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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Naneghat - The Return Journey

I was in a bad shape. A very severe bout of cramps had me. One group member had her shoes torn and I had offered her my shoe. Which meant that I had no footwear. We were 3 of us. A couple of my group mates offered to give me company by road so that I need not travel along to Junnar.

From the top of Naneghat there is a road that takes us to Junnar in around an hours time. But getting a transport to Junnar was a huge ask. The nearest village was at a distance of around 5 km from where one could get a bus to go to Junnar. But with my torn shoes and cramps it was next to impossible to walk those 5 km. There were a few vehicles that were waiting near the cave.

My friend Anurag is a go getter. He has been one right from our college days when I started knowing him. He sought out the owner of one of the cars waiting there. We requested him to drop us to the nearest village from where we could take a transport to Junnar. The person was so nice that he infact offered to drop us to Junnar where he was headed. This was a great relief to us.

We waited for an hour or so for his family to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place, before we could start moving. It turned out that this gentleman was quite an influential person in that area. He ran a few schools and showed us at least 2 of them as we travelled towards Junnar.

They made us feel comfortable in their vehicle as we drove towards Junnar. It was so relieving. We told them about V Hikerz and they were quite impressed with what we are doing.

Finally at Junnar we got dropped off. When we were about to get off the gentleman inquired about our professions and our names.

We bought a pair of floaters at Junnar and had a snack. We started looking for transportation to take us to Murbad where one of the vehicles that we had got from Mumbai was to wait for us.

Buses were not available at that time. Finally near the bus stand, we saw a hoarding that displayed a phone number. We made a deal with the taxi guy and went with him.

It was a ride of more than an hour. Almost 2 hours actually.

I started wondering. The trek to Naneghat was around 3-4 hours duration. The drive from Naneghat to very near to the base point was again around 3-4 hours distance.

The trekking route was actually an ancient trade route. This trek to Naneghat was the route taken by traders to go to the deccan from the konkan. The same distance was covered by car in a comparative period of time.

Just left me wondering though. What with our claims of being scientific, about using transportation models, about using modern techniques

Have we really progressed ?

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Naneghat

I had missed the first trek of the season, Dukes Nose as I had to attend a family function. I could not have missed it. So I missed the trek. It was heartening to note that there were more than 30 members who came for the first trek of the season. Now this was a relatively easy trek but nevertheless it was great to have more than 30.

It had started raining and so we planned Naneghat next. Naneghat was a long trek which was not difficult but needed huge levels of endurance. The climate was quite pleasant when we left early in the morning. due to some last minute drop outs without intimation, we got delayed considerably and our schedules went awry right in the beginning.

I was very worried about my weight gain between the last trek. I was keen to start shedding weight as soon as possible in order to get into the trekking groove. I had dialysis on friday night after which I slept till around 8 am. I had a lot lined up for the day. It was quite a hot day. I think I lost a lot of fluids due to sweat, which I should have replenished, but I was so enthusiastic about the trek that I didnt replenish.

The trek starts from Vaishakhare just beyond Murbad towards Malshej. The level of difficulty was not much but it was a long trek. There were a lot of new members in the group as well. We has got delayed due to some last minute drop outs without intimations. So the group started the trek at around 9 am (around an hour behind schedule)

It was very humid, the temperature was high as well as the humidity. I was losing a lot of sweat. But in my enthusiasm to lose weight, I didnt consume any water that we were carrying. Also there was no water available on the whole trek. As a result the idea was to preserve whatever water was possible for an emergency.

The new members of the group in their enthusiasm moved ahead. The first aid kit was with the first group. The second group was only three of us. We were tired. I had lost a lot of water as well and was in a bad shape.

I started getting cramps in my stomach. My pressure started dropping. I started seeing black dots in front of my eyes. At a plateau which was roughly 30% of the trek duration, I almost collapsed. My friends asked me to rest. Those who had gone ahead were far ahead and there was no point for them to come back.

My head was groggy and I was not able to see anything. My old friend Rama was with me. He and Rajesh offered some Tang. I had some Tang after which I felt better. So I tried to sit up from my position. I was lying down. However in my attempt to sit up, I again got cramps in my stomach along with giddiness thus rendering me totally unable to even sit up. I needed more fluid + salt + sleep.

While we could somehow manage water and salt in that place, sleep was something that would render our plans a waste. One of the options was to go back to the base point and abandon the trek.

I was determined to complete the trek. I had to. I really dont know the reason, but I somehow was possessed about completing the trek. Thanks to my two friends who were with me all the time, I was able to sit up after some more fluid. And continued the trek. I was still groggy. I was still unable to see clearly. I was still able to feel the tense muscle in my stomach.

But I had to reach the top. Slowly and after a lot of breaks in between, I managed. The rest of the group was on their way down, when we reached the top. I was in no condition to trek down hill immediately. So I offered to come to Murbad by road from the top (There is a road at the top) and a couple of friends offered to give me company. The rest of the gang went back.

The journey back to Murbad was another experience in itself and merits a separate post.

The group was on their way back. They had their food. They had their fluids. They had rested well. I was craving for all of that.

One of the reasons I trek is that I tend to forget that I am down with end stage kidney disease. That along with me every one else gets tired and needs rest. During this trek, I was reminded not once but several times that I am a patient. I have a huge set of restrictions. in food, in fluids, in taking rest where it is required.

On the way I gave it a deep thought. Maybe if I wasnt a patient, I would abandoned the trek half way (when I got the cramps). What kept me going was my will to go on and complete the trek like any other normal person. To me not completing the trek would make me a loser, in my own eyes.

How could I lose................I am a winner!!!