Thursday, 19 June 2008
Trek to Kotligad
Normally we used to travel through the night to Karjat, take the first bus to base point (around 545 a.m.) and reach there by 7. We used to complete the climb by around 10. After exploring the place for around a couple of hours we used to climb down and reach the base point just in time for the last bus which used to be around 430.
This time we made a different plan. We thought it was prudent to catch up with some sleep. So we reached Karjat (from where the bus to the base point was starting) in the night itself. We stayed at a household known to me (since I have been trekking for the last 18 years). This household offers accommodation to genuine trekkers only at a nominal price. This time the place was not as cozy as usual and most uncomfortable. As a result the idea of catching up on sleep didnt work out as expected and we were sleepless throughout the night.
The first bus to the base point was cancelled. Commercial considerations have forced the state transport undertaking to cancel buses which do not have enough passengers.
I was tired to start off with. Also I had dialysis the previous night and hadnt slept well. To add to the discomfort was the fact that I had a bad bout of cramps during that round of dialysis and cramps continued into the next night as well. AS a result when we started trekking th pain due to the cramps was fresh and hence I was sceptical whether I would end up being a spoilsport by dropping out mid way through the trek.
There is a nice inclined walk to a table land. On the way we saw a snake (looked like a python) and several species of moths and other insects which we rarely get to see in a city like Mumbai.
The view from the table land itself is so divine, it is difficult to express in words. The sight of the thumb shaped fort/ watch tower at a distance is so awe inspiring as well as humbling. Along with that the mountains and the waterfalls that line the valley is a sight to behold.
The link at the bottom of the post would give a more accurate expression of the beauty.
We rested here and emptied the packets of glucose powder that we had carried. I normally carry these during treks as I am not sure how much fluid I can consume. I feast on glucose and gulp it down with small sips of water.
Around a couple of kms walk from here is a village from where the real climb starts. The village has a couple of households who run a restaurant. It serves only one dish that is kanda poha (pounded rice diced with onion and other spices)and you have to oder for meals. Meals normally constitute bread made of rice (bhakris), vegetables, dal and rice. We decided not to order for the meal as we were carrying enough food stuffs. We had tea and poha and went up. This climb is a steep one and in rocky terrain which had become slippery and treacherous due to the intermittent rain.
I was very tired here and had lost a lot of fluid due to excessive sweating. To add to it was the fact that it was a sunny day. I had to sit for a while. I almost got blacked out at a point of time. But I had to make it to the top. I was trekking with normal guys after all.
My friend Shyam was always with me. He has been a great support even since we met around 17 years ago and he taught me how to trek. Hence it was a great source of solace that Shyam was around. He offered to hold my bag. He did too for a while. Then I took it back as the climb was too tough to do with two bags in hand. It was tough for me. I guess it was equally tough for everyone else. This part of the trek was really quite steep.
Finally we could see the ramparts of the fort and it was a relief to me. A sense of achievement as well. I had made it ....despite the cramps...despite the hypoglycemia....I felt great.
I simply didnt have any energy to go anywhere else.So I went to the cave at the top and lied down on the rock. The cool rock face was so refreshing. IT was amazing in fact.
I took out my bottle of water and had a huge gulp. I felt that even if I consumed more fluid than necessary, the machines were there to take it off me. This was heaven and I had to enjoy water....that heavenly drink.
On the way back we saw a couple of more snakes which we were not able to capture on camera as they were too quick for us. The best part of the whole trek was that during the whole trek I didnt slip even once. And I was having pain in my calf muscles due to the cramps as well as the hypoglycemia.
What a wonderful adventure it turned out to be !!
What a wonderful way to celebrate that my transplant didnt happen!!!