completed the trek and went to Yusuf Meherally Centre Tara village which was around 3-4 km from Karnala.
As we were moving towards Tara for a well deserved meal, my thought went back in time again. The journey from my first night trek to Karnala, my health issues, my resolve in getting back to something that I loved doing and today we again completed Karnala with a group of newbies as enthusiastic as I was during my first trek. It is another matter how many would continue trekking as I did.
But yes Life had come full Circle !! As it so often does